RSS feed for Chris
  • Listen Up Philip 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 17 Nov, 2014

    Listen Up Philip is a film that looks and feels as if was made in the 1970s. Working solidly within the genre of misanthrope writer in New York genre it manages to build a story around a completely unsympathetic character and to bring a dose of realism to the genre. There are some great performances in the film with Jason Swartzman at the centre and with a fantastic performance from Elisabeth Moss (including one of the most amazing reaction shots…

  • Mood Indigo 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 15 Nov, 2014

    Within the whimsy of Michel Gondry there is a melancholy sadness. It feels like he's been trying to find the right balance for years and with Mood Indigo it feels just right. In the beginning it's a rapid-fire surreal showcase that slowly becomes more emotional and real as the story progresses. Establishing a unique and strange logic the tone and look mirror the emotions of the characters to an extent that it looks like a completely different film by the…

  • The Zero Theorem 2013

    ★★★★ Rewatched 15 Nov, 2014

    Terry Gilliam is first of all of a visual stylist and The Zero Theorem explores his familiar themes again, updated into a more modern world. More evenly balanced and focussed than some of his work, but just as imaginative, I liked The Zero Theorem even more the second time I watched it. A simple story about a man trying to find the meaning of life (where the answer isn't 42, but 0), it's deeply cynical but also fun. Great for Gilliam fans and others who like cinematic roads less travelled.

  • Nightcrawler 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 01 Nov, 2014

    Nightcrawler is a very dark satire with a very great performance from Jake Gyllenhaal. Creepy and focused, he's like Rupert Pupkin if he was interested in TV news instead of comedy. Filled with ellipses in terms of the events occurring off-camera as the story progresses, it's an unsettling look at an unstable character on the margins of the news. Dan Gilroy makes his directorial debut with the film, but previously he had cowritten screenplays (and the story for Real Steel).…

  • Only Lovers Left Alive 2013

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 28 Aug, 2014

    One of my favourite films of the last few years, Only Lovers Left Alive, is a beautiful and languorous take on the vampire genre, similar to Jarmusch's earlier Ghost Dog did for samurai and gangster films. Exploring the idea of what the lives of vampires would be like if they were really cool people works very well for me. Filled with quirky humour and lovely nuanced performances, it's a contemplative journey through the night accompanied by ambient music that washes over you. A pleasure to immerse yourself in.

  • Marwencol 2010

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 30 Oct, 2014

    A small and gentle film that features an intriguing subject and a fascinating story of recovery. The story of Mark Hogencamp is moving and the way that Jeff Malmberg constructs the story is part of the pleasure. Revealing information in a careful and gentle way, Marwencol is a portrait of a unique individual who is able to rebuild his life through constructing a miniature World War II town filled with characters.

  • Until the End of the World 1991

    ★★★½ Rewatched 19 Oct, 2014

    It had been years since I'd seen this film and it was the much shorter, edited version that I saw. The international trilogy version is over four hours long and it works better than the abbreviated one. A big and rambling road movie that was set in the near future at the time, but now is in the recent past. Wenders ambitiously wove together a romance with some science fiction and film noir to bring together some of his favourite…

  • Seconds 1966

    ★★★★½ Watched 24 Oct, 2014

    Sometimes there are films that you hear about and keep wanting to see and never get around to it. I'm so glad that I finally caught up with John Frankenheimer's Seconds. A wonderfully strange mid-60s response to the zeitgeist that takes it in a very different direction from a lot of the other films of the time. It's a great premise filled with little bits of odd and dark humour that feels like an episode of the Twilight Zone blown…

  • Network 1976

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 18 Oct, 2014

    I hadn't watched Sidney Lumet's Network for a long time, and seeing it again I was struck by the freshness and prescience of it. Paddy Chayefsky's writing is superb and the film is filled with great moments between the characters. Deeply cynical and almost quaint in the outrage against corporate control of the media, it's a brilliant film that echoes down through other films. Peter Finch's central performance is magnetic and wounded and reminded me of Tom Wilkinson in Michael…

  • Upstream Color 2013

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 17 Oct, 2014

    Upstream Color is a film that sticks with me. The genius of the film is in how most of it isn't explained which makes it work much better for me as I am the one who provides the connective tissue. Beautifully shot and with remarkable sound design, it's a strange love story that works like a half-remembered dream. It's soft science fiction filled with emotion and ideas that are always worth revisiting.

  • The Dog 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Oct, 2014

    I've seen Dog Day Afternoon and knew that it was based on true events, but I hadn't really wondered much about the people involved in it. So not having followed up on the story, it was interesting to watch The Dog. It tells the story of John Wojtowicz, who was at the centre of the story. It's a fascinating look at an interesting character who is unapologetically himself and unique. Brash and blunt, he is surrounded by other unique people and it provides a glimpse into his life and the people that he knew.

  • Jimmy P. 2013

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 09 Oct, 2014

    Arnaud Desplechin is an intellectual and skilled filmmaker and I don't think I've seen one of his films that I didn't appreciate more the second time and the same thing happened with Jimmy P. Working with a newer cast and in English (as he did with Esther Kahn), it changes things a bit, but it is recognizably Desplechin. With a smaller palette than usual the focus is mainly on the relationship between regular Mathieu Almaric and Benicio del Toro. Alamaric…