Sunday, March 04, 2012

Films so far in 2012 - January, February and into March

So: it's been a lively few months on the film front. A mixture of DVDs, cinema visits, TV films, and (thanks to a VERY kind friend's Christmas present) the temporary joys of LoveFilm.

Anyway - I thought I'd log here the pleasures so far.

  • The Artist - see review of Broadway cinema visit
  • In The Loop - LoveFilm: yes, belatedly we caught up with this gem. "Difficult, difficult, lemon, difficult". Great humour, and horribly potentially close to political reality.
  • 36 - LoveFilm: a cracking French film whose denouement was simultaneously predictable and yet utterly fulfilling. Can you really ever hate a film with Daniel Auteuil in it? I've never yet found a film of his I completely hated: he's just so wonderfully watchable.
  • Attack the Block - DVD: another belated catch-up for an awkward yet thrilling film with plenty of satisfying references to past glories of film horror.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (English language version) - see review of Broadway cinema visit
  • Coriolanus - Broadway: a stunning film version of Shakespeare's play with a magnificent performance from Vanessa Redgrave as a terrifying mother (Volumnia) who blew many of the supposedly 'strong' males off the screen. But great performances from lots of people, not least Brian Cox (not the twinkly physics nerd) as Menenius, and James Nesbitt and Paul Jesson as the gleefully self-serving tribunes Sicinius and Brutus.
  • Panique au Village - DVD: bonkers beyond measure, the kind of stop-motion animation that blows your mind when watching it, and blessed with the kind of surrealism that generates comments like "Toy Story on absinthe". Joyous, but beware letting small children loose on it: you could end up watching it endlessly for weeks...
  • Life in a Day - DVD: thanks to the lovely George, we were able to enjoy this tour of a day in the life of planet earth. All its violence, humanity and humour were there, and it was both despairing and uplifting to dip into the lives of so many diverse people. Crowdsourcing filmic content may seem a lazy way to generate a film, but it is beautifully edited and the final contributor - from a storm-swept car near midnight - makes for a breathtaking ending.
  • The Woman in Black - Broadway with Q&A: I should really have written a review damn me, but here is a shortened commentary instead. It's proven very popular - I suspect in part due to Daniel Potter/Harry Radcliffe - but this is an efficient and enjoyable thriller. The Q&A with local born director James Watkins was great fun as those coming for the film confessed having been scared witless and more literary-driven members debated the legitimacy of the changed ending from Susan Hill's book (I didn't mind the change, and in their own way both worked, though I can appreciate the irritation of those who felt the film copped out somewhat). Recommended viewing with good company and a cushion.
  • Shutter Island - LoveFilm: one I have been wanting to watch for some time, but largely because I LOVE the Max Richter/Dinah Washington combined track version of 'This Bitter Earth'. Atmospheric, beautifully and disturbing to look at and although not an entirely surprising ending, one I had not entirely foreseen and expected. I get the feeling at the end that he knows what he is saying.
  • Submarine - DVD: the most Indie of Indie films one could imagine, with a check, check, check list of likely features and yet NEVER anything less than heartfelt and charming. Two quirky leads, a bunch of great music, and Paddy Considine being a grande arsehole (proving that any foray into comedy, see Hot Fuzz, will give just as cracking a performance as emotional drama).
  • District 9 - LoveFilm: again, we belatedly caught up with this grim but witty alien film. Far more emotional than we expected it to be: a bit more subtle than expected in its satire.
  • La Vie en Rose - LoveFilm: belated, again, but a wonderful central performance from the beautiful Marion Cotillard as the less than beautiful Edith Piaf. Not a happy life but a magnificent jumbled story of a life of pain and passion for singing.
  • The Emperor's New Clothes - DVD: a colleague lent me this some time ago (though not as long ago as the now siege fight that remains over 'City of God' and 'Diva'). A charming little film, it won't set anyone's life aflame but it was a warming way to spend less than two hours. Napoleon escapes from St Helena but finds re-taking his power more complex than imagined and finds himself an unacknowledged power
  • Barton Fink - TV: we found this had just started a few nights ago and revelled in its consummate weirdness and excess. Coen Brothers classic!
  • Kick-Ass - DVD: oh my GOD, where has this movie been all my life?! One of the most gloriously indulgent and OTT films of pure silly pleasure I have seen in a long while. I felt proper BUZZING by the end of it.


chrissie_allen said...

Nice. Have seen all your LoveFilm choices as been in that for some time now. (thought D9 was one of the best films seen for ages, so full of pathos too, I did cry..and I don't do that normally) You've certainly seen some stonking stuff at the flicks so far this year Rullsenberg!

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Indeedy! I would have kept up with LoveFilm but got a bit fed up with over-used DVDs coming through looking like they'd had Peter Powell doing a demo on them...

JoeinVegas said...

Have you seen Cocteau's French version of Beauty and the Beast? I think it has the most lovely images. (his Orpheus from the same period is equally lovely)

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

I've seen Orpheus but not Beauty and the Beast - but yes, beautiful.