Thursday, April 14, 2016

Infamous (2006)

Beneath the surface of this gracious and aesthetic tale of reportage and repellent murder lies a melancholic love story. A love smothered between harsh truths and elegant lies.

Truman glides ostentatiously between the parallel worlds of the elite and the commonalty, initially with curiosity and hauteur but ultimately with artistic integrity and grace.

This fascination of the human frailties behind the destructive force of the criminal mind draws us into the complexities of a troubled soul, but whose?

With similar backgrounds of grief, Perry and Truman bond. Each man is unable to escape from the constraints of his own making.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Return to Oz (1985)

From the many adaptations of Frank Baum’s fairyland fables, Return to Oz is one celluloid trip that has roots firmly planted within the dark realms of fantasy borne from the original books.

An evil princess who collects heads; a slave race with wheels for appendages; a desert that reduces anyone who touches it into sand…

Baum was a voracious advocate for female rights and votes for women. His passion seeped through his work where the strongest protagonists were wise, thoughtful and powerful girls.

Oz may not be Utopia, but it’s home to a road of imagination and an altruistic future.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Haunting (1963)

Robert Wise’s chilling film is leaden with eerie tension and fraught performances. Dr Markway imprudently invites guests to act as guinea pigs in his ill-advised studies.

  • Eleanor, a woman whose own subconscious spirit plays as much a part in “the haunting” as the malevolent phantoms encased within the stone walls of the venerable yet malignant edifice.

  • Theo hides her vulnerability behind a fa├žade that shatters under the relentless erosion of Hill House’s enduring denizens.

  • Luke vaunts like a braggadocio but soon laments his bravado.

You may never look at wallpaper the same way again…

In the night… In the dark…

Monday, November 02, 2015

Easy Virtue (2008)

Between wars, we witness a slice of still life; the private lives and relative values of mad dogs and Englishmen. In the stately homes of England, this happy breed feign majesty with a design for living whilst the better half of the prodigal son is waiting in the wings.

The annual cavalcade will present laughter but hay fever makes the poor little rich girl world weary.

Will they ever find peace in out time?

Reflection plays a highly visual role in the movie often illuminating the topsy-turvy attitudes and distorted reality of a family out of touch with the times.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

With sublime performances, oblique references, masterful script and a carnivorous alien plant, Little Shop of Horrors is much more than your average musical.

It's a tale of integrity versus capitalism in the 1950s.

It's a tale of domestic abuse, guilt and a green fingered schlemiel.

It's a tale of passion, criminal activity and docile lovers overcoming the odds; defying the bruises and handcuffs, it's a most romantic apologue.

And within the walls of the local dentist's surgery lies a grotesque domicile of dread worthy of Orwell's Room 101.

All told whilst a Greek Chorus issues Anacreontic verse or operatic omens.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Sweet Charity (1969)

Charity Hope Valentine. Has there ever been a character so aptly named?

She gives and gives unconditionally.

She spends her life believing in better possibilities.

She is genuinely a martyr for love.

But for all these rare and beautiful qualities, is she merely naive, immature and deluded, living out her life with unrealistic fantasies? Or is she the embodiment of everything we all really want to be?

Most of us believe that “there’s gotta be something better than this” in our lives and we deserve to be loved, appreciated and not humiliated. Maybe we can all live hopefully ever after.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Time Bandits (1981)

A child’s bedroom is sanctuary from his parents and their materialistic world but it also houses a vast world of imagination. Kevin’s passion for history, adventure and new ideas invites chaos into his life through an epic odyssey alongside a hoard of dubious cohorts with their own agenda. Are his experiences legitimate excursions into times of heroes, legends and fables or are they unconscious delusions aroused by the heterogeneous clutter within his fortress? Building blocks, knights in armour and spaceships pervade his world to save him from idol drudgery and thrusts him into a bureaucratic war between good and evil.