ReturningVideotapes

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Fish Tank (2009)

Fish Tank gathers everything I cherish about british cinema: it deals with deeply flawed characters constricted by harsh realities, and portrays these in raw, but gorgeous, cinematography – notice Mia’s dancing scenes, both in the blueish room, and living room with Connor – and above all, powerful performances to hold it together. The film follows Mia (Katie Jarvis),  a 15…

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (2011)

this article contains spoilers. and it is rather long. It starts where the previous ended: with Voldemort leaning towards Dumbledore’s tomb, reaching for the Elder Wand. There’s a feeling of continuity, as if we never left the theatre. And yet many things have profoundly changed. The Harry we behold, talking to Ollivander, talking to Griphook… it’s not the Harry we knew, it’s not…

Greenberg (2010)

It’s been my understanding that Baumbach has a very selective fanbase, and that his films often ignite two opposite strong opinions amongst critics. Being Greenberg my first Baumbach film, my reaction was a solid meh. Yet it stayed with me since I saw it a couple of weeks ago, as that meh began to gradually loose its strength. For many hours…

My Own Private Idaho (1991) | List of Shame

Expectations were high, for I’ve only heard the best things about it.And indeed My Own Private Idaho deserves every praise. This unconventional film about two hustlers is moving and funny, but more importantly it has depth: whether intellectually or emotionally, you realise that there’s much more to it than an unrequited love. River Phoenix is as real as one can be,…

Psycho (1960) | List of Shame

Alfred Hitchcock is said to be the master of suspense, but Psycho isn’t scary. The movie begins, there’s immediate mystery, and your curiosity sparks, but nothing too special. As the movie proceeds, you begin to feel a bit uncomfortable – and if you’re like me you’ll think you’re hungry, so you grab something to eat. Shortly after finishing some cornflakes you…

Casablanca (1942) | List of Shame

At the top of my List of Shame, could only be Casablanca. This iconic film is set in Africa, during the beginning of World War II, following the love triangle of Rick Blaine, Ilsa Lund and Victor Laszlo. Casablanca demands its place on every must-see list. Some of its legendary lines include: We’ll always have Paris, Here’s looking at you, kid; Louis, I think…

Howl (2010)

Allen Ginsberg was a 20th century poet, regarded as one of the main figures of the Beat Generation, a turning point for american poetry. His most acclaimed poem – Howl – was accused of being obscene, and so, for publishing it, Lawrence Ferlinghetti was arrested and sued, originating the famous 1957 obscenity trial. Rob Epstein‘s and Jeffrey Friedman‘s film shifts between…

Black Swan (2010)

We’ve all had the opportunity to witness Darren Aronofsky‘s creativity, despite his short resumé. We know his darkest and most controversial side from Requiem for a Dream, as well as the miracles he gets from his actors in The Wrestler. In Black Swan Aronofsky combines the best of both – a disturbing thriller with powerful performances. The film revolves around the…

The Matrix (1999)

Twelve years after its premiere The Matrix is on the verge of becoming what many call a cult film. It won four Academy Awards for its technical achievements, and it got some bad reviews mostly for its script; it was believed to be messy, utopian and lacking a cohesive structure. However, a deeper analysis and some Philosophy 101reveal a pretty…

La Môme (2007)

Édith Piaf had her share of tragic events, a broken body and mind from years of alcohol and morphine abuse, and because of it she passed away too young, at only 47 years old. Yet today we don’t recall Piaf for her sins, but for the exquisite talent she possessed. Her theatrical performances haunted by her dramatic life established an immediate…

Inception (2010)

Inception was advertised as a summer blockbuster, meaning an action film usually with a simple script that therefore mostly does not require its audience to actually think. Yet Inception has the complexity of a conspiracy theory, the emotional depth of a drama, and the sort of groundbreaking subject that we see in science fiction. The premise is what if we could access someone’s…

An Education (2009)

At first sight, An Education may be perceived as a funny, easygoing film, but beware: the only funny and easygoing thing in this story is Jenny (Carey Mulligan), a 16 year old teenager on her way to Oxford who on a fateful rainy day meets a charming older man, David. The theme is fairly common for as Jenny herself said, Silly…

Nine (2009)

Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a movie director who lives an italian lifestyle of luxurious clichés, and wanders too often through his restless imagination – the refuge of a man trapped by his own lies. He’s surrounded by seven charismatic and sublime women: his mother (Sophia Loren), his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penélope Cruz), a prostitute (Fergie), a friend…

127 Hours (2010)

In 2003, 27 year old Aron Raslton left in the middle of the night, heading to Blue John Canyon, Utah – a place he considered a second home. As an enthusiastic mountain climber, he avoids the official route without hesitation. While running through the desert, he overcomes various obstacles with the ease of someone who’s highly accustomed with the place…

Flare Artists: James Dean

I believe this man needs no introduction. I can’t keep track of how many articles I’ve read about him, how many documentaries I’ve watched, how many references in films and ads I’ve noticed. Anyone who gets into Old Hollywood has heard about him, and for those who haven’t, his face and quotations are everywhere. We know too well the story…