To Rome with Love sees Woody Allen continue to develop his collective of films about Americans abroad. Midnight in Paris (Allen, 2011) was that rare Woody Allen film; being a critical and commercial success – something Allen has scarcely achieved in the last 20 years. The question then, is whether To Rome with Love would be as good as the film it followed, or would it have more in common with the boresome You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (Allen, 2010), or, would it flounder somewhere in the middle? I visited Dartington’s Barn Cinema to find out…
Simon Roger Key
In 2005, Rian Johnson debuted with the sensational neo-noir, Brick. A film that took the codes and conventions of a film noir, and transposed them to a high-school setting – ie a brat-pack film with private dicks and femme fatales. Following Brick, Johnson made the convoluted and rather disappointing, The Brothers Bloom (Johnson, 2008), which tellingly suffered from ‘shooting’ difficulties and studio interference. Johnson’s first film in four years sees him tackling Science-Fiction, in his time-travel caper, Looper, but the question is, it is any good?
With his sensational debut, 2004’s Chopper and his Western, 2007’s masterpiece, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Andrew Dominik is carving himself a career which fixates upon outlaws and violence. His films are predominantly preoccupied with the homosocial sphere, the embattled male and masculinity. So, would his third film, and second collaboration with Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly, be a departure or would these themes continue? I visited Dartington’s Barn Cinema, to find out…
The screening wasn’t packed, but once again Dartington’s Barn proves itself to be the South West’s premiere art-house cinema, with a limited run of Orson Welles’, F for Fake.
James Marsh’s newest film explores Northern Ireland’s Troubles in Shadow Dancer (Marsh, 2012) and I visited Dartington’s Barn Cinema to see if Marsh’s take on the IRA, was up to scratch…
Samsara is Ron Fricke’s first film since 1992’s Baraka and like its predecessor, Samsara is a non-narrative film. However, not only does Samsara defy the conventions of popular narrative cinema, but also our expectations of the documentary format. The film features no narrator, no dialogue or any descriptive text whatsoever. Instead, the film asks that you form your own narrative by interpreting the visually stunning cinematography. Sounds rather pretentious, but it is without doubt the cinematic event – if not film – of the year.
Do you have a favourite film that you’ve never seen on the big screen? Would you like to pick a film to be screened at Dartington’s Barn Cinema? Of course you would, and the good folks at Dartington are making that a reality. Yes, you, the lovely cinema-goers have the opportunity to choose what film is screened at the Barn Cinema’s, Facebook Film Lover’s Night, on Sunday, October 21 at 8pm.
If this summer is anything to go by then we’re in for a wet and windy autumn, so it’s a good thing that Dartington’s Barn Cinema, have a cracking autumnal line-up.
Magic Mike (Soderbergh, 2012) is the somewhat biographical take, on Channing Tatum’s escapades prior to acting, but is Steven Soderbergh’s newest film – about male strippers – any good? I visited Dartington’s Barn Cinema to find out…
Director Lynn Shelton hasn’t done anything too interesting since Humpday (Shelton, 2009), in which two straight male friends, decide to make a gay porno together – for a bet.
It’s taken two years for The Women on the 6th Floor to cross the channel, so I went along to Dartington’s Barn Cinema to see if it was worth the wait…
Following Andrew Haigh’s debut, Greek Pete (Haigh, 2009), comes this assured and poignant romantic drama about two men who have a one-night stand, but unexpectedly over the space of a weekend, their time together blossoms into something more, something intimate and special.
After a couple of guest episodes on the ever so tedious CSI, followed by a brief break, Billy Friedkin is back, and his newest film is Killer Joe.
I was giddy with excitement as I sat down at Exeter’s Picturehouse, to watch the unveiling of Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises (Nolan, 2012). All the familiar faces were expected to return – with the exception of one – but was Nolan’s swansong the epic conclusion this trilogy deserved or had he – like our protagonist – grown tired and weary?
Critically, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (Nolan, 2005) was received rather well and despite its slow momentum at the box office, a sequel was soon announced. However, the question hanging over production wasn’t whether Christian Bale would return, or who would be the film’s bad guy – that was obvious – the real question was whether or not Nolan would be back. And return he did.
Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag) is a refugee seeking asylum in Montreal, Canada, after his wife and children were murdered by terrorists in Algeria. The former restaurateur decides to pass himself off as a teacher – a profession he observed his wife in for many years – and when Martine, a teacher at a local school hangs herself, the perfect opportunity presents itself.
In 2005, after an eight-year hiatus the Dark Knight rose from the ashes. In those intervening years, since Joel Schumacher’s terrible debacle Batman & Robin (Schumacher, 1997), MARVEL’s films had radically changed the Hollywood Blockbuster landscape. Action cinema is arguably dead; replaced by skin-tight spandex and tales of woe and responsibility.
Electrick Children is about, Rachel, a teenage Mormon girl who falls mysteriously pregnant, and unsurprisingly, her religious family aren’t too keen on this particular transgression. However, Rachel believes that her conception was immaculate and rather bizarrely, that her pregnancy was caused by listening to a tape recording of rock music – I know, pregnant by music, whatever next?
The Picturehouse’s Made in Britain season culminated with a screening of Hammer’s Quatermass and the Pit (Ward Baker, 1967). It was supposed to be a season of films (five in total), which celebrated British cinema. But was it a success?
The fifth and final film in the Picturehouse’s Made in Britain season was Hammer’s Quatermass and the Pit, which was directed by Roy Ward Baker – a director who had an extensive career in both film and television. Anyway, I popped along to Exeter’s Picturehouse for a busy screening of a beautifully restored digital-print.
I’ve seen two of Bobcat Goldthwait’s films: Sleeping Dogs (2006) and World’s Greatest Dad (2009). I enjoyed both, so can Bobcat make it a trifecta, with his newest film God Bless America?
JAWS, was unquestionably Steven Spielberg’s breakthrough film, launching the director’s career into the stratosphere, while simultaneously introducing the world to the summer Blockbuster. As part of Universal’s centenary they decided to digitally restore, 13 of their ‘classics’, and unsurprisingly JAWS was a no-brainer. Prior to the film’s release on Blu-Ray (later this year), Universal reissued the film in cinemas, for a brief theatrical run, and I had the pleasure of watching what is, the definitive, tent-pole summer film.
Gareth Huw Evans’ The Raid isn’t just an action film. It is the action film. In fact, it’s difficult to remember a film with so many bone-crunching sequences, and so, equipped with my emergency germolene and bandages, I was ready to face the assault, as I headed down to Dartington’s, Barn Cinema.
Tuesday just gone, I popped along to Exeter’s Picturehouse, to check-out the latest film in their Made in Britain season, David Lean’s 1954 film, Hobson’s Choice.
The Fairy is a French film which is clearly indebted to the cinema of Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton. That visual allusion to cinema’s silent comedians isn’t new though, with comparisons being made to those comedians films, when this trio of directors, released their 2008 dance-extravaganza, Rumba. A film which was called, “Tati-esque”.