Saturday, 18 November 2017

Out now: 78/52, Thelma, The Florida Project Reviews

Still in cinemas around the UK are some more films that I saw at the London Film Festival including Psycho documentary 78/52, Scandi-sort-of-horror Thelma and Sean Baker's Tangerine follow-up The Florida Project.

My review of 78/52 is up at Starburst Magazine here and this is is a snippet from the review:

"Director Alexandre O. Philippe takes the approach of honing in on one famous sequence; the Psycho shower scene. Hitchcock’s most famous set piece is put under the microscope, subjected to rigorous analysis, and (excuse the pun) showered with praise by a gaggle of talking heads including critics, directors, actors, editors and professors. Philippe has assembled an impressive list of some of the master of suspense’s biggest fans and all are eager to pore over the minute details of the sequence that has 78 cuts and 52 camera setups (hence the title)."

Also out is Joachim Trier's oddball horror film Thelma which I also reviewed at Starburst Magazine here. Here's the synopsis of the film from my review:

"The titular character is a young woman who has arrived in the city to study biology at university, for the first time living away from her rural-living religious parents. While Thelma makes friends and enjoys her new found independence, her strict parents are frequently phoning to check up on her. When Thelma meets classmate Anya, something awakens in her that is not just about her sexuality, but might also be supernatural."

Finally, The Florida Project is also out at the moment and though I have not reviewed this elsewhere, I have to highly recommend it now. The film mainly follows a child that lives in a motel down the road from Florida's Disneyworld theme park. She lives in poverty with her weed-smoking, foul-mouthed and irresponsible mother. 

I found this film incredibly depressing. What interests me is that many critics have gone on about the joy of the film. Seeing the story through the eyes of this young carefree girl makes it all seem so much more innocent and magical than it really is. What The Florida Project really deals with is inequality on a terrible scale, but also the way that some people fail to help themselves time and again. 

It angered me. It made me think of some old friends of mine. Friends that can barely make ends meet, but still manage to take drugs even though they now have children. People that I find it hard to call friends now even though I know damn well how hard their lives are. 

I think The Florida Project  is a brilliant film and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it pretty much everyday since I saw it two weeks ago. I found it very hard not to judge some characters and by the end, it left me thinking even more about someone close to me who works in social services. It's definitely not a barrel of laughs and I found it hard to see the joy that so many others saw in it. But it is brilliant, and strangely beautiful, with some of the best performances of the year across the board and a perfectly tragic open ending. See it if you can.

More from the London Film Festival 2017 

Strangled review

Strangled is a Hungarian film based on the true story of a serial killer known as the 'Monster of Martfu'. I caught this at the London Film Festival earlier this year and it's now getting some kind of a cinema release in the UK. It might be difficult to find a cinema that's actually playing it, but it is supposedly being released on November 17th 2017.

My review of Strangled is up at Starburst Magazine and here is a snippet about the story:

"In 1957, a woman leaving work at the Martfu shoe factory is raped and murdered and her body is dumped in a river. The man who was last seen with her, Reti Akos is arrested and eventually admits to the murder despite his sister’s vehement protests of his innocence. Seven years later, a killer strikes again murdering, mutilating and dumping women’s bodies in similar ways to the previous crime. But with Reti still doing his 25 years in jail, the detectives and prosecutors begin to investigate the new crimes and question if they got the wrong man."

More reviews from the London Film Festival 2017

Ingrid Goes West and Good Time Reviews

I know that its tempting to go and see Batman vs Superman 2 or whatever its called, but please rethink your life and go see Ingrid Goes West or Good Time instead. My review of Ingrid Goes West is up at Starburst Magazine here. In a nutshell, it's hilarious, insightful, awkward and tragic. It probably sends out a very dangerous message so I wouldn't let your depressed teenage kids near it. But if, like me, you spend a lot of time on Instagram or Twitter sharing every thought or moment of your life with friends and strangers, then you need to see it. Here's a snippet about the story from my review:

"Ingrid's life is a mess. Her mother has died leaving her a fat inheritance, but she's left in a psychiatric ward after a meltdown at an old friend's wedding. Obsessed with Instagram, hashtags about perfection and happiness and the perfect emoji to use when commenting, she's desperate for a friend, and for someone to notice her (and more importantly ‘like’ her pictures). Discovering the seemingly perfect life of social media sensation Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen) in a magazine, she moves to LA to needle her way into Taylor's life, no matter what the cost."

If Ingrid Goes West doesn't take your fancy, but neither does another all-star superhero team-up, then why not try Good Time. I haven't actually reviewed this film, but it absolutely blew me away. I knew Robert Pattinson was good, and has been making some interesting choices since finishing up with Twilight, but this film is next-level good.

It's about a criminal (Pattinson) with a mentally challenged brother. After a robbery goes wrong, Pattinson's vulnerable brother ends up in jail. Pattinson has to figure out a way to get his brother out  before something terrible happens to him.

Good Time is constantly going in unexpected directions, it pulsates with a brilliant score and it moves at a breakneck pace. What I loved most about it though, is its final scene. I won't spoil that here, but it's incredible how it makes you see the entire rest of the film in a different light. Well it did for me anyway. Undoubtedly one of my favourites of the year, I highly recommend a visit to the big screen for this one.

More from the London Film Festival 2017.