Friday, 8 June 2012

May 2012 Films

Had no time during May to write anything about the films I saw, which is a shame as I now only have a fleeting sentence for the films below. Much prefer getting something down straight away. Alas, beginning work on my dissertation, as well as taking on two extremely exciting projects had my hands well and truly full.

I'll most likely speak much more about the two projects in the coming months, but one is working with the incredible documentary We Are Poets with their theatrical release, to enable at least a fraction of what it has the capability to achieve with respect to engaging young people through cinema.

The second project is in many ways completely different but similar in the way it uses film to engage the unengaged and help communities come together. An increasing trend throughout the country, seeing communities coming together, challenging a forced hegemony of profit-for-profit's sake big business. A youth-work based charity in the Great Horton region of Bradford are restoring a cinema that has been out of use for some fifty years. The cinema will be primarily focused on serving the immediately surrounding area and will engage the community to provide them a community cinema space that suits their needs.

In addition, we at Minicine have really got our arses in gear and announced the next four months of screenings. Two SUPERB documentaries that I have seen at the Bradford International Film Festival over the last couple of years are playing, as well as a charming coming of age film called Le Herisson (tickets open now for the 28th June) and finally, an Iranian film about the struggles of musicians to practise their art in Tehran. Two more films will soon be announced, that add further depth and variety to the programme.

I’ve just stuck a quick comment in for each film, and they are as always, listed in order of preference. Nothing comprehensive and they’re all comments with a month’s reflection. Taking nothing away from Le Havre, it must have been quite a non-remarkable month for film as I was very surprised that a film I thought was merely 'quite good' has ended up topping the list. Nothing struck me this month. Yet looking at the bottom, I did see what is possibly the worst ever film I've witnessed.

The rolling list of new films seen this year is looking particularly mainstream cinema heavy, but that still needs all the films I saw at the Bradford International Film Festival. That post will be going up soon and a vast majority of films I saw there were better than the films below

Le Havre - 2011
There is something about it that is just the right amount of off-kilter; a mesmerising surreal quality that pulls you in. Never too out there, but a deft touch of stylisation. This helps provide a really sweet story.

Planet Terror - 2007
Full of itself yes, but its love for the scene it is mimicking is fully evident. Scenes of absolute repulsion and inventive use of a gun/peg leg make it tremendous schlock.

Close Up - 1990
Loved what it was about. The meta-quality of so much Iranian cinema is almost unparallelled and thoroughly engrossing, but through all the admiration of what it was doing, what it was about and what it all means, it didn’t quite click with me in a way that many other similar films have.

World’s Greatest Dad - 2009
Grim, almost unbearable even, but an absurdly believable crafting of character.

Marley - 2012Insightful and a joy to watch, but its key to success was building on the ethereal quality of Marley’s myth, while still offering glimpses of mortality  

Gone Baby Gone - 2007
I do have a soft spot for mid-level Hollywood thrillers, especially if they are even slightly infused with a neo-noir sentiment.

Dark Water - 2005
To its credit, this American remake had a better emphasis on character than the Japanese one, which seemed to more try and benefit from the j-horror tag.

Nostalgia for the Light - 2010
Quite a messy mashup. Could have been three interesting short films on completely different subjects, but was mashed into one in a far from seamless manner.

This Must Be the Place - 2011

The Well Digger's Daughter - 2011
The most nauseating, nostalgically conservative drivel I’ve seen on film. Where men are MEN and women are women. Oh how lucky this well digger’s daughter is to have the noble boy next door deem her worthy of his attention. I hated this film, couldn’t stay in the screen for more than an hour and it’s the first film of the year that I have truly disliked.

New releases seen this month

This Must Be the Place

Ongoing list of new films seen this year

The Avengers
The Hunger Games
Surviving Life (Theory and Practice)
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
The Descendants
Le Havre

Mirror Mirror
War Horse
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Journey 2: the Mysterious Island

Woman in Black
Dangerous Method
The Pirates.
This Must Be the Place

Bel Ami
Star Wars Episode 1


  1. I watcehd GONE BABY GONE and didn't think much of it if im honest. A friend of mine LOVED it ... but i think he just fancied Casey Affleck.

  2. Maybe I just fancy Casey Affleck too :)
    No I recognise that it isn't remarkable; I wouldn't jump to its defence, but I do seem to really like those kind of mid-level Hollywood films