Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

True Brit: The Brilliant Danny Boyle

April 3, 2011

I recently wrote a feature on Danny Boyle’s movies to tie in with the cinematic release of 127 Hours. The article was, for reasons too convoluted and tedious to go into here, was never used. I thought that I would post it here instead. It has its faults, I know: it’s lopsided and does not have enough information on the film where the dude cuts off his arm, as it shall hereafter be known, but I was working to a tight wordcount and had quite a few films to fit in and lots of things I wanted to say. Sometimes you have to cut out material you don’t want to cut out. It’s just the way it goes. Often, it makes for a much better article.

I’ve since seen 127 Hours twice. I’m glad I saw it in the cinema first. Rarely have I been at a screening where there is such a unanimous reaction from the audience. The moment when James Franco finally does the needful was, after such an intensely paced build-up, a wave of sympathetic pain shot through the theatre. There was an audible gasp, a mass clenching of teeth and the whoosh of multiple pairs of feet being lifted off the floor. It was a special moment, one which rarely happens at the cinema, and I’m glad that I was there to experience it.

(more…)

Strange Little Girls

March 31, 2011

I was more than a little apprehensive about going to see Sucker Punch, the latest movie from Zack Snyder, who is white of teeth and lantern of jaw and looks every inch the American quarterback. I both enjoyed and admired his previous jawn Watchmen, not only because I read the graphic novel in my impressionable teens (and again in my jaded twenties) and loved it but also because the adaptation was so faithful. Impressively, Snyder chose not to pander to the audience, choosing instead to weave a visually stunning, narratologically complex story which played out on multiple layers. Whereas other movies, particularly those leaping from the Superhero canon, spoonfeed the audience with exposition and clunky monologues explaining backstory, motivation and so on, Watchmen was much more obtuse. It demanded that the audience keep pace with its slow and at times unwieldy plot. I respect that greatly. Here was a film which did not pander to the viewer and credited us with more than a modicum of intelligence. Not that it was short on spectacle. Some of the action, particularly the pow-wow in a high security prison, was fantastically choreographed and brutally violent.

(more…)