Monday, 22 September 2008

Critical Week: Let love rule

Well, it's pretty easy to know which cinematic event was the biggest of the past week for me. I was invited to the Peace One Day celebration at the Royal Albert Hall last night, including a special screening of the new documentary The Day After Peace, in which filmmaker Jeremy Gilley tracks his 10-year process to try to get the UN to back a global cease fire for one day every year (aka Peace Day, 21 Sep). The film's climax is a trip with Jude Law to Afghanistan to begin the process of brokering peace there - with astonishing results. Before and after the film, the night was hosted by Law and Gilley live on stage, with acoustic sets by Peter Gabriel (low-res picture courtesy my phone), Annie Lennox, Lenny Kravitz and Bryan Adams, as well as John Legend and his 10-piece band. Visit the Peace One Day site for more info.

Back to the regular movies now, and it was a very mixed bag: from the tribal rhythms of Chiwetel's fierce performance in David Mamet's Redbelt to the hysterical French spy spoof OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies; from Ulrich Seidl's harrowing Ukraine-Austria drama Import Export to the utterly ridiculous and surprisingly charming The House Bunny; from the grisly horror of Quarantine, a shot-for-shot remake of Spanish cult gem Rec, to gorgeous Imax 3D animation with a corny story in Fly Me to the Moon. Honestly, it's amazing that I haven't developed some sort of split personality.

And this coming week is more of the same, with a couple of things I'm looking forward to for very different reasons: DeNiro and Pacino squaring off in Righteous Kill, likeable action musclehead Jason Statham in Death Race, Richard Gere and Diane Lane reuniting for Nights in Rodanthe, Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen riding the Wild West in Appaloosa, and Brendan Fraser joined in Inkheart by an all-star cast including Helen Mirren, Paul Bettany and Jim Broadbent. Plus I have a little trip around Europe with Richard Jenkins in British freak-out thriller The Broken, Italian political intrigue in Il Divo, 1960s German terrorists in The Baader Meinhof Complex, and Manoel de Oliveira's 40-years-later Belle de Jour sequel Belle Toujours.

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