Thursday, 29 November 2012
Further off the beaten path was the American Christmas comedy Walk a Mile in My Pradas, with a clever variation on the body-swap genre as two men trade sexualities. It's too silly to say much, but is enjoyable enough. And there were two documentaries: a chilling exploration school-bullying in a beautifully made, heart-wrenching Bully, and the official film of the 2012 Olympics, First, which plays like a corporate promotional video but contains some genuinely inspiring stories.
Thursday, 22 November 2012
As for awards-consideration screenings, we had Judd Apatow's hilarious extended sitcom This Is 40, starring the wonderful Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann; Daniel Day-Lewis' measured and astute performance in Steven Spielberg's epic political argument Lincoln; and Matt Damon's reunion with Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant for the beautifully assembled Promised Land.
This coming week, the screening schedule is still in flux. In the diary already are: Clint Eastwood in Trouble With the Curve, the acclaimed British indie Broken, the Muslim stand-up comedy drama Material, the school bullying doc Bully, and the indie Christmas comedy Walk a Mile in My Pradas.
Thursday, 15 November 2012
Further off the beaten path, we had Toni Collette's reunion with Muriel's Wedding director PJ Hogan for the sharply pointed and often very funny Aussie black comedy Mental; Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the slightly unconvincing alcoholism drama Smashed, the effectively icky body modification thriller American Mary, the beautifully made dark Spanish thriller Sleep Tight, and the awkward but endearing American indie romance Elliot Loves.
Sunday, 11 November 2012
Thursday, 8 November 2012
Anyway, the films we did see this past week were all off the beaten path, including the seriously offbeat (and slightly uneven) British black comedy May I Kill U starring Kevin Bishop (pictured), the clever and involving Norwegian comedy-drama Happy Happy, and the moody and moving Israeli sequel Yossi. There were also four docs: Hit So Hard is a lively exploration of drummer Patty Schemel's journey through drugs; We Are Legion energetically explores the hacktivist movement; McCullin follows the noted British photojournalist through a series of harrowing assignments; and Tempest is a rather fragmented look at an urban theatre group's take on Shakespeare.
Thursday, 1 November 2012
Further afield, we had Shock Head Soul, an artful, ambitious but utterly impenetrable doc-drama about psychoanalysis, and London: The Modern Babylon, Julien Temple's dazzling look at the psyche of Londoners - it's utterly essential viewing for anyone interested in history or social culture. Or London, of course. And finally, I turned off all the lights in my flat and stayed in one evening all alone to rewatch Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, which is being reissued in UK cinemas this week. I hadn't seen it in 32 years, and it was even scarier than I remembered!
Next week is another random collection of screenings, including Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock, the British black comedy May I Kill U, the long-awaited award-winning Romanian film Aurora, the Indian drama The Pool,the musician doc Hit So Hard, and the photojournalist doc McCullin.