SHORT SIGHTINGS // Big Mouth

Yet again the posts are coming in slow, but nevertheless still coming. Whilst browsing on the Rankin’s Hunger TV I came across a short that was so poignant and also significant of this Paralympic period we are in. So I had no choice but to write this post because it struck a chord with me strong that I had to share. Whilst being away from this blog I’ve been a busy bee producing videos about various events put on by the Mayor of London peeps, and I had the rare opportunity to enjoy from City Hall performances by a variety of ‘disabled’ artists. The quotations are because I believe it’s fair to say that people labelled this way are fully capable of doing many spectacular things that anybody else can do, especially with an impairment. On the night we had blues, classical, folk, Indian musicians grace us with their amazing talent. They showed us that creativity cannot be stopped by a disability. In the moment of experiencing their exceptional talents and hearing their stories I was inspired with idea for a script/film idea that I felt would be a good opportunity to show that there isn’t a need for separation. Talent is talent. End of! But then I came across this short film, Big Mouth, that does encapsulates the message I wanted to evoke in my potential film. That’s not to say I have given up on the idea.

Big Mouth was released in 2010 and was made in partnership with Collabor8te, another one of Rankin’s ventures. Collabor8te works with and supports new talent in getting their films made and also distributed beyond the festival circuit. Director Henry Darke was one of the lucky ones chosen for this opportunity and you can see his full interview here to find out more about his experience and the process he went through.

So Big Mouth is a coming of age tale about two deaf brothers with dissimilar personalities that have learnt to deal with their impairment in contrasting ways. It’s very rural, working class and emotional. I found myself willing for the brother that had lost touch with society to make sure that he got heard. It is a story that will not only resonate with people that have hearing impairments, but anyone that feels lost amongst others.

Full film is below. Tell me what you think. 

WATCHED & RATED // Match Point

With Woody Allen you kind of know what you’re getting out of him, well in his recent work anyway; can’t say I have watched much of his earlier films. You know you’re being delivered a satire with various degrees of humour, à la Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona and You’ll Meet a Tall Dark StrangerSo I’m quite surprised that Allen has included Match Point in his six top favourite films of his own work (Source: imdb). Personally I feel Match Point is a very clumsy film, from the dialogue to the acting to the structure. It’s as if he had this amazing idea for the outcome of the film and the rest was just… filler.

Match Point is a Romantic Drama with a tinge of thriller, featuring Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Chris Wilton, a former tennis pro (Meyers) falls for a femme-fatal type, Nola Rice (Johansson) who happens to be dating his friend and soon-to-be brother-in-law Tom (Matthew Goode). He is groomed by his girlfriend’s (Tom’s sister Chloe) wealthy upper-middle class family and in due course marries her. Unluckily for Chris after his nuptials Tom, his now brother-in-law breaks-up with Nola, leaving him to pursue her, which then leads to a seedy affair. Nola is taking their relationship serious and insists Chris tells his wife the truth. Chris is in two minds and deals with the matter unexpectedly with a shotgun.

During the first hour of the film I couldn’t help cringing at the mechanical dialogue and the attempt to satire the upper-middle class, especially because I felt the actors weren’t acting and they conveniently felt right in their element. The beginning of the film weirdly felt as though a romance might strike up between Chris and Tom (Matthew Goode), his then client. Between Meyers lip pout-age, plus a soft feminine tone of voice, and Goode’s grooming him into his family circle, I really started to wonder what this is I’m watching. I wasn’t sure if it was bad acting, deplorably stereotypical characters, or the attempt to push this whole poor man in a rich world scenario that made two-thirds of the film blasé. And to add to it I truly believed that Nola Rice played by Johansson was a plausible character, which meant that Johansson was doing a good job and in fact better than all the other actors, including Meyers.  Now that I didn’t expect.

But as I said the film does take turn into a more sinister and more satirical direction; what I think Allen initially intended for this film. The protagonist that we emphasise with because of his boring marriage blah blah blah… turns into the cold-hearted antagonizer that uses a shotgun to end his problems.

In the end Match Point makes sense, well only if you a willing forgive the continuous errors. But the real issue is that audiences could easily lose interest in the forbidden love affair story that takes over two-thirds of the film, and switch off before the juicy humourous bit that comes in during the last 30 minutes.

Let’s just hope Allen can redeem himself (in my eyes of course) with his latest offering To Rome with Love. It does look funny and the casting is pretty amazing.

The trailer kind of reflects the awkwardness of the film.

Enjoy!

Rated: 6/10

Match Point 
Release Year: 2005
Countries: UK, Rest of the World
Cert: 12A
Runtime: 124 mins
Director: Woody Allen

CANNES 2012 // Marion Cotillard x Rust and Bone

One thing I like is when actors not from Hollywood, or the States for that matter don’t turn their back on cinema in their native country. So it was nice to see Marion Cotillard star in a french film that holds its own against other big hollywood-esque productions in the Competition category. Cotillard is cast in one of this years most anticipated film, The Dark Knight Rises, but I fill that her role in Rust and Bone will be her stand out performance this year. I adore her, not because she is gorgeous, but I feel her performances have an understated intensity and she is really present in the scene at all times. In other words she is a brilliantly believable actress.

Rust and Bone (De rouille et d’os) will be screened today at Cannes and will be one of the many foreign language films being screened throughout the festival. Director Jacques Audiard has turned this princess and the pauper story into a modern-day tale about two people from different parts of life needing each other in the midst of their struggles. Ali and his son Sam are homeless, but eventually finds shelter in his sister’s garage and a job as a bouncer. On his trail he meets Stephanie, a self-assured killer whale trainer at her local Marineland. After a night of passion, she gets into an accident which causes her to lose her legs. Ali is still a stranger to her, but he helps her through her turmoil and she finds she’s depending on him.

Rust and Bone beautifully captures how people cope and struggle with their lost dreams and hopes.

I can’t wait to see this. I love romantic dramas with depth.

CANNES 2012 // The Cronenbergs takeover Cannes

Talk about keeping it in the family. Cannes has included in their selection David Cronenberg and son Brandon Cronenberg’s films to compete in this years festival. Although Brandon’s first feature Antiviral is in the Un Certain Regard category and David’s Cosmopolis in the main Competition category, I’m sure there must be some pressure to live up to the Cronenberg name in film. Father David has had a career spanning at least five decades, with successes including The Fly, A History of Violence and more recently A Dangerous Method. It is not unusual that Brandon has chosen to follow his fathers footsteps, since his sisters, aunty and cousin all have dabbled in the film industry in various crafts.

Antiviral is essentially a social commentary on the idolatrous relationship the public have with celebrities.

“Syd March is an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans. Biological communion – for a price. Syd also supplies illegal samples of these viruses to piracy groups, smuggling them from the clinic in his own body. When he becomes infected with the disease that kills super sensation Hannah Geist, Syd becomes a target for collectors and rabid fans. He must unravel the mystery surrounding her death before he suffers the same fate.” – Rhombus Media

Brandon Cronenberg has not released a trailer for Antiviral, so although the synopsis could seem quite intriguing, it is hard to tell if this plot will translate into a credible film or fall into the amateur film student kind.

At the top of the family tree things look promising for Cosmopolis, starring Robert Pattinson, heart-throb to some, not so much to others. To be honest, the premise of Cosmopolis is a bit vague, especially from the trailer. What we do know is that it’s about a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager, Eric Packer (Pattinson), that rides through a futuristic city of some sorts in a stretch limo. The story is about his day devolving into a strange journey in which characters in his life attempt to tear his world apart. Cosmopolis is said to be questioning the resistant against a future world in this new millennium. That’s some deep stuff. But does D.Cronenberg manage to pull this off without losing the message in the violence depicted in the trailer, because it could easily be conveyed as just another action film.

Good luck to the Cronenberg clan and here is the trailer for Cosmopolis for you to decipher.

%d bloggers like this: