NZIFF ’17/08: THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER

2017; directed by Yorgos Lanthimos; written by Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos; 109 mins

Forewarned is forearmed: get onboard with this one otherwise you’re going to have a tough time of it! This is a deliberately difficult, alienating, uncomfortable, squirming, off-kilter horror movie that is ear-splittingly loud in places. If you do choose to go with it, you’ll find it… mostly rewarding. Continue reading

Advertisements

NZIFF ’17/06: RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World

2017; directed by Catherine Bainbridge; co-directed by Alfonso Maiorana; 99 mins

The rock doc: One of the 20th century’s greatest inventions! More than any musical or even gig do I love Glastonbury, Woodstock, Punk: Attitude, The Future is Unwritten, Gimme Shelter and so many others. A great rock doc can take music you don’t even like and have you wanting more and realising the artistic integrity of musos who you previously thought were crap. Not only that, it can open you up to a whole vast tract of music that you were completely unaware of and this one kinda does a little bit of both: Continue reading

A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE/DUCK, YOU SUCKER!/GIU, LA TESTA!/ONCE UPON A TIME… THE REVOLUTION

1971; directed by Sergio Leone; written by Roberto De Leonardis, Sergio Donati, Sergio Leone, Carlo Tritto and Luciano Vincenzoni; 154 mins

[Spoilers.]

“And then, the people who read the books, they all sit around the big polished tables, and they talk and talk and talk and eat and eat and eat, eh? But what has happened to the poor people? They’re dead! That’s your revolution.” – Juan Miranda

About the only film I would say is a genuine underrated classic. Perennially lost amidst all of Leone’s other films, A Fistful of Dynamite (by which it’ll be referred from here on in because that’s the name by which I came to it) is the dirty, smelly, subversive cousin sandwiched in between golden children, Once Upon a time in the West (1968) and Once Upon a Time in America (1984). It’s historically all over the place, to say nothing of the lead actors’ accents. When it came out, it was too ambivalent in it’s politics for the cultural elite and too arty for the studios, both of whom butchered it in their own way. This review is of the 154 minute version… that’s very important! Not the 121 minute version or the 138 minute version which miss out very crucial character beats. Continue reading

THE GREAT SILENCE

1968; directed by Sergio Corbucci; written by Mario Amendola, Bruno Corbucci, Sergio Corbucci and Vittoriano Petrilli; 101 mins

[SPOILERO!]

Bleak is the word! In Sergio Corbucci‘s atypically snowbound Spaghetti Western, the faces are scarred and severe and the landscapes are endless and lonely. Filmed in the Italian Dolomites, watching it on a bitterly cold evening was perhaps not the wisest option as Silvano Ippoliti‘s bitingly beautiful cinematography is matched by Corbucci’s ice-cold outlook. Continue reading

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

1991; directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise; adapted by Linda Woolverton, Kelly Asbury, Brenda Chapman, Tom Ellery, Kevin Harkey, Robert Lence, Burny Mattinson, Brian Pimental, Joe Ranft, Chris Sanders and Bruce Woodside; 85 mins

In anticipation (for want of a better word) of Disney’s Emma Watson co-starring Beauty and the Beast, I caught up with the 1991 animated version, which I couldn’t remember whether I’d seen or not. Having now seen it, I think I did but it would’ve been 20 years ago or more. Is it the rediscovered masterpiece that people are saying it is? No, But it’s pretty damn good! Continue reading

A BAND CALLED DEATH

2012; directed by Mark Corvino and Jeff Howlett; 92 mins

Rock & Roll: that’s the thing most punk rockers seem to say when the subject is broached as to what makes them punk. They almost inevitably say they just wanted to make Rock & Roll music. That’s not the only connection this film has with the great pantheon of rockumentary filmmaking, though… Continue reading