Category Archives: Film

I Wish (Kiseki)

Japanese family drama about two brothers who believe that if they wish at the point the new bullet trains cross each other they’ll be able to bring their parents back together. Beautifully observed and acted family drama.

Link: I Wish (Kiseki)

Eastern Boys

I saw a screening of this at the BFI Festival with a short Q&A with Robin Campillo, the director. After a brief study of life at the Gare du Nord it pivots into a fairly straightforward home invasion film but then pivots again, while exploiting the viewers sympathies, to create a totally different kind of film. Like Haneke’s Caché (Hidden) it contains a core study of hostility mixed with hospitality (the director had a French philosophy term for this).

It requires you to suspend your disbelief a few times but I was interested to hear the director and an audience member argue about whether the main character had been drugged in an early scene. The audience member didn’t seem to care what the director intended – the truth of the film for him was already established and the director couldn’t change that.

Ritzy Picturehouse

Every Picturehouse cinema I’ve been to is great and this one is no exception. I saw Blue Jasmine, the new Woody Allen film, a few days ago and it was pretty much the perfect venue to see it in.

Cate Blanchett is spectacular in a sea of great performances but the film itself is quite tough to watch. The scene where she answers her phone to arrange a first date since her husband’s death is played so perfectly that I found I’d held my breath throughout it.

Link: Ritzy Picturehouse

Bus 174

A documentary about a siege on a bus in downtown Rio. Although it is more upsetting to watch it’s very much like Jiro Dreams Of Sushi in that it starts with a small human sotry and manages to expand to explain several large interlocking issues.

Link: Bus 174

TV Tropes

A database of devices and conventions used in writing fiction, particularly TV series. It’s fascinating to browse around, getting from bank jobs to plethora of mistakes to anvilicious helps you understand that writers often make everything possible go wrong in fictional bank jobs to show how crime doesn’t pay. Great to try and find things to subvert or use for satire. I can’t help thinking Charlie Brooker must have used it for A Touch Of Cloth.

Link: TV Tropes

In The House

Splendidly captivating French film by director François Ozon whose previous  output has always been interesting but his films haven’t been very even. This one, Dans la maison, draws you in from the very first few minutes. By the time the teacher finishes reading one his pupils essays on what it’s like to get inside the middle class house of one of his classmates you’ll be on the edge of your seat. As well as a hypnotic, brooding performance from Ernst Umhauer as the central character the directors use of his absence, letting us know him only by his words, adds to his mystique. On top of all that, it’s very funny.

Link: In The House