Posts tagged "films"

Song of the Sea

review films

Song of the Sea Poster

Last weekend, we watched the animated film, Song of the Sea, by the same director (Tomm Moore) as The Secret of Kells, which I so enjoyed a few years ago. I wasn’t disappointed: this is a gorgeous, joyful, haunting film. It has the same richly layered and beautifully coloured imagery, which is inspired — like The Secret of Kells — by Celtic art, and explores Irish folklore.

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The Duke of Burgundy

films review

I haven’t reviewed any films here recently, having moved most of my reviews over to Slipstream, but I saw a film last week that I can’t stop thinking about, and I wanted to write about it here. Actually, I think this will be less of a review of the film than an extended ramble about stuff that it made me think about.

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Nebraska

review films
Last weekend, we finally finished watching one of the best films I have seen in weeks: Nebraska. I say finally because we had to return the first DVD to Lovefilm because it was scratched so badly it wouldn’t play. To divert from my subject for a moment, what the heck do people do with rented DVDs? We fairly regularly get disks that look as if someone has decided to give them a quick polish on the playing surface with coarse sandpaper. Continue reading →

Watching The Hobbit

films culture
Last night, we watched the first of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I had heard so many negative reviews of the film, that I was fully prepared for disappointment. As a result, I wasn’t exactly disappointed (because my expectations were so low), but nor was I delighted by it. I think it was a decently entertaining (though overblown) film, and despite the epic running time, I didn’t find myself looking at the clock every 5 minutes. Continue reading →

Two Years at Sea

films review
I’m quite fond of quiet, reflective, almost wordless films. I watch my fair share of action films too, but I can sit entranced for hours in front of Into Great Silence or Le Quattro Volte. There’s something about quietly observing someone who is apparently utterly contented with their life and at one with their environment, going about their business in tranquil surroundings. Last night we watched another such film: Two Years at Sea by Ben Rivers. Continue reading →

Flying deckchairs

culture films
On Monday, I watched a really wonderful documentary: The Real Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. There’s still time to watch it on iPlayer, and I heartily recommend doing so, even if you have no interest in microlights. It was the kind of documentary I love, in which you let people with a passion for something tell their own story. In this case, the cameras followed several participants in the ‘Round Britain Rally’, a gloriously Wacky Races event, in which the aim is to rack up the most points over three days by flying over designated waypoints dotted around the UK in a microlight aircraft. Continue reading →

The Secret of Kells

films review
I’ve just reviewed this film on the new site Letterboxd, but I thought I’d also copy it here, as not many people are using Letterboxd yet. Along with Grave of the Fireflies, I think this has to be the most beautiful animated film I’ve seen. I was entranced and stunned by the sheer style of it the whole way through. The story is based around the creation of the Book of Kells — an illuminated Gospel produced around 800 AD, but weaves in elements of Celtic mythology. Continue reading →

Of Gods And Men

culture films
On Saturday, we watched the film Of Gods And Men, or ‘Des hommes et des dieux’ to give it its original title. There are times when I’m in the mood for a serious film, and times when I would rather watch something light and fluffy. I wasn’t sure that I was in the right frame of mind on Saturday for a serious film about a group of Cistercian monks in Algeria, who were kidnapped by fundamentalist terrorists during the Algerian Civil War in 1996 and disappeared. Continue reading →

Remaking A Classic

culture films
We didn’t watch a great deal of TV over the Christmas break, but we did really enjoy a few programmes, including one that we were nearly put off watching by the poor reviews. It was a remake of one of the classic M. R. James ghost stories, “Whistle And I’ll Come To You”. I’m a massive fan of the stories, and the TV adaptations which were made in the 1960s and 70s, particularly the one they made of “Whistle And I’ll Come To You” (with Michael Hordern) and “A Warning To The Curious” (with Peter Vaughan). Continue reading →

Beer And Morris Dancing

life beer films
Last weekend, I visited the Birmingham Beer Festival with my brother. I’m a member of CAMRA and love real ale, so I always enjoy the opportunity to sample a good selection of real ales. There’s also always a nice atmosphere at beer festivals. While alcohol often provokes aggression, real ale seems to have the opposite effect on enthusiasts, so that you see a lot of large bellies and beatific, peaceful smiles around the venue. Continue reading →

Dear Wendy

films
A film about a group of young people obsessed with guns didn't sound like the kind of film I'd enjoy at all, but something about the trailer and description (not to mention a writing credit for Lars Von Trier) suggested that it wouldn't be a run of the mill gun-glorifying story. It's actually quite a subtle film, full of contradictions. Guns are the apparent subject of the film, but really it seems to be about confidence, courage, power and fear. Continue reading →

Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit

films
The plot concerns our heroes' latest money-making venture: a pest control service called Anti-Pesto, which seems mostly to involve installing complex, hi-tech anti-theft devices in vegetable gardens and greenhouses to stop rabbits eating prize veg destined for the village Vegetable Show. Viewers unfamiliar with the world of giant leeks and prize marrows will think this is a joke, but it's probably not too far from the truth. Wallace and Gromit, being gentle souls, can't quite bring themselves to kill the rabbits they catch, so their home is overflowing with ultra-cute but ravenous bunnies. Continue reading →

Me and You and Everyone We Know

films
Some films (and books, for that matter) are not especially promising in the first few minutes, and you have to be patient and give them a chance to draw you in. When we watched "Me and You and Everyone We Know" ("MAYAEWK" to save my typing fingers a bit) at the weekend, Mr. Bsag asked after ten minutes "Remind me why we decided to rent this again?". However MAYAEWK is well worth a little patience. Continue reading →

Tarnation

films
I added Tarnation to my film queue on Lovefilm quite some time ago, and if I remember rightly, I was interested in it for the very shallow reason that it was entirely made using iMovie. However, it turned out to be a somewhat unique film for other reasons, and well worth watching. I should point out that it's not the kind of film to watch if you're in the mood for a light, entertaining film. Continue reading →

Elling again

films
Yesterday we saw Elling again, courtesy of a special edition, exclusive to Lovefilm (of which more later). It was just as good as the last time we saw it, and I get the feeling that it's one of those films like 'The Big Liebowski' and 'It's a Wonderful Life' that I could happily watch many times, particularly when I'm feeling a bit cheesed off with life. I notice with a slightly sinking heart that a new version is being made in the US. Continue reading →

Serenity

films
I went to see Serenity this weekend. Mr. Bsag was away, but I just couldn't wait, having heard great things about it. Now that I've seen it, I'm keen to see it again with him, because I think I would get even more out of it second time around. In fact, Farscape went even further with the anarchy because the crew was made up (at various times) of a lost astronaut, five escaped convicts, one ex-communicated soldier, a spoilt and petulant gap-year girl, a completely barking guy with half a face who could take people's pain at the point of death, a three-eyed old witch, and a bio-mechanoid who was fleeing enslavement. Continue reading →

The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

films
::: {.img-shadow} {.Amazonimage} ::: We'd had this film sitting next to the DVD player (via LOVEFiLM.com) for several weeks. We obviously thought we'd enjoy it when we put it in our rental queue, but somehow when it came time for us to put a disc in the player, we kept choosing other films. I put it down to a touch of Carey-phobia. Anyway, we finally watched it last weekend (only — it has to be said — because the copy of The Ladykillers we'd ordered was scratched to blazes and wouldn't play in our machine), and really enjoyed it. Continue reading →

A Mighty Wind

films
When A Mighty Wind came out last year, it received a rather lukewarm response from the critics. I was really disappointed because I had enjoyed Christopher Guest's previous film (Best in Show) enormously. I didn't go to see it at the cinema, but since we subscribed to LOVEFiLM we've been catching up on a lot of films that we missed when when they came out. I have to say that the critics were talking utter tosh. Continue reading →