The Oscar Winner That Made Me…snooze!
With almost everything in our house having finally found its place I greeted this sunny first day of March with a long overdue sense of calm. And with that I hope comes a return to routine, something with which I have a love-hate relationship.
I have always been fascinated with the things people feel they need to do on a 24 hour cycle: take 30 minutes of cardio exercise, swallow a multi-vitamin, drink 8 glasses of water and digest 5 servings of fruit and veg not to mention flossing! No wonder most people feel overwhelmed by life. But how do people go about making time for those things they want to do on a daily basis? And what would the world look like if we could all succeed in shifting our daily to-do list around to prioritise the things that we love? As I close in on my 365-films-in-365 days goal facing the hard cold truth that I probably won’t make it I can only say: I ain’t giving up yet!
Here’s my take on the latest batch of cinema treats:
160.) Broken English (2007) directed by Zoe Cassavetes.
A few years back someone once said to me that an incident in life reminded them of Broken English. And since that moment I have made a mental note to see it. Written and directed by Zoe Cassavetes and starring Parker Posey (please someone tell me when we can see her on screen again?) the film is quite easy to forget weeks after watching save for a few clever lines of dialogue. For example, Audrey: “I think my marriage is falling apart.” Nora: “Are you sure it’s not just PMS?”
161.) Love In the Afternoon (1972) directed by Eric Rohmer.
“Since I’ve been married I find all women beautiful.” So goes the narrator in Eric Rohmer’s sensual filmic world where men drink beer for lunch and women eat ice cream. Only. Worth watching on an evening in but only if you are in the mood for the 1970s French interpretation of romantic relationships and their troubles.
162.) The Theory of Everything (2014) directed by James Marsh.
Lovely to see a documentary director at work in fiction and this was the perfect film for him to take on. Worth seeing to watch Eddie Redmayne’s stellar performance of Hawking.
163.) The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz directed by Brian Knappenberger.
The Storyville strand currently up on BBC iPlayer is full of good-looking titles. This film tells the story of Swartz’s short life and how despite a tragic end, his legacy lives on. Another film on my list that has made me cry.
164.) The Duke of Burgundy (2014) directed by Peter Strickland.
The best film I have seen in a long while, Strickland is in complete control of his third feature, shot on location in Hungary. I watched the film in the cinema as there was a post-screening Q&A with Strickland, who said one of his inspirations (alongside the 1970s sexploitation films) was to explore the idea of “who suffers more” in a relationship – the person who gives up their desire or the person who steps outside their comfort zone to please the person they love? A beautifully strange and surprising film every film lover and filmmaker should see.
165.) Citizen Four directed by Laura Poitras.
I am almost – almost! – too embarrassed to admit that I fell asleep smack in the middle of this most recent Oscar-winning documentary. Especially as I had been excited to see it for so long. Despite the remarkable, unbelievable story of Edward Snowden and his expose of the NSA and the skill of Poitras’ and Greenwald’s reporting, I kept asking myself: why did this have to be a film? Wasn’t their reporting in the Guardian enough? I struggled to find any extra value the film gave to the story and unfortunately found Greenwald’s demeanor too off-putting for me to engage fully. Citizen Four is still up on iPlayer for those who want to brave it…