Monthly Archives October 2015

Spectre

Spectre-posterDirector: Sam Mendes

Writer: John Logan, Robert Wade, Neil Purvis, Jez Butterworth

Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Naomi Harris, Ben Whishaw, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Andrew Scott

Cert: 12

Running time: 148mins

Year: 2015


 


What’s the story: A voice from the dead sends Bond on a mission deep into the tentacle-like grasp of villainous global cartel Spectre. His journey forces him to face demons from his past alone as MI6 has been targeted by a new Orwellian surveillance division with full government support.

Spectre---Daniel-CraigSpectre---Lea-Seydoux,-gun

What’s the verdict: Spectre: n. ghost, phantom.

There are many ghosts in this Spectre. Chief of all is Skyfall, whose intimidating presence is felt throughout Bond 24.

That film’s extraordinary success, it remains the only film to gross over £100m in the UK...

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The Boy and the Beast

The-Boy-and-the-Beast-posterDirector: Mamoru Hosoda

Writer: Mamoru Hosoda

Cast: Kôji Yakusho, Shôta Sometani, Aoi Miyazaki, Kazuhiro Yamaji

Cert: TBC

Running time: 119mins

Year: 2015



The lowdown: Wolf Children and Summer Wars director Mamoru Hosoda delivers another beautifully told fable, blending Japanese folktales with cutting edge technology. Spirited Away with a male lead, The Boy and the Beast focusses on Kyuta, a young boy who flees to the magical animal realm of Jutengai when his mother dies. There he becomes apprentice to Kumatetsu, a bear-like creature looking to become lord of the land. But, does the young lad have a thing or two to teach? Fast-paced and funny, a family film to treasure.

The-Boy-and-the-Beast---Kyuta-and-Kumatetsu-arguingThe-Boy-and-the-Beast---Kyuta-training

The full verdict: Once courted by Studio Ghibli to direct Howl’s Moving Castle before being unceremoniously dumpe...

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The Best Films of the 2015 BFI London Film Festival

Carol---Cate-Blanchett,-red-coat
That was the 59th BFI London Film Festival then. 12 days and hundreds of films.

This year Electric Shadows is teaming with Rob Wallis’ Of All The Film Blogs to present the LFF Top 10 and the inaugural Leccie Awards, honouring those films we believe made this year’s festival shine.

Plus, left-of-field awards to show we’re not just ripping off the Oscars.

Before we begin, a full disclosure statement.

We were unable to check out the following films: Room, Dheepan, Bone Tomahawk and this year’s LFF Best Film winner Chevalier. We feel all are highly likely to have placed in our round-up, so the below is the best of what we did see.

THE ELECTRIC SHADOWS & OF ALL THE FILM BLOGS’ LFF TOP 10

  1. Carol
    “Exquisite, raw and sublime, expect the heat to rise between now and Oscar time” – Rob D...
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Love and Peace

Love-and-Peace-poster Director: Sion Sono

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Carol

Carol-poster---Blanchett,-MaraDirector: Todd Haynes

Writer: Phyllis Nagy (screenplay), Patricia Highsmith (novel, The Price of Salt)

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy, KK Heim

Cert: 15

Running time: 118mins

Year: 2015


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The lowdown: Heartbreaking and intoxicating, Carol is a majestic experience. Cate Blanchett is on Blue Jasmine-level form as Carol and Rooney Mara delivers her best performance to date as Therese, two women who fall for each other in 1950s New York. This threatens a custody battle in which society woman Carol is embroiled and store worker Therese’s relationship with her decent but dull boyfriend. Haynes has total control of the emotions and sumptuous visuals in a film that echoes Wong Kar-wai’s In The Mood For Love. No small praise indeed.

Carol---Cate-Blanchett,-red-coatCarol---Cate-Blanchett,-Rooney-Mara

The full verdict...

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Truth (2015)

Truth-posterDirector: James Vanderbilt

Writer: James Vanderbilt (screenplay), Mary Mapes (book)

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Elisabeth Moss, Stacey Keach, Philip Quast

Cert: 15 

Running time: 121mins

Year: 2015



The lowdown: The 2004 controversy around 60 Minutes’ reporting of George W. Bush’s National Guard record makes for intelligent, entertaining viewing. Cate Blanchett is Mary Mapes, producer of the story, and Robert Redford plays legendary anchor Dan Rather, who put his reputation on the line to ask the question, did Bush get accepted to the National Guard to avoid service in Vietnam and then go AWOL?

Truth---Robert-Redford,-Dan-RatherTruth---Cate-Blanchett,-Mary-Mapes

The full verdict: Although set only 11 years ago, Truth seems like a period piece.

Set just before the explosion of social media, debuting director (an...

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2015 London Film Festival Capsule Reviews

Assassination---capsule-review-header

The London Film Festival runs until Sunday 18th October. For film and ticket information click here.

With the 59th London Film Festival boasting so many movies, there is not time to provide full reviews for everything.

Here are some of the smaller films we have been watching at this year’s LFF.


11 MINUTES
Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
Writer: Jerzy Skolimowski
Cast: Richard Dormer, Paulina Chapko
Cert: TBC
Running time: 81mins
Year: 2015

Ironically, it takes far fewer than 11 minutes to realise the prolific Jerzy Skolimowski’s twenty-fifth movie is a clunker. Employing the “same time, different viewpoint” structure of Vantage Point, Go, Pulp Fiction and dozens of other movies, Skolimowski seems to believe he has invented the form...

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The 2015 London Film Festival… so far

Carol---London-Film-Festival-feature-header

The London Film Festival runs until Sunday 18th October. For film and ticket information click here.

The-Witch-posterThere are 240 films from 72 countries at this year’s LFF. The lone gutsy scribe at Electric Shadows (i.e. me) has so far seen twenty one.

There have been guaranteed winners I didn’t catch. Bone Tomahawk – why no press screening?! Trumbo and Room – why did you have to clash with When Marnie Was There and Love and Peace – you know my love of Japanese cinema…

But, it’s testament to the strength of the 2015 festival that the quality of those twenty one movies has been overall impressive.

With four full festival days left, here is a rundown of what’s floated my boat… and those that sunk my battleship.

Last year I had only one five star movie in my London Film Festival Top 10,...

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Green Room

Green-Room-posterDirector:  Jeremy Saulnier

Writer: Jeremy Saulnier

Cast: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart, Alia Shawkat, Macon Blair

Cert: 18

Running time: 94mins

Year: 2015



The lowdown: If you go down to these woods today you’re in for a very, very nasty surprise. Jeremy Saulnier follows the shattering Blue Ruin with a first class exercise in teeth-grinding suspense. A touring punk band sees something they shouldn’t when playing a remote white power bar and lock themselves in the artists’ “green room”. Outside some of the scariest people on earth are determined they’re not going to get away, with Patrick Stewart providing a masterclass in soft-spoken malevolence as the neo-Nazi ringleader...

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The Lobster

The-Lobster-posterDirector: Yorgos Lanthimos

Writer: Yorgos Lanthimos

Cast: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Michael Smiley, Angeliki Papoulia, Ashley Jensen, Oliva Colman, Jessica Barden

Cert: 15

Running time: 118mins

Year: 2015


 


The lowdown: The crazy little thing called love has meat in its claws in The Lobster. Colin Farrell is David, a resident of The City, where singlehood is outlawed. Recently divorced, he has 45 days to find another partner in a luxury hotel or be transformed into an animal of his choosing (the eponymous lobster). Funny and disturbing, sometimes simultaneously, think Being John Malkovich meets The Notebook with script notes by Franz Kafka.

The-Lobster---Reilly,-FarrellThe-Lobster---Weisz,-Farrell

The full verdict: The Lobster opens with an act of donkeycide. By the end of the film you’ll understand why, if

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