book adaptation tagged posts

Sorcerer – William Friedkin’s zero hour contract masterpiece

When discussing Blade Runner, Ridley Scott said, “It’s as bad to be ahead of your time as behind it.”

Director William Friedkin can sympathise with this.

In the early 1970s he was a filmmaker in synch with the mood of the nation. He revitalised the cop thriller with The French Connection in 1971, nabbing Best Director and Best Film among a five Oscar haul.

Two years later he reinvented horror cinema for the modern age with The Exorcist.

Then, in 1977 he delivered to American audiences Sorcerer, a film fundamentally at odds with a country aching to slough off a decade of uncertainty and corruption.

A loose remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1953 thriller The Wages of Fear and Georges Arnaud’s same-name source novel, Friedkin’s movie was too bleak for a nation hungry for the escapist th...

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Blade Runner, Orient Express, Thor Ragnarok – The Electric Shadows Podcast

Episode 32 of The Electric Shadows Podcast is a bumper round-up. Rob Daniel & Rob Wallis take a belated look at Blade Runner 2049, deduce what they think of Murder on the Orient Express and it’s hammer time with Thor: Ragnarok.

There’s even space for a quick review of William Friedkin’s Sorcerer and George Clooney’s Suburbicon.



To check out Rob Wallis’ movie writings, head over to www.ofallthefilmsites.com

Twitter: rob_a_daniel

iTunes Podcast: The Electric Shadows Podcast

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Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Writer: Michael Green (screenplay), Agatha Christie (novel)

Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Willem Dafoe, Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton, Sergei Polunin, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo

Cert: 12

Running time: 114mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: As the Orient Express travels through the mountain ranges of the middle east, one passenger is murdered. It falls to famed detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh) to solve the crime.

What’s the verdict: The latest big screen go-round for Agatha Christie’s beloved whodunnit is much like the titular choo-choo. Handsomely decorated, but never building to a full head of steam and derailing halfway through...

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Tears and Laughter: Movie Reviews


Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama runs until Wednesday 29th November at the BFI Southbank. For more information and to book tickets, click here.

To read an interview with season curator and Sight and Sound features editor James Bell, click here.


OSAKA ELEGY

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi

Writer: Yoshikata Yoda (screenplay), Tadashi Fujiwara (dialogue)

Cast: Isuzu Yamada, Yôko Umemura, Benkei Shiganoya

Cert: PG

Running time: 71mins

Year: 1936



What’s the story: To pay off her father’s debts and her brother’s university fees, young switchboard operator Ayako (Yamada) becomes her boss’ mistress. But, when he rejects her she is forced into prostitution.

What’s the verdict: A pre-war film from director Kenji Mizoguchi, the 1936 Osaka Elegy anticipates Japan’s rejection ...

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You Were Never Really Here

Director: Lynne Ramsay

Writer: Lynne Ramsay (screenplay), Jonathan Ames (novel)

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov, Alessandro Nivola, Alex Manette, John Doman, Judith Roberts

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 95mins

Year: 2017


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What’s the story: Troubled private investigator and enforcer Joe is charged with finding Nina, the daughter of a US senator trapped in an underage sex ring.

What’s the verdict: The sun must have boiled a few brains on La Croisette at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. That is the only explanation for the praise heaped on Lynne Ramsay’s achingly arthouse redressing of 80s action thrillers.

Winner of Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix, (shared) Best Screenplay for Ramsay and Palme D’Or nominated, we’re crying a case of Emperor’s New Clothes with You Were Neve...

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Last Flag Flying

Director: Richard Linklater

Writer: Richard Linklater, Darryl Ponicsan (screenplay), Darryl Ponicsan (novel)

Cast: Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, J. Quinton Johnson, Yul Vazquez

Cert: 15

Running time: 124mins

Year: 2017


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What’s the story: Larry Shepherd contacts Sal Nealon and Richard Mueller, who served with him in Vietnam, to help escort his son’s body home after he was killed in Iraq. But, the journey takes longer than expected as secrets are revealed and past events are revisited.

What’s the verdict: Midway through Richard Linklater’s excellent new movie, Bryan Cranston’s troublemaking Sal says every generation gets its war. Every generation also gets its sign-of-the-times dark military comedy.

Vietnam had Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H and Hal Ashby’s The Las...

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Criterion Collection: Lord of the Flies (1963)

Director: Peter Brook

Writer: None credited

Cast: Jack Aubrey, Hugh Edwards, Tom Chapin, Tom Gaman

Cert: PG

Running time: 92mins

Year: 1963


Film: medium_5
Extras:
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What’s the story: Young schoolboys, stranded on a tropical island after a plane crash, degenerate into warring beasts. Ralph (Aubrey) and Piggy (Edwards) attempt to maintain order. But, the other boys are more drawn to the violent choirboy Jack (Chapin).

What’s the verdict: Always depressing to declare a film about man’s innate barbarism is as relevant today as when released almost 55-years ago. But, Peter Brook’s Lord of the Flies, adapted from William Golding’s novel published almost 65-years ago, remains a cautionary fable.

The irresistible premise was borne of Golding’s musing to his wife, how would the child characters...

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Genocidal Organ

Director: Shûkô Murase

Writer: Shûkô Murase (screenplay), Project Itoh (novel)

Cast: Yûichi Nakamura, Takahiro Sakurai, Sanae Kobayashi

Cert: 15

Running time: 115mins

Year: 2017




What’s the story: In 2022, five years after terrorists detonated a nuclear device in Sarajevo, civil war has become widespread. Clavis Shepherd (Nakamura), member of US Special Forces, discovers a reason for this violence may lie with the elusive American John Paul (Sakurai) and the hunt is on.

What’s the verdict: Brutal and bleak, Shûkô Murase’s Genocidal Organ is a chillingly believable view of future warfare.

Ambitious sci-fi, its source novel comes from the late Satoshi Itoh, who wrote this, Harmony and The Empire of Corpses under the pseudonym Project Itoh before dying aged 34...

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Criterion Collection: Les Diaboliques (1955)

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot

Writer: Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jérôme Géronimi (screenplay), René Masson, Frédéric Grendel (collaboration), Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac (novel)

Cast: Vera Clouzot, Simone Signoret, Paul Meurisse

Cert: 12

Running time: 117 mins

Year: 1955


Film: medium_5
Extras:


What’s the story: Christina (Clouzot), the frail owner of a large French school, lives in fear of her husband, school director M. Delassalle (Meurisse). Together with Delassalle’s mistress Nicole (Signoret), Christina plots her husband’s murder. But, killing him could be the beginning of more trouble…

What’s the verdict: One of cinema’s great shockers, after more than sixty years Les Diaboliques (aka The Fiends or The Devils depending on which print you’re watching) is yet to creak.

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Blu-ray Review: The Life of Oharu

Welcome to Cinematic Greens

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi

Writer: Kenji Mizoguchi, Yoshikata Yoda (screenplay), Saikaku Ihara (novel)

Cast: Kinuyo Tanaka, Toshiro Mifune

Cert: PG

Running time: 137 mins

Year: 1952


Accolades:
1952 Venice Film Festival
International Award

Electric Shadows rating: medium_5
Criterion Extras: medium_3


What’s the story: In 17th century Japan, noblewoman Oharu is exiled from Kyoto for the crime of loving someone belonging to a lower caste, beginning a lifelong struggle against misfortune.

What’s the verdict: Winner of the International Award at 1952’s Venice Film Festival, The Life of Oharu proved Japanese cinema did not start and stop with Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, grand prize winner at Venice a year before.

Where Rashomon was kinetic and visceral, The Life of Oharu was c...

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