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Showing posts from May, 2017

The Red Turtle

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[NOTE: I would highly recommend avoiding the trailer for this film, as it spoils far too much]

It spoke volumes when every single member of the audience I saw the Red Turtle with remained until the end of the credits. Such was the emotional power of this co-production between Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli about a man who is shipwrecked on a desert island. 

It is a beautifully simple premise, stunning in its innocence while at the same time possessing a depth and weight that is rare in most films.

As expected from the much loved Studio Ghibli, the 
animation is simply stunning. It is somewhat of a departure from their traditional style, with the work of Michael Dudok de Wit as director producing a wonderful mesh of hand-drawn and CGI images that create a lush, mysterious island untouched by man. The film provides an often awe-inspiring study of nature and the bases of humanity, touching on a number of heavy subjects with a wonderful subtlety and innocence. 


It is a physical film that doesn&#…

Frantz

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Within Frantz, director Francois Ozon tells the story of Anna, a young German woman who has lost her fiance, Frantz Hoffmeister, to the First World War. Her grief and emptiness is touching to witness and is made even more powerful when we see the mourning of Frantz's parents, whom she lives with.
However, the appearance of a mysterious French man, who visits Frantz's grave and appears to mourn his death, raises the suspicions of Anna, who is curious as to his connection to her fiance. The man explains he had been a friend of Frantz's back in Paris and both Anna and the Hoffmeister's find some solace in his accounts of his time with Frantz. However, the cryptic man may not be telling the whole story.

The film is driven by two fantastic lead performances from Paula Beer as Anna and Pierre Niney as the Frenchman Adrien. They both deliver raw, emotional roles, with their grief over the loss of Frantz beautifully realised. The developing connection between the two, with a con…

Alien: Covenant

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The original Alien series combined horror, sci-fi and action to create some of the most memorable monsters in cinema history and a strong female lead in Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), who kept the xenomorphs at bay often single handedly. Director Ridley Scott returned to the series in 2012 with Prometheus, which sought to establish a new storyline and proved incredibly polarizing for fans of the originals. Now we have Covenant, which attempts to blend together elements old and new to please everyone. It may sound risky, but Scott somehow pulls it off in a gory, thrilling fashion. 

Covenant sets out in similar fashion to the original. A group of scientists travel to a remote planet in hopes of discovering a new habitat. Sadly for them, things do not go to plan and they find that, rather than discovering a deserted paradise, life already exists on the planet in the form of the terrifying xenomorphs, who begin to infect the scientists. 

The difference here is that their ship carries thousands …