This month Page 2: Film Reviews Page 3: What’s on TV & local cinemas Page 4: Film programme 2013-14
A big welcome back to all film fans who continue to support the Film Group. If you are new to the group I hope you will enjoy the autumn 2013-2014 programme, which is on page 4.
I hope also that you like the new layout for the Newsletter – I have tried to make it look smarter than last year’s edition.
LATEST NEWS Venice Film Festival Sept 2013
The 3 top films were:
Gianfranco Rosi (Sacro GRA - Italy)
Miss Violence (Alexandros Avranas - Greece)
Stray Dogs (Tsai Ming-liang – Taiwan)
Some surprising choices here: the Golden Lion going to a documentary, and the Silver Lion to a Greek film.
This month’s film – u3a
Reputed to be the first ever film made of a jewel theft and highly rated by Francois Truffaut as the best ever film noir, it won a major award at Cannes in 1955. It is a taut thriller with one astonishing extended wordless scene. Directed by Jules Dassin, who was blacklisted in the USA.
This remarkable film by the female director Haifaa Al-Mansour takes as its subject a feisty young Saudi schoolgirl Wadjda whose determination to extend the social and religious boundaries of her sex is expressed in her desire for a bicycle.
Beautifully shot, charming witty and often poignant,
Wadjada’s story is deeply unsettling.
Amazingly this is the first ever feature length film directed by a Saudi. Even more amazing that it was directed by a woman, under very difficult conditions. The film documents many examples of female oppression in Saudi society. The story is simple: a young girl wants a bicycle and is determined to get one. Boys can ride bikes, so why not girls? This mirrors the adult world where her mother is not allowed to drive to work and needs the services of a male driver to get there.
In its use of children and non-actors it brings to mind many Iranian films of recent times. It has the same freshness and lack of sentimentality as those films, very different to their Hollywood equivalents. What it may lack in sophistication it compensates amply in honesty and humour. A significant and courageous film.
Review of Amour, directed by Michael Haneke, available from Love Film.
Realistic, depressing and a reminder that one is 65+, but also gentle, inspiring and believable. I liked the way that nothing and nobody was glamourized, down to crumpled pyjamas instead of the immaculately ironed ones in much that we watch. Nothing was sanitized, I often wished that it had been! Not really! Certainly it is about Amour but not the Hollywood kind. I thought that the
acting was perfect, again it was low key.
What do you think?
Feel free to comment on the films on show and offer any suggestions on future films.
If you want to try your hand as a film critic, here is your chance, as every month we publish reviews submitted by members. Short reviews are often better as you have to choose your words more carefully. If you see a film – on TV/DVD or at the cinema, which you loved or hated, just write 2 or 3 sentences which sum up your thoughts. And remember : your views are just as valid as those of the critics!
What’s on at the Cinema
Well, not a lot at the moment. The much heralded film Diana has been slaughtered by the critics. Here’s a selection of comments:
some of the corniest dialogue you'll hear all year ………………….woefully misjudged ……. mediocre and ultimately pointless rehash of Diana's life …………..An excruciatingly well-intentioned biopic laced with bizarre cardboard dialogue
Have you seen Diana? Is it as bad as they say? Send in your reviews today!
……………..maybe better to wait till Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine appears at the Artrix next month.
What’s on TV
Worth setting your TV recorder for these…
TOUCHING THE VOID(2003)
Gripping and award-winning true-life story of mountaineers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, on a climb that went seriously wrong. Filmed documentary style but still riveting stuff.
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If you’ve never seen this coming-of age comedy with Richard Dreyfuss a key player, then you’ve missed a treat. As enjoyable as the classic “The Last Picture Show”(1971).
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French Thriller Season Oct 9 2013 Rififi (Jules Dassin1955) This taut thriller, set in the streets of Paris, was rated by Francois Truffaut as the best film noir he'd ever seen. Supposed to be the first ever film of a jewel theft.
Nov 13 2013 Le Boucher (Claude Chabrol 1970) Master of suspense Chabrol has been compared to Hitchcock. This tale of an unlikely relationship is set in quiet rural France where dark happenings are taking place. Stars Stephane Audran, wife of Chabrol, who starred in the Danish film Babette’s Feast.
Dec 11 2013 Caché(Hidden) (Michael Haneke 2005) Life changes dramatically for a comfortable middle class couple when the post arrives. Multi-award winning director Haneke creates enough mystery to keep you intrigued, long after leaving the cinema!
Jan 8 2014 Les Vacances de M. Hulot (Jacques Tati 1953)
Road Movies Season
Feb 12 2014 Ten (Abbas Kiarostami 2002)
Mar 12 2014 The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev 2005)
Apr 9 2014 Las Acacias (Pablo Giorgelli 2011)
May 14 2014 Alice in the Cities (Wim Wenders 1974)
Jun 11 2014 Hollywood Comedy Classics. Stan & Ollie in “Towed in a Hole”(1932) & the Marx Bros in Duck Soup(1935)
Is this Stan & Ollie's best short? And is Duck Soup the Marx Bros best feature film? I think so in both cases, but come along and judge for yourself. Chaos and laughs are guaranteed!