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Hazel

What films have you seen recently?

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Can't find a book about it Momac, some digging on line says the the nephew of the French Doctor found some of her actual notes on the time and wrote the script from there. 

 

Thanks for the information Tay.

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Michael Lindsay-Hogg's Waiting for Godot was the last I saw, and wasn't particularly impressed, though there were parts I did actually love, but for the most part, the audio version produced by naxos just runs rings around it.

 

I think the most annoying bit was the adition of lines that just weren't present at all in Beckett's original text. However there was something a little off about the dynamic between Vladimir and Estragon as well. The delivery of certain scenes just disappointed me.

 

Stephen Brennan as Lucky was probably the only truly great thing about the film..if i'm brutally honest, which I always am. The rest was just alright. I never actually abandoned it in disgust, so it must have at least been interesting enough.

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This evening I went to see A Monster Calls - Connor is twelve, his mum is dying. His Grandmother seems unsympathetic, his estranged father lives in America and Connor is being bullied at school. Connor is angry and frightened and fears being alone. In his despair he calls forth a monster, the monster tells him stories, ambiguous confusing stories. But through these stories Connor becomes the whole of the fragments in his life. The fragments of fear and anger, confusion and despair. Fragments of hope and connection and memory. Fragments of denial and destruction, preservation and juxtaposition. Fragments of family and life, of earth and sky. Fragments of time and how we all must walk the line. Connor becomes the whole of all these fragments because he learns how to accept truth and embrace his need for love.

 

There is a slow ache to this film, we know the mother must die and in the eyes of Connor we can sense the impending emptiness he fears he will feel. And yet in life death is never the end for those left behind. Life begins again, altered in shape, left with a different taste but still we wake and walk and talk and live as those we lost would want us to live. And so it is with Connor. 

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Watched Anomalisa last night having put it on a to watch list after reading our newpaper's opinion on the best films of 2016.

 

It's an animated (using puppets) very grown-up film that is both disturbing and funny and occasionally very sexy  set mostly in a hotel.  The ambience of the large modern city hotel, efficient but soulless, is a setting that really works complementing the character Michael Stone who writes books about customer service and is in town to give a lecture.  Things fall apart.  Except that is for the young woman who is an adherent of his customer service manuals and experiences with him great non-textual delights.  Unusual film that was worth watching.

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Just been to see the new Trainspotting movie

 

Choose life

 

Choose death

 

Suffocating

Suppurating

Vomiting

 

Choose love

Childhood

Memories

Remembering

Recalling

Rewinding

 

Choose flashbacks

Near heart attacks

Car parks

Manic laughs

 

Choose revenge

Retribution

Violence

Vitriol

 

Choose Veronica

Choose plot flaws

Choose reconstruction

Deconstruction

 

Choose opportunity

Choose to betray

Returning

Running away

 

Choose hopes

Fears

 

Choose Trainspotting

The Auf Wiedersehen Pet Years

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Been to see a couple of films this weekend.

 

The Eagle Huntress

 

It starts with a sacrifice, a release then freedom after seven years of servitude.

 

In this film about the ancient tradition of hunting with eagles in Mongolia, a Kazakh teenager, Aisholpan, proves herself the equal of the best hunters on the Mongolian Steppe.

 

 Sweeping across the vast open lands, climbing high into the mountain passes, diving down from sky to land the photography matches the majesty of the eagle in flight. Aisholpan comes from a family of Eagle hunters. From father to son the tradition is handed down. It is unusual for a daughter, but she learns from her father using his eagle then they go in search of an eaglet, it has to be the right age. Old enough to leave the mother but still not able to fly.

 

Aisholpan climbs down a rock cliff, her father bracing her as he plays the rope out. She reaches the nest and takes the young eagle. From then on she starts training the eagle, holding it on her arm as she rides her horse across the Steppe. Releasing and calling it to her it learns to obey and return.

 

She enters an annual festival where other eagle hunters compete, showing off their prowess as handlers and hunters. After the festival she and her father travel up into the mountains in the winter to let the eagle make it’s first actual kill, a mountain fox. The animals are used for food and clothing and are an important part of their traditional way of life.

 

With stunning scenery and an engaging story line this film provides a window into a different world where bird and human work together. Strength and tenacity join with compassion, as the hunter’s care for their birds is clear. When seven years pass the eagle is released back into the wild.    

 

and Jackie

 

Life Without Answers

 

When you face death and it stares back at you hour after hour, day after day. When you live with death, an unending screening inside your head. When you feel like death is eating you up, tearing you away from the place, the place in your heart.

 

Jackie Kennedy sat face to face with death, her husband shot in the head he fell into her lap and stared. The gunshot. The cruel whip of fate rings forever in her ears as she tries to come to terms. Tries to tell her children, let them know their father will never be coming home.

 

Jackie Kennedy plans a funeral and fills her head with time and place and the twisting circular motion of life. She walks with faith broken and heart open. She hands back her husband to a nation as she waits for an answer. 

 

Natalie Portman captures the contradictive time between inauguration and assassination. She captures the aftermath, the stumbling random matters of importance to the mind, the abruptly bereaved mind. In her portrayal she lets slip the secret of grief, the tangible torment that tears at the soul but still allows you to stand back and stay on track.

 

Jackie Kennedy gave her nation the day they needed, allowed the public eyes to cry. And all the time she waited. 

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I was at the Dublin film festival last Sunday and Monday

 

The rehearsal - based on Eleanor catton's earlier novel, a guy starts in drama school and on the bus to college, he meets a female student who does tennis, after an encounter on the street, they start seeing each other. Her sister becomes embroiled in sex scandal with their tennis coach while the male acting student prepare for end of year assessment. I thought this was a very good movie.

 

All these sleepless nights - a polish movie told mostly in fragmented scene excerpts. I wonder how many scenes they had in total, mostly through get togethers, night out and mostly late at night, this explored love and friendship. It was a bit of an odd and strange movie

 

On monday, I saw "to live & die in l.a." which is an 80's crime movie starring Willem Dafoe where after his partner who is "tired of this" is murdered 2 days before retirement by counterfeiters, he makes it his mission to catch the person responsible. Could focus on the other cliches in it but it was an enjoyable movie to spend watching for an afternoon.

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I was at the Dublin film festival last Sunday and Monday

 

The rehearsal - based on Eleanor catton's earlier novel, a guy starts in drama school and on the bus to college, he meets a female student who does tennis, after an encounter on the street, they start seeing each other. Her sister becomes embroiled in sex scandal with their tennis coach while the male acting student prepare for end of year assessment. I thought this was a very good movie.

 

All these sleepless nights - a polish movie told mostly in fragmented scene excerpts. I wonder how many scenes they had in total, mostly through get togethers, night out and mostly late at night, this explored love and friendship. It was a bit of an odd and strange movie

 

On monday, I saw "to live & die in l.a." which is an 80's crime movie starring Willem Dafoe where after his partner who is "tired of this" is murdered 2 days before retirement by counterfeiters, he makes it his mission to catch the person responsible. Could focus on the other cliches in it but it was an enjoyable movie to spend watching for an afternoon.

Thanks iff, not heard of any of those but will keep an eye out for them. Haven't had time to type up my thoughts on my annual Keswick Film Fest yet but will post soon (hopefully!)

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I went to see The Shape of Water at the weekend. I love Guillermo del Toro films so was very excited about this, hubby less so. It’s set in the late 50s and Eliza, a mute girl, works the night shift at a government facility. She has two friends, an older, gay man who lives alone next door and creates advertising posters, and a black colleague. All three are downtrodden, isolated and ignored. One night a creature is brought into the facility with a sadistic Head of Security, played amazingly by Michael Shannon. The creature is half man, half fish and he and Eliza fall in love. 

 

It it sounds like a hokey love story but it really isn’t. I hate romance in films and I absolutely loved it. The period pieces, the set, the music - everything is wonderful and it really is a beautiful movie. It’s also quite violent and grim. I loved everything about it and it’s believability is down to the incredible performances by all involved. Such a welcome relief from the CGI filled cinemas that seem to obliterate everything else just now. 

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Recently watched The Big Sick on Amazon Prime - I missed this when it was in the cinema, so was pleased to see it arrive on Amazon fairly quickly.

It's a well balanced blend of humour and poignant drama based on Kumail Nanjiani’s own experiences. The film follows a fledgling stand up comedian as he traverses life, centering on his burgeoning career and relationships with his girlfriend and his own disapproving family. A realistic and funny script and some great performances from both the leads (Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan) and supporting acts (Holly Hunter, Ray Romano) kept me enthralled to the end.

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Watched The Wicked Lady, starring Margaret Lockwood, onTalking Pictures yesterday.

 

RT said it was considered risqué because of the low-cut dresses of the two female stars, and that the US censors demanded that there should be more coverage of their cleavage (the first time that word was used for that purpose)

Having watched it, I think it wasn't just the amble cleavage on display that caused such consternation, some of the dialogue was far from ambiguous, and the love scenes, although in full clothing, left the viewers in no doubt as to what had occurred.

Considering that the film was the same age as me, I was quite surprised!

 

I nearly switched off in the first five minutes, not for the scandal, but  because of the lack of realism in the opening scenes - a couple out riding across parkland, seen firstly in long-shot, and then in close-up. From their motion these close shots were obviously filmed with them seated on some sort of rocking device, and sitting close enough for their elbows to touch and, in a later scene, their shoulders!

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I accidentally watched God's Own Country today. I thought it was an adaptation of the Ross Raisin novel which I read a few years ago. It wasn't but what a happy accident. Johnny lives on an isolated Yorkshire farm with his father and gran. His father has had a stroke and so Johnny does most of the work on the farm while his Dad berates him and his Gran tolerates him. It is a lonely, grim, sad life completely devoid of human love or affection. Johnny is gay, and when he is away from the farm, at an auction he has sex with random guys. It is purely a physical need being met and nothing more. He doesn't want to go for a drink afterward, even though he spends most nights drinking till he throws up.

 

Then Gheorghe joins them on the farm. A Romanian immgrant, he is employed to help with the grunt work on the farm. At first Johnny hates him, doesn't see the need for him to be there. It's as if Johnny resents his life so much that he can't be pleasant to anyone, or sadly, he has forgotten how. When the two men have to camp out on the top field during lambing season, Gheorghe teaches Johnny how to love, really love.

 

This was a truly beautiful film, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I reckon it will stay with me for a while.

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Sounds interesting, hazel.

 

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Mr meg & I watched The Silent Child yesterday. Only 20 mins, but very potent and upsetting.

 

I thought that signing - at least Makaton - was used with all children in most primary schools these days. It certainly is in at least one here, and the children are able to use signing to include non-hearing and non-verbal children in their activities.

Elder Son's children all used some baby signing, because Eldest grandson has special needs, and now Newest Grandbaby is signing along with trying to talk and it really helps him express his needs when he can't yet verbalise them. I hope signing will continue to be used in nursery, and when he goes to school, as this must be the best tool possible for integrating children like the one in the film into a hearing & verbal world.

 

 

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I think Makaton is a growing thing up here with more primaries and nurseries getting involved and introducing it to early years. It's an interesting thing to me as I have deaf parents and was brought up in a primarily BSL household. I think it actually hindered my speech so it is curious that Makaton aids speech especially in non-verbal children...or should I say it aids communication? I was speaking about it to a colleague the other day.

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16 hours ago, iff said:

Sounds interesting, hazel.

 

It was really goo iff, one of those slow moving dramas with a post-film punch. I should point out that there is quite graphic sex in it...just in case!

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I have recently watched a film I had originally seen for the first time last year, it is a film which gained a large amount of notoriety due to the fact it's leading male character had his bit out on display in one scene.  I am of course talking about Shame, starring Michael Fassbender and Cary Mulligan. I am glad I watched it again as I saw things I missed the first time around (in the story).

 

I think it is a very dark thought-provoking film which explores the human psyche and how people cope with their inner demons which have been created by their past experiences. For those who haven't seen it, the story focusses on two siblings a brother and sister which something unspeakable has happened to, the man played by Michael Fassbender uses sex as a coping mechanism and he lives his life in a controlled and ordered way with strict routine, when his sister played by Carey Mulligan arrives and descends on his carefully ordered world we quickly see that she is the polar opposite of him and she blows away his carefully constructed order and as a result his life starts to spiral out of control. It is never revealed what has happened to them but enough hints are dropped to allude to the fact it is something vile and terrible. This film shows how differently they cope with the same past, it is a detailed exploration into poor mental health and coping mechanisms which in this case are unhealthy and destructive and the effects that has on the two people concerned, namely they feel better for the for moment but afterwards feel the shame of what they have done, hence the name of the film.

 

As I said this film gained notoriety due to the full frontal male nudity when Michael Fassbender's bits were shown n all their glory in one scene as he went for a pee I personally think that it was not necessary to the story and was probably only added for shock value which is sad as the story was strong enough without resorting to cheap tactics like that..

Edited by Apple

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