Of the 17 films I’ve seen since the middle of September a few have been for work: The Third Man (UK, 1949), Amores Perros (Mexico, 2000) and The Battle of Algiers (Italy-Algeria). The latter two are terrific films whilst I find The Third Man ‘merely’ admirable. Two other British films were well worth visiting (for the exam topic ‘Thatcher’s Britain’) are Mona Lisa (1986) and Riff Raff (1991); I fear Cameron’s Britain is going to be even worse.
The digital re-release of Days of Heaven (US 1978) looked fantastic but I still find the plot flimsy; Malick’s insistence on using a voice over now appears increasingly mannered. I caught up with Waterland (UK) from 1992 and although I didn’t think the film was wholly successful Jeremy Irons is brilliant in it.
It’s good that British films are actually getting good box office in the UK; I suspect this year will be the best for a long time. And I’m talking about non-Hollywood British films so Harry Potter doesn’t count. I enjoyed Jane Eyre as it caught the time and place very well and Michael Fassbender is rapidly proving his brilliance. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was similarly blessed by great performances (Smiley’s smile at the end emphasised the reticence of Oldman’s incarnation – brilliant). Loved the set design too and the Tomas Alfredson’s direction was spot on. I caught Monsters (2010) on DVD and look forward to director Gareth Edward’s next film, he used his ‘non budget’ brilliantly.
I only saw Midnight in Paris (US, 2010) because I’d gotten cinema times mixed up and thought it was dreadful; Essential Killing (Poland, 2010) was better – good to see Jerzy Skolimowski making movies again. Chico and Rita‘s (Spain, 2010) cliched narrative was compensated by the music and animation.
There are plenty of promising movies on the way and I hope my girlfriend doesn’t go blackberry picking again soon.
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