Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Recent Random, Flippant Film Reviews

Hunger Games (Dir: Gary Ross / USA / 2012 / 142 mins)
The Truman Show + 1984 + Battle Royale + The Running Man = Hunger Games

Mr Turner (Dir: Mike Leigh / UK / 2014 / 150 mins)
It literally felt like watching paint dry. Incredible to think Mr Turner is just eight minutes longer than Hunger Games; it felt about two days longer. (I mentioned years ago how whilst attention spans get shorter and shorter, as we flick between YouTube videos every thirty seconds, self-indulgent film directors are making longer and longer films.) I know it's a Mike Leigh film but does that mean everyone needed to look so ugly? Or was that just how people looked in the 19th century? Maybe it was. I recently saw Still the Enemy Within, a documentary about the Miner's Strike. I know it was the 1980s, I know it was up north, but by eck, the people in the archive footage from then sure did look ugly.

Welcome to New York 
(Dir: Abel Ferrara / France & USA / 2014 / 125 mins)
Driller Killer director Ferrara has lost none of his ability to shock with this brutal but very watchable, so-called fictional portrayal of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal, where the former chief of the IMF was arrested and eventually acquitted for raping a hotel maid in New York. Gerald Depardieu stars as sex addict Devereaux and Jacqueline Bisset plays his long-suffering wife, Simone. Depardieu gives a compelling if despicable performance as a larger than life hedonist whose life takes a sudden down turn when arrested.

A pre-credit sequence has Depardieu as himself talking to journalists lets us know immediately this is a fiction film. Later, in a restaurant, Depardieu says, "Give me some meat", exact lines he spoke some forty years ago in the film Loulou. Confined to a New York apartment during his trial, he amuses himself by watching French New Wave films in the cinema basement. Presumably a Truffaut film, it features a shot of Jean Pierre LĂ©aud. Depardieu himself worked with Truffaut in 1980, when he starred in The Last Metro. Depardieu was initially reluctant to appear in it as he didn't like Truffaut's directing style, but he was eventually convinced.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Random Film Review: Loulou
Films in films