Monday, 20 February 2017

Classic of the month: The Fountain

This pearl was released in 2004 but was a box-office flop. We know how cruel the cinema market can be towards masterpieces such as The Fountain but this is why we created a space here, at Red Curtain Cinema, to recommend films that deserve to seen again.

The originality from The Fountain comes from its philosophical plot that is brilliantly deployed through Aronofsky, the music of Clint Mansell and Hugh Jackman at its best (literally). We remember watching this film and being unable to say anything once the lights turned on. This is not a classic Hollywood film about death but a strong reflection about one of the greatest fears: the fear of loosing someone we love. 

How to control that fear? Can Death be defeated? The Fountain is not only about death but also, and mostly, about life. 3 different periods in history, 3 identical stories: he loves a woman and he wants to promise her an eternal life. The fear of being away from her is unbearable. 

A truly masterpiece as rarely seen in cinema. It avoids all the Hollywoodean clichés and talks to all of us, who have already lost someone.  It has been unfairly forgotten but if you haven't seen it, this is the chance for you to see a film that you will remember. 



Thursday, 9 February 2017

Hacksaw Ridge (4/5, Good)

Mel Gibson's new film is a surprisingly good film filmed with great sensitivity to shed light into the humanity of a man amidst the brutality of war.

Mel Gibson's comeback as a film director was at first received with a cautious welcome from Red Curtain Cinema. We do not forget the horrible experience that was The Passion of Christ. We were afraid to see again gore scenes, striking visual sequences and accentuated drama. However Mel Gibson decided to privilege the real-life character of Desmond Doss (Andrew Gardfield) and his promise of never using a gun and simply operate as a medic in the battlefield. Gibson makes his statement about war through the compassion, courage and humanity that Doss has towards his mates but also towards his enemies.

Andrew Gardfield, in his best role of his career (with The Social Network) is the best asset of the film because we do not understand the choices of Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington (especially him) as supporting actors. They are empty characters with no interest in this original and compelling story. The other positive aspect of the film is its photography, done with great care that contrast with the common brutality in war films (which became mainstream after Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan).

If there is a weakness around this film is perhaps the "too" cautious approach of Mel Gibson when it comes to telling the story. He restrains himself and that is quite obvious since his masterpieces Braveheart and Apocalypto which embraced violence and intense drama supported by a solid story as one package. Hacksaw Ridge fails to move as Mel Gibson's has already shown the ability to but nevertheless makes this story worth being told. In times of individualism and lack of compassion towards suffering people in this globalized world, it is good to look behind and see what people did against the odds such as Desmond Doss. A classic moral fiber but that does mean it is not appealing. 


Monday, 6 February 2017

T2 Trainspotting (5/5, Very Good)

The junkies from the 1990s are back but in a much more fast-paced digital world where the insignificance of life is stronger and the lust for life predominates with nostalgia.

"Choose life, choose a career, choose a family...". Those were the first words of one of the most influential British films ever made back in 1996. Director Danny Boyle and its cast have done a long way ever since, and the stakes due to the high expectations were critical. Sequels are rarely as good as their predecessor so we went to the dark room with a certain dose of anxiety and fear. However, T2 Trainspotting turned out to be a very good surprise. T2 Trainspotting achieved what The Godfather II did: a sequel without being a sequel. A new story strongly linked to the first one but with a solid scenario that allows you to see it as a stand-alone film.

T2 Trainspotting is brilliant as it explores the deep sense of nostalgia that exists today. If Trainspotting was about a group of junkies in the booming glory of Britain in the 1990s, then its sequel is about is the same characters in the booming decade of nostalgia and pessimism. "Choose zero-hour contracts, choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone somewhere cares and choose watching history repeat itself" is what Mark Renton (brillianty portrayed by McGregor) chooses to say when thinking about his time. It is a decade of loneliness, strong individualism and exhibitionism.  "Choose life" does not hold the same meaning as it had back in 1996. The only thing that persists is addiction. Be addicted to life, but how can you be addicted when the world is full of crap? 

Many things can be said from this film but we assure you that it will be a great ride, with dark and dramatic sequences along with the comic elements that made Trainspotting famous. It is wonderful to see all the cast back to the screen as they clearly believed in Danny Boyle's vision for T2 Trainspotting. The soundtrack is brilliant, appealing to the classic artists from the past ( Iggy Pop, Blondie) but also to the current ones (Young and Fathers). The music, as well as the photography, will make several references to the first movie which is why we highly recommend to see the first film before this one. 

Let yourself go into nostalgia because this is what our time is all about. The glory from the 1990s faded away and we are constantly looking for a new cultural identity. The promises of a modern world were simply capitalistic lies to make us become addicted to ideas of wealth, happiness and love. T2 Trainspotting smashes them further and it such a delight to finally have a film that not only talks about it, but also makes you think about what you want to choose for your life. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...