Delayed coverage from Wellington NZ

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Films I have seen recently:

Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King
As long as Father O’Ryan’s Sunday sermon and about as interesting. Lots of gay scenes (the scene at the end where Gandolph watches the little ones jumping on the bed… hmmm, dubious old ‘wizard’), but I liked the battle scenes and settings. The thing that bugged me the most was that I felt that my emotions were being manipulated throughout the film. However, I am going to see it again and I reserve the right to change my mind….

Requiem for a Dream

This toe tapping musical depicts a jolly Staton Island adventure. But really – among the grimmest films I’ve ever seen, up there with ‘Nil by Mouth’. I do recommend it though, it is superbly made and acted – but be warned – for several hours you may experience an overwhelming compulsion to stick your head in oven.

Maidens in Uniform

One of the most fascinating films I’ve seen for many a year. Made in 1931, set in a girls boarding school, this allegorical tale of pre-nazi Germany defines the girls struggle against the authoritarian leaders of the school. It is Leontine Sagan’s only film. It has barely dated – Maidens in Uniform blew away my preconceptions about ‘old’ films, which caused me to watch….

M

Fritz Lang’s brilliant film about a child molesting murderer (played by Peter Lorre) on the run not only from the police, but also the underworld gangs. When separated from the context of the crime, the viewer feels an uneasy sympathy with the antihero. ‘M’ delivers an emotional speech at the finale. Powerful stuff, and I feel not the sort of film that would get made these days. Again, the film’s themes reflect Germany of the day.

Ghost World

Alternates between being funny as fuck and sad as fuck. Steve Buscemi rules as always.

Chinatown

Polanski in fine form. The film’s name derives from police in Chinatown never knowing what was going on due to the language barrier; who had shot whom, who the guilty party was and so on. In this noir inspired drama, Jack Nicholson’s character is at a loss to understand the increasingly complex situation growing around him. A dramatic ending as you’d expect, and super performances from John Hudson, Faye Dunaway and Jack. I recommend it.

Tokyo Story

A moving story about the relationship between parents and their grown up children – sure as hell gave me the guilts. Hailed by at least one critic as the greatest film ever made, this is definitely something out of the ordinary.

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