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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Future or How do you choose a satisying film? (Part 2)

More views of - or after - Cambridge Film Festival 2011
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


26 January

Take Birdy (1984), for instance. What decided me to see it, when it was released?

* Well, it had not been created then, so it was not the phenomenon of Nicholas Cage. (For some, it might even have started with cult film Rumble Fish (1984), for others, maybe, with - also from that year of release - The Cotton Club.)

* For me, it also was not knowing of the actor playing Birdy, Matthew Modine (born in 1959, and so older than Cage, although their film careers have run in parallel). Amongst the things that one knows Modine's acting from, he has also appeared in shorts such as:

§ Jesus was a Commie (2011) - perhaps balancing up playing Jesus in Mary (2005), which, although it looks crazy, perhaps isn't that interesting, and anyway passed me by.

§ Santa, the Fascist Years (2008)*

§ I Think I Thought (2008)


* Alan Parker's work, on the other hand, one already had reason to respect and expect things from (e.g. Bugsy Malone (1976) and Midnight Express (1978)).

* I am sure, also, that Peter Gabriel, who produced the music, was already in my consciousness - in my opinion, the CD of the soundtrack (even if one knows nothing about the film) is a worthwhile Gabriel album in its own right, well worth taking a chance on if found somewhere (which I never have, since buying my copy, and I have no idea of availability / price).

For the film itself, along with the flight sequences, it is truly remarkable!

* The album's insert has an image that I believe to be a still from the film - disturbing, haunting, as the film poster itself was.

* And last, by no means (as one has to say) least, would have been that write-up of around 140 words, on the basis of skim-reading which I have almost exclusively decided what to watch in the independent cinema world for the last eight years.


That had, for a long while, been my practice, prior to the days of seeing Kevin Spacey talk on t.v. about K-PAX (2001), I think both Matt Damon** and Ben Afleck Good Will Hunting (1997), and Geoffrey Rush Shine (1996) - none of which, I have to say, I even slightly regret having seen.

Possibly it was the trailer that led me up the garden path in those days (a bit like the film's pig), but, in any event, I was not spared Michael Palin and co. in what I found the disappointingly dire A Private Function (1984).


But there are write-ups in which one can have (or feel) confidence, and there is the one (from a local free paper) from which I quote a few choice phrases (or, in one case, whole sentences). (I don't need to identify the film, which becomes strikingly obvious - even if some of the things written didn't occur to the writer - or compiler - as such to the reader.)

in 1979, grocer's daughter Thatcher became the UK's first - and to date only - female prime minister

the film focuses on Thatcher's rise to power, right through to the present day

There are, however, a few flaws. The story contains a few boring scenes and the flashback sequences are a little muddled in places.

A great back-up cast includes Richard E. Grant, Jim Broadbent [etc.]


Lack of energy alone at this moment prevents me from scorning the infelicities, but:

Would you want to trust this 'review' to guide you on your way, either into the auditorium with Meryl, or off to catch Luc Besson's The Lady (2011)?


And we're not done with how The Future (2011) was falsely set up, or what one might make of this new Thatcher voice - concerning which Part 3 might have things to say...


End-notes

* Why am I, for some reason, reminded of the notorious home-movies for the private consumption of a certain Disney?


** Of whom, of course, more elsewhere at 'You're now as famous as Matt Damon!', and even New allegations: Matt Damon opens my post, which have now become compulsory reading in the blog world (and, no, I won't be calling it the blogosphere - in my lifetime).


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