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Tuesday, 28 May 2019

A #UCFF response to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

This is a response to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


27 May


This is a response to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014),
as seen at
Saffron Screen on Monday 27 May 2019 at 8.00 p.m.








[...]







Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Three Tweets [maybe more ?] about Woman at War (2018)

Three Tweets [maybe more ?] about Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð) (2018)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


16 May


Three Tweets [maybe more ?] about Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð) (2018)








Postlude (with TAKE ONE) :






Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Three Tweets about Tenebrae

Three Tweets about Tenebrae (during Festival of the Voice in Cambridge)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


9 May


Three Tweets about Tenebrae :

A concert at King's College, Cambridge, by invitation from
Cambridge Early Music (in conjunction with Concerts at King's) for its Festival of the Voice,
on Friday 10 May 2019 at 7.30 p.m.








Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Friday, 3 May 2019

Bonnard : Mirrors, photographic effects, alluring views through windows, and - of course - nudes*

Responses, by Tweet, to and during a visit to Pierre Bonnard : The Colour of Memory

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


3 May


Responses, by Tweet, to and during a visit to the [C C Land] exhibition Pierre Bonnard : The Colour of Memory on Friday 3 May 2019







End-notes :

* But, never all that convincing usually with human faces, the best of these nudes are seen from the back...



Even so, it is puzzling that - as allegedly still true of 'glamour models' - the woman is naked, but obliged to wear black court shoes ? (In this case, they may actually be slippers, but in other nudes in the show, they are definitely shoes.)




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Thursday, 2 May 2019

This is a review (work in progress) of Scotch : The Golden Dram (2018)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


2 May


This is a review (work in progress) of Scotch : The Golden Dram (2018), which was shown at a special screening at The Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge, on Thursday 2 May 2019 (and followed by a guided tasting of two expressions of Bruichladdich (they supplied the Scotch, wine and spirit merchants Bacchanalia the tuition))


Scotch : The Golden Dram* largely concerns distilling as it occurs on The Isle of Islay (which qualifies as a whisky region in its own right, and is especially known for a number of celebrated peated whiskies**), largely considering the distillery of Bruichladdich, and largely taking as its focus Jim McEwan, who, at the beginning of the century, oversaw the re-opening of the distillery (as a sideways move from decades at Bowmore, also on Islay, and the one visible – except on a day with mist on the intervening sea-loch – from the other).




This is not an unreasonable proposition, since, in common with John McDougall (whose memoir, pictured above, was authored for him by whisky writer Gavin D. Smith), McEwan is acknowledged as being from the tradition of having done every job in whisky-making, and therefore using an account of his life-story is well able to provide a general outline that would touch upon many topics (as well as celebrating McEwan's signoficant contribution, as judged by his peers, to the world of Scotch***).

However, one matter that features in McDougall’s book, but was not really touched upon here directly, is the speculative business per se of buying casks, and of the independent bottlers (such as Provenance, Gordon & MacPhail and Signatory) who release distilleries’ single malts under their name (i.e. labelled and packaged differently from the distillery’s own usual bottlings) : although we did see this side of things in the form of an interview with the proprietor of a firm that makes very high-end glassware for releases (where sometimes there might only be as few as a handful of bottles produced, and with matching price tags - which we could see, from a series of images of bottles and a caption to say what they sell for, in some cases go for amounts into the hundreds of thousands of pounds).


There are also some important health-warnings to be given concerning what this film does, and does not, seem to set out do – even if it may once have intended otherwise**** (a full-length documentary, which is, say, of ninety minutes to two hours, may typically have shot fifty times more material that has not been used). They may help indicate, even if the film-makers seem not to have considered the point very clearly, for whom and when it may be suitable, as it may assume too much for the general viewer ? :


1. The film does not, fully or in order, take one through the whole process of how whisky is made.

For this, a tour around a distillery that still runs a malting-floor is the ideal answer, and the film probably shows us the floor at Bowmore (does Bruichladdich have its own, as Kildalton, also on Islay, does ?). However, some might prefer Laphroaig, yet another Islay distillery, because the craic and the tours are always good, as it is not in the brand’s interests for the tour-guide to give a negative experience, such as reading the material from a laminated card (Jura, 2014) ; or not knowing, when asked, whether the temperature at which fermentation takes place is important (Bruichladdich, 2004).

Laphroaig recognizes that people have taken the trouble to travel to Islay to visit some of the distilleries (even if the serenity and sense of being away from the ordinary run of things also and always make the trip to Islay worthwhile) : the pity is that, with such a beautiful island, The Golden Dram does not use the best views, but only a few, fairly stock ones, to which it cuts away, and which serve as little more than punctuation).


2. Some of the stages in the whisky-making process are talked about in some detail, such as fermentation (which has its own section, with a heading). (However, although the film shows how the head rises on the liquid in the fermentation-vessel (the ‘wash-back’), which the yeast creates during fermentation, it does not choose to mention that it is kept in check – to stop it overflowing the vessel – by rotating blades inside the lid (‘switcher-blades’).)

For this reason, there are terms such as ‘low wines’ or ‘malted barley’ that are simply there in what speakers tell us, and left unexplained : from this documentary, we will not learn when and why the ‘feints and low wines’ are collected (which would explain what they are), or what the process of malting barley is, or what it signifies. Rather, seemingly because we hear McEwan relate that, as a teenager on the way to school, he was often enough persuaded when he passed Bowmore distillery to stop to help with what was formerly the only and very labour-intensive way of malting barley (before modern malting-works were designed, such as that at Port Ellen on Islay, on the site of the now defunct distillery of that name).

So, apart from a shot of barley grains that are germinating, we are presented with footage of part of what is still carried on in some Islay distilleries (here, presumably, Bowmore), but no context that helps us relate to why the barley on the malting-floor requires turning every few hours, which is done with a ‘shiel’, an implement that resembles a spade, but with a flat blade, made of wood.


[...]


End-notes :

* The original title, according to IMDb, was Scotch: A Golden Dream.

** So no one could quite take seriously the given name of the director, Andrew Peat…

*** Even if, perhaps, the film overdoes this aspect in places, and seems too much like a tribute (or even hagiography ?) ?




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Everybody needs a friend ~ Greta

A response to Greta (2018)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


2 May

A response to Greta (2018)



Black nails : Just to raise doubts where Frankie should place her trust, her friend Erica (Maika Monroe) - a little more fittingly for her age and manner ? - also has black nails*.





End-notes :

* Or is the suggestion of some Lynchean dual characterization (The Lost Highway (1997) or Mulholland Drive (2001)), where, on some level, Greta and Erica are the same person... ?




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Right on key : Claire Martin and her 'European Quartet'* at The Stables

Right on key : Claire Martin and her 'European Quartet'* at The Stables

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2019 (17 to 24 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)


1 May


Right on key : Claire Martin and her 'European Quartet'* at The Stables on Wednesday 1 May 2019 at 8.00 p.m.








End-notes :

* Thinking, of course, of Keith J.




Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)