Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Ammonite - BFI London Film Festival

The world of fossil finding is rarely if at all explored on screen outside of documentary series or nature programmes. The addition of a famous fossil collector, dealer and palaeontologist’s story being told add perspective and human interest, but with a passionate and secret love affair as well, Ammonite takes on the form of a typical British period romance drama. Luckily in the hands of writer and director Francis Lee, the story isn’t entirely what you’d expect.

My full review can be read HERE over at Filmhounds.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Undine - BFI London Film Festival


 A modern retelling of a folktale about a water nymph who falls in love to gain a human soul is something quite unexpected. There is something in the water in more ways than one.

For my full review, you can read it HERE over at Filmhounds.


Friday, 16 October 2020

Herself - BFI London Film Festival

 

Building one’s own house is an amazing accomplishment but when you have two young daughters to take care of and an abusive husband to stay away from, the house becomes more than a project, its becomes the means to escape and freedom. A home is more than the place to live in, it is a symbol for a safe haven to rest your head at the end of a long day where your struggles seem never ending.

 

After finally leaving her a violent husband, Sandra lives in a hotel near the airport with her two young girls. Placed there by social housing while she searches for a new place they can move into, Sandra also has to contend with driving back forth to town for work and so her daughters can get to school. Finding she has little to no options, Sandra decides to build her own house. With the help from an employer who lets her build on her land and the generosity of a few friends, she sets about building her home and the hope of a better life.

 

Hard hitting drama is not hard to come by at the cinema. There are always dramas that hammer home the difficulties that some of us have no idea about. The trials that Sandra has to go through throughout the story have been explored in other films but the heart and soul of the story is Sandra herself, played brilliantly by Clare Dunne. Practically in every scene and second of the film, she is struggles but she is not down trodden. She moves ahead with determination and does not falter. The story does move in a few unrealistic ways but this is a film after all, we need a story after all, the fact the doctor Sandra cleans for practically gifts her the land to build her house is a nice touch but mostly unbelievable. The rallying of work friends, acquaintances and builders who she met in a hardware shop is actually very uplifting. The moment the house is finished is very emotional and really where the film should have ended but as we all needed to be reminded that not everything can have a happy ending and Herself is no exception feels quite cruel and leaves you with an ache and rage in the bottom of your stomach.

 

Despite the constant downpour of struggles that this one woman faces, the film does have its uplifting moments of joy and inspiration which nearly makes up for the bleak point near the end.

 

 

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Honeymood - BFI London Film Festival

 

As a fan of the brilliant 'Zero Motivation' I was excited to watch the latest film from writer/director Talya Lavie, a comedy about a bride and groom to spend their weddning night chasing down exs, talking strangers down from jumping off scaffolding, dancing with bodyguards, avoiding parents and partying with students. It's one hell of a night!

My full review can be read HERE over at Filmhounds.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Alien Addiction

 

New Zealand has produced some of the most bizarre and genre bending comedies of the last decade, some even breaking the barrier and earning an international appreciation, but it’s the indie films that really should have their time in the limelight because that is where the weirdest stories are just waiting to be discovered, none more so than Alien Addiction.

 

In a small town in the middle of nowhere, life for Riko and his friends isn’t very exciting. With drugs and boardgames to while away the time with the occasional car chase race to see who can get to the bar first, no one was expecting exterrestrial visitors to land in the woods. They also probably didn’t expect these aliens to smoke and get high off human faeces and then becomes addicted to it. When Riko stumbles upon the aliens, he finds kindred spirits and welcomes them with open arms, taking them to explore life on Earth, or at least his lifestyle on Earth. But while this intergalactic friendship blossoms they are being pursued by a self named alientologist who is determined to capture the aliens to prove once and for all they do exist.

 


 

The distinct New Zealand humour plays a major part in this indie science fiction comedy, with its matter of fact dialogue and acceptance of events by most if not all characters. The belief that something this crazy could happen is just another wacky adventure to get involved with by all, even the very questionable behaviour and actions towards Jacinta, one of the only female characters. But ultimately, this ensemble cast, including visiting aliens Jeff and Gurgus, make up a weird and wonderful group of characters that you could only find in this story.

 

Mixing comedy and science fiction is usually taken with a pinch of salt, especially with the low budget style and erratic plotline. But the fact that the tech, make up and props all look like something out of the 80s just adds to the charm of the entire film. With some very funny moments to balance out the rather disgusting ones (if you’re not fan of literal toilet humour be warned) it’s an absolute delight of a film.

 

Check out the trailer HERE.

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

The Other Lamb

 

Missed at LFF last year, this story about a cult group that lives in the woods under the control guidance from a man named Shepard, his followers colour coded by their position, wife or daughter, is filled with dark visions making this film stand on the edge of becoming a horror, supernatural and low key thriller. Another hit on Mubi's hands.

Full review can be read HERE over at Filmhounds.