Wednesday, 31 May 2017

I Wonder...

With the impending release of DC's Wonder Woman, there has been the usual chatter. People saying its not going to be good. People saying its going to be awesome. The Guardian slagging it off (reviewed by a man by the way) and Empire celebrating it (also reviewed by a man by the way)*. Personally, I'm not a DC fan. I loved the Christopher Nolan Batman movies and I was one of the few people who liked Suicide Squad (I'm aware of the ridiculous-ness of it), but otherwise, never really cared about DC or Justice League. BUT anyone who knows me, I am all for a superhero who is not like the rest. Yes, I mean a female superhero who takes centre stage. How long has it taken for this to happen?? Take note Marvel, hurry the f*** up with your diverse heros.

I haven't read the Wonder Woman comics BUT I know about the character and what she symbolises. She is very much needed. I have started reading DC's Bombshells out of curiosity so I have a little taste of who this woman is. I do want to see the film as I am willing to give a watch for two main reasons, one I've said and the other is Patty Jenkins.

Jenkins is the first woman to direct a superhero film with a female protagonist. She is the first female director who has been allowed to direct a film with a budget over $100 million. That's a thing apparently. I noticed that Patty Jenkins, director of the critically acclaimed film, Monster, hasn't directed a movie since. She's been working in TV but no films. This keeps happening and its really bugging me, but when I say this out loud people switch off. I can't be the only one who is annoyed by this.

Before I get angry, I'll steer this post back to what I was getting at.

women-only 'wonder woman' screening makes american men feel sad


This was the title for the first story I read about this. It was the big story of last week,  a cinema in Texas decided to host a women only screening of Wonder Woman. At first this seemed odd but then again, why not? The novel idea will hopefully encourage more women to see the film and make it clear it isn't just for comic book fans. BUT of course people (mainly men sadly but not surprising) commented in their droves complaining that this was exclusing men. Some even went as far as to say 'why not have a men's only screening of Thor' and 'so when IT comes out, are you only going to have a screening for clowns?'. Ridiculous.

The backlash of this event is insane. People (again its mainly guys and I'm not joking) are making a fuss about this but they can literally go to any other screening. No one is stopping them. Also, there is the glaring matter that maybe women need this sort of event. For instance, there is reason why we have International Women's Day. We don't have a men's day because it frickin men's day everyday! As Don Cheadle said, who supported and defended the screenings, and after men complained saying that the screenings were sexist, "There's no point to men making a point about celebrating themselves. That's called 'the planet.'"

Hosting a women's only screening of Wonder Woman is fine idea and the fact the screenings were sold out has prompted further screening across the US.

You can read about HERE and HERE. Here is also the Don Cheadle new report HERE. What do you think about the event? Is it a good idea?

*Side note, where are all the female critics???

Around the World: Israel

I thought it was just Iceland's 'comedies that went over my head but Israel, you got me. Having seen the trailer a million times pop up on my youtube feed and intrigued by its description as a rom-com AND having never seen an Israeli rom-com, I thought, why not! But just like Iceland, Through the Wall or The Wedding Plan as its been called in some countries, was not a sad heartbreaking story aout a women who wants to love and be loved. There are only a couple of a funny moments but other than that laughs are hard to find in this 'comedy' romance.

Michal, is a born-again Orthodox Jew living in Jerusalem, also petting zoo owner who is desperately seeking someone to marry her so that she can be complete. Her fiance at the start ends their engagement only to propose to her roomate later on, but Michal decides that God will provide her a husband and keeps the wedding date and continues to prep for the big day. Everyone thinks this is a bad idea but she is determined. She goes on a few unsuccessful dates, has a crisis of faith and has a few breakdowns. Ultimately you know who will come to her rescue at the end but there is a brief second where you think the film will end on a horrible note but its supposed to be a rom-com so it has to have a happy ending.

Michal is a tragic character. All she wants is love, but she is denied this time and time again. Her dates are either mean or awkward, her profession is ridiculed and her friend basically steals away her fiance and acts like the victim. There is a trend throughout the film that women need men to feel valued and they come across as desperate and sad. On the bright side, there could never be a an American remake of this story or film, its very centred around the Jewish faith and Jerusalem. But the lack of laughs and happy moments make Michal's story difficult to watch.

Next up... check out all the films HERE.

Monday, 29 May 2017

He Was Too Romantic About Manhattan...

“Chapter One: He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything else. “ – Manhattan, Dir. Wood Allen

Manhattan, viewed as one Woody Allen's masterpieces, yet he notoriously tried to stop the release of the film. This may have been due to the subject matter being a little too personal or it may really have been that Allen wasn’t happy with the end result, so he has said he interviews. He has also stated that he doesn’t have the same affection for the film as the public does. Which seems odd as it is in part an affectionate love letter to Manhattan itself, as well as a ‘Woody Allen-esque’ romantic comedy, complete with awkward love triangle, couples with questionable age gaps, amusing arguments and a matter of fact attitude to sore subjects. As I slowly get through the Woody Allen film catalogue, Manhattan feels like the Woody Allen film.

Centering on a small group of characters and the relationships they have with each other, Woody Allen is Issac, a 42-year-old television writer trying to write a novel. After two failed marriages he is now content, dating 17-year-old Tracy. His close friends, marriage couple Yale and Emily seems happy too, although Emily wants children but Yale makes excuses for why they can’t. Issac’s second ex-wife Jill, who cheated on him with a woman, has written a book about their relationship, including all their private moments together, which upsets him, no end. Yale is having an affair with Mary, a culture snob who really doesn’t know what she’s doing. There is an obvious attraction between Issac and Mary but complications with their love life stall their relationship.

Throughout the ups and downs, the joys and woes of these people’s love lives, Manhattan is the only constant feature. Serving as a backdrop, atmosphere as well as inspiration, it remains picturesque and unspoiled by the events of the story. In the end, it is the only thing that Issac can rely on.

Woody Allen’s Issac is a romantic. He claims to have never cheated on his wives and those they were the ones who broke up their marriages. He even tries to do the right thing before he starts a romantic relationship with Mary. He says several times to Tracy that she shouldn’t settle down and should move on from him and live her life. He makes an effort with his son and is even (eventually) on good terms with his ex-wife Jill despite her ‘tell all’ novel. He is down on his luck when he quits his job and tries to write his own novel. You want him to succeed, especially after his girlfriend and so-called friend betray him. BUT at the same time, it’s difficult to watch a 42-year-old man date a 17-year-old girl and have everyone accept the situation.

The fact that everyone else is perfectly fine with this relationship makes it uncomfortable; especially knowing what Allen’s real life was and is like. It was also off putting that no one else in the film found this odd or disturbing. The age gap aside, the fact that Yale has cheated on his wife before AND lures Mary away from Issac and again everyone barely says anything is also irksome. No one reacts normally to any big development.

Aside from awkward age gaps, Diane Keaton’s character was rather disappointing. Meant to be the woman desired by both men in the film, she is at first insufferable with her polar opposite opinions that seem to be said to annoy on purpose but as she slowly eases herself into the company of Issac, she shows her more interesting side, the side that owns an adorable dog named Waffles. But her constant justifications for her poor decisions include her whining on about how young and beautiful she is are without charm. It’s a shame she isn’t more assertive or modest.

Leaving negative points behind, there are some iconic scenes not to be missed, including the famous scene by the bridge that was filmed perfectly in the early hours of a morning. There is beauty in this one shot that encapsulates the romantic feeling of the film without there being a romantic scene taking place. Another favourite scene of mine is in the planetarium when Issac and Mary run for shelter from the rain. Being in a dark room amongst space and time, you start to gage the characters feeling for one another and the tension can be cut with a knife. A rare perfect moment within the film proving that less is more.

Hailed as one the best, although I’d have to disagree, if you’re new to Woody Allen, Manhattan is a great place to start. And if you are a long time Woody Allen enthusiast, nothing beats the big screen and a chance to see Manhattan up there, in all its monochrome glory, shouldn’t be missed.

Manhattan is currently being screened around the UK at various cinemas thanks to Park Circus. Check out where and when HERE.

For all the Londoners out there, screening at BFI Southbank over June and July: its Dustin Hoffman season!

As Dustin Hoffman, the ‘unlikely’ leading man, turns 80 this year we celebrate his  stellar career. Highlights range from The Graduate to Tootsie, from All The President’s Men  to Kramer v. Kramer. 

 “I grew up thinking a movie star had to be like Rock Hudson or Tab Hunter, certainly nobody in any way like me.” 

Want to see Hoffman’s best characters? BFI are offering 2 tickets for the price of 1! Simply quote HONEST241 when booking.

Friday, 26 May 2017

TMP Television Edition: Time Travel

There aren't that many TV shows out there that are specifically about time travel. There may be the odd episode but... time travel, I find is more a of movie game. I did want to use Outlander again but I thought I'd challenge myself. Saying that, I think I've used all three picks before...

Don't forget to check out where it all started over at Wandering Through the Shelves

I much prefer the genius of Futurama than the never ending Simpsons. I know they came first and weren't cancelled multiple times but Futurama has continous wit and personality as well as bizarre surprises and the fact its set in the future, literally anything can happen to the Planet Express team. For those not familiar with this slice of awesome-ness, it all begins on New Year's Eve in 1999 when 25 year old Pizza delivery guy Philip J. Fry ends up frozen in a cryogenic pod that opens in 2999. He has best friend, Bender, a foul mouthed alcoholic fueled bending unit robot and a friend/co-worker/later girlfriend Leela, a one eyed alien pilot (later to be discovered, a mutant). Together they are part of the Planet Express delivery crew along with other weird and wonderful characters. There are specific episodes where time travel is used, such as the episode where Fry and the crew travel back to the 40s on Earth and Fry becomes his own grandfather. With 8 glorious seasons and some comics to boot, it seems like this great show has been put on the 'what a great time that was' shelf.

I've mentioned this before but I'll say it all again, Fringe is amazing (except season 5). My friend got me to watch 3 episodes of season 1 back in uni, which were great but I didn't pick the show up again until years later when the whole thing appeared on Netflix. I was hooked!!! I loved this show so much I rewatched it on repeat. It was the same friend who suggested both Fringe and Battlestar Galatica which I used to rewatch every year until Fringe took over (now Sense8 has that spot, then most likely it will become Stranger Things). Starting out as a 'task force' to investigate strange happenings with an FBI agent, a so called mad scientist and his genius son, the series branched out to parallel universes and alternate timelines as well as fringe science. Seasons 1-4 were amazing but 5 was just so off, it kinda ruined it so, my advice, just watch til 4.

Ashes to Ashes 
I grew obsessed with this show during Uni (yes another one). Before TV was so readily available on the internet, every week, I'd settle in front of my laptop to catch up on BBC Iplayer, which was really new at the time. I didn't get into Life on Mars but I'm a Keely Hawes fan (from her Spooks days) and I do love an 80s era drama AND police dramas, mixed with time travel and a David Bowie theme running through. Alex, a police officer gets shot in modern day which sends her back to the 80s where she meets familiar named people after studying Sam Tyler's case.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Around the World: Sweden

As the trailer suggests, this film really is for anyone who is 13 years old, was 13 years old or who will be 13 years old. Especially if you're a girl.

Known for his sometimes deep and depressing films, Lukas Moodysson's We Are the Best takes a cheerful and somewhat upbeat turn. Based on Moodysson's wife, Coco Moodysson's graphic novel 'Never Goodnight', the story is about best friends Bobo and Klara, two 13 year old punks in the 80s. Cutting their own hair, listening to music they are told is dead, bounds of engery they stand out from the crowd for more than one reason. When they decide to start a band (to prove a point first of all) they realise they can't play any instruments. They befriend outsider, devout Christian, Hedvig, a talented muscian and singer. Bringing her into the punk world, the three friends are unstoppable.

There isn't often a film that can illustrate how you felt at 13 years old. Even though I wasn't a punk, I was treated as outside the norm for my love of films (I went to an all girls school where they were all obsessed with 8 Mile and Big Daddy). I can easily relate to this story. I read and wrote my own post about the lack of films aimed at girls and I think We Are the Best should be shown to a younger audience so that they know there is an alternative to the dolls, make up and plastic lifestyle and they shouldn't be afraid or ashamed of it. They're hair may seem outrageous but to me, they look great! If only girls and teens were able to express themselves as freely as these three.

The girls all have a great energy and clear identity which is refreshing and reassuring to see that stories about girls, not teens, not young adults, not women, girls is still alive and compelling. Although there are dramatic moments and a mishap with fighting over boys, it is fun and the music is actually quite good in the end. They are the best!

Next up... check out all the films HERE.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Love Movies, Make Movies

 Late Nights at the Movies is a timeless film noir short film set in a cinema. An assassin awaits the messenger from her latest client. 

I could say, it feels like yesterday that I finished draft one of 'Late Nights at the Movies' but in fact I first started this short story, then turned into a short script, 4 years ago. Ideas come and go, you feel passionate about them and can't let them go. Others you think about and write about furiously for a week then forget they exist. Late Nights was the former, which is always a good sign.

Like all great stories, ‘Late Nights at the Movies’ was an idea that came to me at 2am one morning. After writing all night I was running out of steam. I wanted my character to be something unexpected and I really wanted to write my own version of a hitman/assassin story. I thought back to all the times I had been in the cinema, a perfect location for a clandestine meeting to take place, and imagined that this character would go to late night showings to escape her ‘day job’. Slowly slowly, the character of Livien was born. At first the story was meant to be told across a series of short stories but after a few people telling me ‘this would work great as a film’ I adapted it for the screen. The film is inspired by the genre Film Noir and of course, stories about hitmen and assassins.

We (with my partner in crime/production, Emily Attwood) are in pre-production of our short film, 'Late Nights at the Movies'. Having worked together on previous shorts 'Liberty' and 'Cass', both part of a series of short films about zombies, we knew we could make the film happen. We are both producing and directing with Emily editing. We also have Chris Young, our DoP who shot my award wining film, Space Detective

As there is next to no funding opportunites for short films, especially for indie filmmakers, we have turned to Kickstarter to get our crowd funding campaign out there!

We have been lucky enough to source locations for free and have some equipment as well our ever supportive families BUT in order to make the film happen we need to abide by the golden rule; always feed and water the cast & crew. The funding we hope to raise will mainly go to food and travel costs for our cast and crew. Our budget isn't outrageous, we're not asking for a steadicam or limos for the cast, just exactly what we need.

So far we have had 11 amazing backers donate to the film and we cannot thank them enough. Thank you all again!

BUT the painful truth is, we have 23 days to go and we need to make the £800 target or we get nothing. It is all or nothing.

Emily and I are doing this because we love movies and we love making movies. Once the film is made we fully intend to send it off to festivals and host a screening BUT before we can do this, we need everyone's support.

Our campaign can be found HERE along with all the rewards on offer to all the amazing backers.

You can keep up to date with the campaign and the film's progress with our Facebook page, Raar! Films Twitter as well as tweets from both Emily  @EmAttwoodFilm and myself @HoganShogan 

In advance, thank you for supporting a couple of filmmakers and their project!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: The Renaissance (14th to the 17th century)

Don't forget to check out where it all started over at Wandering Through the Shelves

Lady Jane
I think I've used this film before but as it turns out I've not seen that many Renaissance films after all, this was my go to. I have a tender spot for this film, mostly because the cast is brilliant and I especially love Helena Bonham Carter and Cary Elwes (where did this guy go??). Poor Lady Jane Grey, forced into marriage, forced into taking the crown and ends up beheaded.

The New World
To be honest, I watched this film without knowing what Terrance Malik was like. I was also intrigued to see the Pocahontas story play out. The film was disappointingly slow and lacked heart. Although I did enjoy the few scenes with Pocahontus before she 'joins' Jamestown folk. There are some beautiful images and scenary BUT it wasn't an engaging film.

Witchfinder General
This was a film I had to watch in my first of college in Film Studies. Set during the height of the witch trials in England and the English Civil War, the historical figure, Matthew Hopkins appoints himself as Witchfinder General travelling from village to village accusing innocent people and charging the local magistrates for the work. Played to hideous disgusting perfection by Vincent Price, the film is a cult hit! We had to watch this and 'Bullet Boy' and write about one or the other for coursework. I didn't like either film but Witchfinder General has a special something about it. It was the last film made by Michael Reeves who died at aged 25 from drugs. He made three films in his short career and life, all of which are horror and made in the 'swinging' 60s. I returned to him as a subject as I found his work and potential fascinating. I made a pre production pack including a budget for a documentary about Reeves' life and career. I think I still have the documentary research somewhere.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Blind Spot Series: The Commitments

Missed last month which means double this month, starting with the Irish classic, The Commitments; saviours of soul.

The Commitments is a film I have had in the back of mind and reminded myself to watch it sometime. No time like the present, especially when you have a Blind Spot list to make. I knew the song 'Mustang Sally' that is sung by the band before I saw the film and I've seen the trailer countless times. I remember walking past the Palace Theatre in London (its near a favourite shop of mine and right next to Soho) all the time when the musical was on and wondering what it was all about. Having seen the film, I really wish I had seen the stage show, even of the critics weren't so kind.

There are some films where I deem very British and quite possibley could go over some people's heads and I would agree that this is also the case with Scottish, Welsh and Irish films too. This is a very (delightfully so) Irish story about one man who brings together a group of talented musicians who light up the stage but tear apart the back stage.

Based on Roddy Doyle's 1987 novel of the same name about working class people in Dublin. Jimmy Rabbitte is music fanatic who is on the dole. After two musician friends ask for his help, he decides to create soul band. He gathers together an unlikely group who actaully are a huge hit in Dublin. But the group fighting gets worse as they become more successful and Jimmy tries to keep everyone together.

The group is made up of a quiet pianist who is studying to be a doctor, two guitarists who previously played at weddings, a saxaphonist who would rather play jazz, a weird older trumpet player who has played with all the greats, or so he says, bus conductor singer who has an amazing voice, three back up singers who all seem to be under the trumpet players spell and a drummer who would be better suited to punk band, BUT together they are amazing. It is a fantastic groups of, dare I say it, misfits who are as violent and short tempered as they are amazing musicians.

Jimmy is the glue that keeps them all together and the wheels that keeps them turning. His enthusiasm for the band and the music and his determination to bring sould to Dublin is what drives the film, as well as the great music. His moments alone talking into the mirror as if he being interviewed by Terry Wogan are brilliantly casual. When interutpted by his family he always tells them to 'Shut up, I'm being interviewed'.

Its not surprise that the film won four BAFTAs including best film, but the fact that the film made it across the pond and was nominated for Best Film Editing at the Oscars seems odd. For me, it feels like a homestead movie, a bit like how Trainspotting was for Scotland, but we all know who huge that got. What was interesting was that most of the cast were inexperienced and mainly brought in for their musical talents. Only the three back up singers seem to carry on acting, as well as singers, while the rest continued on with the music. The ending of the film (different from the novel slightly) has Jimmy relate the fates of each band member as they all went their separate ways, quite similiar to how the real cast went. It makes you wish they'd reunite for one night only, just one more time.

To see where it all started and for an excellent insight to film, have a look at The Matinee and HERE for more Blind Spot posts from other bloggers.

Around the World: Spain

Sometimes I think that the best thrillers involve a huge plot centering around a few people. Other times, the best thrillers involve a conspiracy where the whole world or a country are involved or in danger BUT sometimes, a great thriller just needs, a few people trapped in a room. Welcome to Fermat's Room.

I had planned on a different film for Spain but as this film arrived in the post first, this was the winner.

Fermat's Room is about four brilliant mathematicians who are all invited by the mysterious Fermat to a even more mysterious gathering. The four guests are each given nicknames of famous historical figures and are instructed not to talk about themselves to each other. But no sooner has their supposed host introduced himself he is called away, leaving the four guests locked in room. They are instructed to solve complex puzzles in a short amount of time, which they comply with. But soon they realise the walls moving in. With every second they take to resolve the puzzles the walls move closer in. Not only are they running out of time but they also have to find out why they are even there.

The story is so simple yet its filled with complicated maths questions and theories. Of course each character is connected in some way or other but that actually feels like a hindrance on them trying to get out of the room. It is like all thrillers in a way. Four 'strangers' have to work together to escape a trap as well as discover the real reason for them being there. The design of the film and set is as impressive as the cast who work well as a team and as well as strangers at a party. The extras on the DVD include layout and plans of the room which is fascinating, especially as I used to love drawing floor plans (weird hobby I know).

A familiar yet enjoyable thriller set in one room. Minimal, is sometimes best.

Next up... check out all the films HERE.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Light and Dark: A Final Girls double bill

Presented by The Final Girls, fast becoming my favourite collective, opening my eyes up to horror in cinema. A genre I've never been fond of but a few events under their guidance and another planned (partnering with Park Circus) they are showing another side to horror I can appreciate. And yes, feminism is involved.

Side note; The Final Girls are actually celebrating their birthday next week on 13th May to discuss why they love horror, more info HERE. Happy Birthday girls!

With the annoucement that The Final Girls were taking auteur Anna Biller's The Love Witch on tour around the UK, it was obvious this collective was going place and not just literally. After showing keen interest in seeing the film online and promptly buying tickets, to my delight, I saw that Empire magazine had given the tour and film a full page ad. Skip ahead to the screening, The Prince Charles, a favourite cinema haunt of mine, the film was sold out (always a good sign) and not only did the attendees get the fantastic zine (doubled as a poster) but there were some weird and wonderful art/promo cards too. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE art and promo cards.

Elaine (played to perfection by Samantha Robinson), wants to start a fresh in a new town and leave her dead husband behind. She happens to be a beautiful young witch and is desparate to find real love. In fact she craves love. She settles into her new home, an amazingly decorated apartments and makes makes remedies and potions to sell as well as use on unsuspecting men who grab her attention. She ends up with a string of hapless love sick victims behind her. Her desperation to be loved drives her to the brink of insanity and murder. When all she really wanted was her fantasy to come true.

The film has been called many things including kitsch, feminist, fantasy and in a way the film, to me, embodies all this and more. Less horror and more fantasy and all presented on amazing film, making it feel like you've stepped back in time to the 60s/70s. It was like being in a dream where everything is covered in a smokey haze and witches are more like hippies and despite the cruelties and crimes that occur, you aren't disturbed. When the film ended, I did find my self snapping back to reality and had barely constructed my feelings about the film when Anna Biller herself appeared on the big screen for a Q&A skype chat. When she talked about the story and the character of Elaine, it was as if we, the audience, had watched a whole other movie. Anna Biller is inspiring as she researched the film for several years and took a few more to make her vision come to life. She wrote, directed, made the costumes and props and was responsible for much of the production design too. An amazing talented filmmaker.

A few weeks later, The Final Girls, partnering up with Park Circus, presented a very different film saying that you won't want to be near anyone by the time the film ends. Calling it wonderfully creepy was an understatment.

Francisca is brought up in a remote farm house by her elderly parents. Her mother is a skilled surgeon and teaches Francisca how to remove eyes from dead animals. One terrible day a stranger murders her mother in front of her. Her father takes revenge by beating the man to almost death and chains him up in the barn. Francisa uses the skills her mother taught her to silence the murderer who she now refers to as her best friend. Francisca remains isolated over the years, her father barely speaking, eventually dying, presumably from old age. Francisca tries to find ways to become less lonely but doesn't know who to function in normal society. Still missing her mother terribly, Francisca talks to her asking her for guidance. 

This black and white horror story is the directoral debut feature from Nicolas Pesce who let The Final Girls screen his own 35mm copy of the film he made himself as the film as I understand was not shot on film.  The story does pose the question whether it is nature or nurture that makes a person who they are. In this case I believe it was always in Francisca's nature to become who she was. The horrific incident when she was younger probably made an impact but I think from the start you can see she isn't quite right. The film is disturbing to say the least. The long lasting shots linger in the mind and quite hard to shake off even after the film has long since ended. The unfortunate feeling from the film is that there is no connection between Francisca and the audience, who are left as helpless as some of her victims, just made to watch what happens. The ending brings the film full circle and there is hope that Francisca is punished for her actions but it isn't enough that it happens off screen. Francisca is a serial killer but she unlike other immortalised on screen. She seems like a victim and even takes twisted revenge on her mother's killer but later on her actions contradict this revenge. She is helpless yet deadly in her exiled exsistant. It is a beautifully shot film but the story and characters make it a one time only watch. In Francisca's case it is definitely her nature that tears through the screen.

Thursday Movie Picks: Clones/Doppelgänger

I know this post is mega late but I loved this theme so didn't want to miss out, so think of this as Thursday's Sunday Night Movie Picks.

Don't forget to check out where it all started over at Wandering Through the Shelves.

The Double
I love this film and I think I've used it before. Set in a weird grey urban dystopian place where everything is a little odd, think 'Brazil'. Jesse Eisenberg plays Simon James, a downtrodden man who doesn't quite make an impression and pines over the photocopy girl at work, Hannah. Then one day James Simon, his exact double shows up and is the complete opposite to him. He gets what he wants and uses Simon to do it. Its twisted and delightfully bleak but has all the details in each frame, its marvellous.

The One I Love
This is kind of a I've not seen the whole film BUT I've seen enough to include it in the theme. Not sure if its a spoiler or not so to be on the safe side I'll just say this is an odd one. A married couple (Mark Duplass & Elisabeth Moss) who are having trouble and are offered the chance to talk things over one weekend at their therapist's cabin. It gets weird from there.

It's All About Love 
I think this is a spoiler reveal as well. A hybrid of romance, drama and science fiction thrown in (clones). I just love this for Joaquin Phoenix who plays John, living in a world where it snows in Summer and people are literally dying of loneliness and broken hearts. Its actually quite distressing. John is getting a divorce from Elena, a famous ice skater who has been cloned by her family to make money off her when she retires. But when Elena's life is threatened, John tries to save the woman he still loves. Long film but great ideas thrown into the mix.