FILM OF THE WEEK
Daniel Deadwyler delivers one of the best performances of the year as Mamie Till-Modley in this powerful true story under Chinonye Chukwu’s impeccable direction. Following her remarkable CLEMENCY, Chukwu cements her reputation as one of the most exciting new directors working in cinema today.
TILL arrives in cinemas via the recent London Film Festival and is based on the 2005 documentary THE UNTOLD STORY OF EMMETTT LOUIS TILL. Emmett (Jalyn Hall) is a happy 14-year-old and is thrilled to be able to travel with his mother’s blessing to Mississippi in order to spend some time with his relatives. But his brief stay with his family turns into a living nightmare when he is kidnapped by a punch of white supremacists for apparently harassing Carolyn Bryant (Haley Bennett), a white woman working at a grocery store…
It is a shocking story about racism and a mother’s determination to bring those responsible for her son’s murder to justice. Deadwyler is a striking, dignified presence and gives it all she’s got as the grieving mother forced by circumstances to dedicate her whole existence to the civil rights movement. The trial becomes a fiasco where nobody even key witness Bryant talk about everything but the truth.
An essential, powerful film worth seeing just for Deadwyler’s monumental performance alone!
A MAN CALLED OTTO
Tom Hanks plats Otto in this Hollywood remake of the Swedish dark comedy A MAN CALLED OVE made in 2015. The action moves from Sweden to North America, where Otto is now the bad-tempered recluse, the real misery guts of this story whose heart begins to melt when a bubbly, loving Mexican family moves next door…
I loved the original and was genuinely moved by its story. Marc Foster directs efficiently this version which boasts many flashback sequences that paint a clear picture of Otto’s background especially when he first falls in love with his wife. Hanks’ son Truman plays the young Otto with charming innocence before the character turns into a deeply annoying human being. Tom Hanks abandons his goody good image and is suitably grumpy. Worth seeing but not as moving as the original!
This is not to be confused with the 1976 action thriller starring Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry. Antonio Banderas is Cuda, a Miami mob enforcer, who turns against his boss Estelle (Kate Bosworth) when he takes under his wing a young teenage runaway. Estelle is involved in sex trafficking and the young teenager is the latest victim…
The story is intriguing, but it lacks tension – thankfully the magnetic presence of Banderas lifts this otherwise routine thriller above mediocrity. Bulgaria and Thessaloniki stand in for Miami and inevitably a few local actors from these countries complete the supporting cast.
Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 black and white classic is now screening at BFI Southbank as part of a complete retrospective of his work. This ground-breaking film is loosely based on two short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa and its action is set in 12th century Kyoto. Three men bare witness to a brutal murder of a samurai in the forest. Every man offers a different point of view about the samurai’s killing and the rape of his wife by a bandit…
The acting is outstanding especially from Toshiro Mifune as the bandit – one of Kurosawa’s regular actors. This magnificent film was remade by Hollywood as THE OUTRAGE and since then the word RASHOMON is often used when a story is told from different points of view. A timeless classic worth seeing on the big screen.
This charming Italian comedy tells the story of Antonio (Giancarlo Commare), a happily married man whose life turns upside down when his husband announces that he is leaving him for another man. Antonio is determined to make a fresh start but first he needs to find a place to live, and soon enough he moves into a room in flamboyant Denis (Eduardo Valdarnini) apartment. And things get even better when Antonio gets a job at sexy Luca’s (Gianmarco Saurino) bakery…
It is a nice mixture of sensual tastes worth trying!
The Dino De Laurentis’ 1976 remake of the 1930’s black and white classic has been beautifully restored in 4K for the very first time. The film boasts magnificent, ground-breaking special effects and tells the story of Fred Wilson (Charles Grodin), a ruthless employee of a large American oil company in quest for more oil wells. Just before the ship sails on palaeontologist Jack Prescott (Jeff Bridges) sneaks in and during the journey a shipwrecked woman called Dawn (Jessica Lange) is taken on board. Bu when they reach their destination, they soon find out that the isolated island is inhabited by a giant ape…
A thrilling adventure with spectacular set pieces worth discovering all over again not just for Jessica Lange’s remarkable cinema debut. (Blu-ray and DVD from STUDIOCANAL)
PIGGY: This superior horror from Spain’s Carlota Pereda was one of the highlights from last summer’s Ftightfest. Pereda tells the engaging story of Sara (Claudia Salas), an overweight teenager despised and bullied by her classmates. She is nearly drowned at the lake by these insensitive girls but soon after her tormentors are kidnapped by a mysterious stranger…Pereda originally made this as a short and now she wisely expands this hugely enjoyable story into a full-blooded feature.
WHAT DO WE SEE WHEN WE LOOK AT THE SKY? This award-winning film from Georgian director Alexandre Koberidze follows the story of Lisa and Giorgi, two strangers who meet by chance in the streets of Kutsasi. They think it is love at first sight and agree to meet the following day…A lyrical piece of filmmaking which take its time to unfold and shares the river’s serenity that runs through the city.
LAST FLIGHT HOME: This is one of the most depressing but also one of the most compelling films I have ever seen. This is a deeply personal project for director Ondi Timoner who records her bedridden father Eli Timone and her family by his side. Eli had been incapable of looking after himself following his stroke over 40 years ago. He is man of great dignity who has achieved a great deal throughout his life and is now adored by his family and friends. And now, despite his ailing body, Eli’s mind is still as sharp as when he was much younger…Ondi’s deeply moving film is a loving letter to her father and her family – a difficult but a cathartic experience.
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