I myself watched City of Life and Death a Chinese film about The Nanking Massacre of 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was an extraordinarily moving and harrowing piece of work. Showing the worst aspects of human nature especially during a war fought on ethnic grounds, but still able to show a degree of human spirit to try and survive whatever the circumstances. Fantastic b & w Cinematography and some superb acting.
Highly recommended, but be warned it is not for the faint hearted.
Last edited by bruiser15; 02-04-12 at 09:18 PM.
Silent Witness .... I haven't watched this series for years but was intrigued by the trailer I saw last week, so I gave it a whirl and was glad I did. The storyline was different from the norm for such things and it was entertaining (if somewhat grim) viewing. The regular cast were all OK (although the character of 'Leo' is still a prick of the highest order) but the standout performance was by the under-rated Vincent Regan as a cop obsessed with catching a female serial killer. Recommended.
For me it was Terence Young's The Tall Headlines with more Forum Favourites than you can shake a stick at starring in a tale of a family torn apart when their eldest son is hung for murder. , which I imagine wqould be pretty depressing to deal with .
A strange almost arthouse 1950's British film however the cast cannot be faulted. Messrs Morrell, Robson, Johns, Zetterling and oh yes Michael Denison and briefly Naunton Wayne. Jane HYlton is excellent too. Just a shame the print ( and this was a legit one ! ) was so poor
Certainly worth catching.
A James Robertson Justice double bill for me yesterday.
First up, "The Fast Lady" (1962). I may be wrong, but I think this is something of a classic, isn't it? Is it well remembered? Personally, I couldn't get into the swing of it: it had all the ingredients but didn't really gel for me. One reason, I think, is that learner driver Stanley Baxter is warned early on that once behind the wheel, many men turn from mild-mannered good citizens to crazed megalomaniacs and road hogs; the joke is that this happens to him, but the problem is, it never stops happening to him at any point - he never comes down from the comedy road hog role, and as such seems a bit selfish. Julie Christie looks spectacular, but I'm beginning to wonder how good she actually is as an actress: did directors just not bother, perhaps? More classic British comedy actors than you can shake a stick at (if that's your idea of a good time) - Derek Guyler, Allan Cuthbertson, Dick Emery - and a barrage of 5-second cameos (Raymond Baxter, Graham Hill, Frankie Howerd, Clive Dunn, Bernard Cribbins ...) which must have bumped up the budget somewhat to no great effect, but the star turns are Leslie Philips and James Robertson Justice, who are both cast against type, since Philips plays a suave cad with an eye for the ladies and Robertson Justice plays a curmudgeonly figure who in the end turns out to be a grizzly bear with a heart of gold.
Despite my criticisms, it's good fun, though badly paced (imho), and the colour the Network remastered edition is spectacular; really rich and beautiful. The disc also includes the trailer, which gives a great taste of the film, and which is also on youtube:
I expected nothing at all of the second film, "Miss Robin Hood" (1952), I just felt like some Margaret Rutherford, as one does. But what a surprise! Really well-paced, full of adventurous camerawork (slow, speeded up, film-noir angles ...) and a weird and wonderful story masquerading as a typical 50s British kids comedy. Without giving anything away, the first part of the film looks either like Kafka filmed as light comedy or light comedy filmed as a Kafkaesque nightmare; faced with what seems to be real madness, the protagonist is trapped in a situation to which he cannot apply any of his safe logic, and finds that the only way to deal with it is to go mad too. Amazingly, the whole thing walks a tightrope of sanity and really works well, as the viewer gets sucked in to the film's logic and goes along with it. The script was by Patrick Campbell, but I don't know how much was taken from the original story; whatever the case, it presents that "the everyday descends into anarchy" of so many British films - particularly about schoolkids - but deals with it much more satisfactorily.
Childlike yet very adult - a real surprise, and highly recommended. Any other fans?
Last edited by Rowdon; 03-04-12 at 03:40 PM.
TREASURE ISLAND (1989). A lavishly-mounted production for TNT of the RLS classic and it is BG! From the start, the film is gripping and full of confident performances from the likes of Mr. and Mrs. Julian Glover, Richard Johnson and Clive Wood. Outstanding in the early sequences are Oliver Reed as a Scottish Billy Bones and Christopher Lee as a fearsome Blind Pew. I thought the weakest link would be Charlton Heston, but he acquits himself very well as a particularly bloodthirsty Long John Silver. Christian Bale is rather impassive as Jim Lad, and the script gets a bit disjointed in some of the later island scenes, but overall it's a thoroughly enjoyable version from Chuck Lad, i.e. Fraser C. Heston.
I watched again Moonfleet the Fritz Lang film and not our fellow member across the channel !
Stewart Grainger as the hero cum smuggler in 18th century Dorset in this rousing technicolour adventure also on hand are an underused George Sanders and the lovely Joan Greenwood
O k it's hokum but it's also great fun.
Watched Cause Celebre, the Terence Rattigan play with Helen Mirren, David Morrissey, Harry Andrews. Not bad. Catweazle played the courtroom judge which was mildly distracting.
Well, watched and listened to since 23rd November 2011, every episode of DOCTOR WHO in order starring William Hartnell, covering the period from 1963 to 1966. It's interesting to see how the original concept of the Doctor as a selfish, suspicious alien fairly quickly develops into a milder, more humorous, bumbling characterisation with flashes of tantrum that marks the first Doctor's era: he was not the grumpy, bad-tempered old man he seems to be remembered as (though maybe William Hartnell himself was!). But it's only in his penultimate story, "The Smugglers", that the Hartnell Doctor, in early stories so anxious to get away and, it's suggested, might even kill to achieve that, refuses to return to the TARDIS as his companions urge because he feels he is morally obliged to stay and help the villagers and the squire.
Hartnell's performances are inconsistent and it seems he did have good and bad acting days. It's fascinating to see how many episodes he actually didn't appear in, or had few or no lines at all. Lines were often things he had a fairly weak grip on ("Billyfluffs", as fans have come to call them: one of my favourites is "If you had your shoes on, my boy, you could have lent her hers") and during the middle period of his era, his "ums" at the end of almost every sentence do start to become a bit annoying.
Still, by the time Hartnell's Doctor enters the TARDIS for the last time, the lights dipping and strobing, the controls working by themselves, and he falls to the floor and fades away, it's hard not to feel saddened that he has literally run out of time.
A Hartnell Highlight for me: his marvellous comedy performance in the dentist scenes during "A Holiday for the Doctor".
Next Episode "The Power of the Daleks".
Thanks to the BFI (who released the DVD) I finally got to see the restored widescreen version of Michel Legrand and Jacques Demy 's Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (France 1967). This elegant witty and fun musical stars Catherine Deneuve, her sister (in real life as well as the film) Françoise Dorléac, Danielle Darrieux as their mother, Michel Piccoli, plus American dancer/actors Gene Kelly, George Chakiris, and Grover Dale. All the dancers are English. Sadly, Françoise Dorléac only made one more film before her untimely death aged only 25. The restoration was supervised in 1996 by Demy's widow Agnès Varda, herself a noted French film director. The BFI 2-disc set also contains Agnès Varda's lovely documentary Les Demoiselles ont eu 25 ans, made in 1991 as the town of Rochefort had a celebratory festival and film screening to mark the 25th aniversary, inviting many of the film cast & crew (including Deneuve and Varda, who both attended). Sadly, Demy had died only a few months before. The town dedicated an avenue and a square to Demy and Dorléac . Very touching. Here's the BFI trailer.
agutterfan, I had that DVD as a present a couple of Christmases ago and thought it was wonderful. I liked it a lot better than The Umbrellas of Cherbourg although I know that is thought to be the better film of the two. I always liked Dorleac and was sad to hear of her early demise. What a talented pair of siblings.