Friday, 8 July 2011

Illuminating the Almighty (Out this week - 08/07/11)

This week I'm all about joining the conversation. Everytime Terence Malick makes a movie it's front page news, the masterful arthouse agitator is able to present concepts that few understand let alone consider when going to the local multiplex. It's an odd week for films otherwise with the gap between Transformers and Harry Potter being curiously empty of big box office releases meaning anything could happen at the top of the chart. I confess I'm wary about the film, but I will go and film of the week must therefore be: The Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life

It's the most talked about movie of 2011, and a cinematic marvel that has enraged and astounded critics in equal measure. Eschewing conventional narrative Malick charts the history of the universe and our relationship to God through the experiences of one family in small town America. Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain are the twin forces of Nature and Grace (or Father and Mother) that battle for the control of their son Hunter McCracken, later Sean Penn.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●●●●○○○

Holy Rollers

Pleasing looking comedy with Jesse Eisenberg as an Hasidic jew, bored with his early twenties closeted life, finding himself embroiled in a smuggling ring carrying pot over international borders.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●●○○○○○


The film that Kick-Ass could've been. With Rainn Wilson's fragile mental state tipping over the edge after his girlfriend leaves him and electing the way of the masked vigilante dishing out extreme violence. Ellen Page co-stars as his sidekick "Boltie".

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●●○○○○○

Film Socialisme

If you thought Terence Malick had the arthouse market cornered this week stand by for Jean-Luc Godard's symphony in three movements, where he explores his various passions with little linking structure to the snippets of conversations and moods he films. Godard (80) has threatened this will be his last movie so it could well be worth catching for that reason alone.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●○○○○○○

Princess de Montpensier

The film I really want to see next week looks like it may be the hardest to find, with a distinctly limited independent release pattern. Based on the true story of an affair that nearly ripped apart the French court, the film won dedicated admirers at Toronto last year.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●○○○○○○

Sawako Decides

Japanese comic drama about female empowerment, certainly the most leftfield film to come from Japan this year it opens with a intimate scene of colonic irrigation.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●○○○○○○


Former "Friend" David Schwimmer continues to confound all expectations with his directorial career, shifting from Simon Pegg comedy Run Fatboy Run to this paedophilia drama, exhibiting the worst case scenario from teenagers dating on the net. Clive Owen and Catherine Keener (as the parents) headline the cast that also includes Liana Liberato as the vulnerable daughter and Viola Davis.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●●○○○○○○

Devil's Rock

New Zealander horror movie, set on the channel islands during the second world war with two Kiwi commandos uncovering a secret Nazi occult plot. Sounds like a well-worn cliche of a plot, but there must be an audience for this sort of thing.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○

Murder 2

Bollywood sequel to the 2004 film "Murder", which at least makes sense of the title.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○p


Tamil action thriller that translates to Leopard and involves Dhanush rising up against his aggressors like the invoked big cat.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○p


Film about stand-up, starring a whole host of stars of the British comedy circuit, that somehow fails to be either funny or insightful about the cutthroat business. Probably best avoided.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●○○○○○○○○

There's something odd going on in the world of Bollywood releases, with a large number of smaller films getting a limited release at a couple of cinema over the next week or so. I've seperated them from the wide releases and included only the most basic plot descriptions (sorry about that), hopefully if you're interested you'll still want to find out more.

Rang Rasiya

Biopic of 19th century Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma. In Hindi, originally released in 2008.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○

Veettilekkulla Vazhi

Malayalam movie about a doctor reuniting the 5 year old child of a terrorist who dies in his care with their father.

Runs like a Gay Excitometer: ●●●○○○○○○○


TomS said...

My fervent wish for the enlightened society of the future is that movies like "Tree of Life" and "Film Socialisme" are no longer considered "art-house" fare, but appeal to the mainstream. Yes, I am naive, and a dreamer.

I will look forweard to your thoughts about Malick's film. I am especially interested in discussing with you its references to god...or lack thereof....

Runs Like A Gay said...

From what I hear about Film Socialisme it thoroughly deserves to play to tiny audiences, whereas ToL is at least expansive and beautiful to behold (although I'll know for sure in a few more hours).