The Zero Theorem (2013) depicts an admirable quest for higher meaning in the digital age, playing like a sadder B-side to 1985's Brazil. Detractors of the former Python's peculiar brand of fantastical whimsy will not find anything to convert them to the cause, but fans will find the picture to be a welcome compendium of his work to date. Gilliam, essentially a genre unto himself, mines his favourite thematic concerns, albeit with a modern slant. While it's unfair to call such an imaginative work predictable, there is a niggling sense that Gilliam is firmly operating within his comfort zone.
- We review Lav Diaz's four-hour Filipino epic Norte, the End of History, our five-star film of the week
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes a far darker, grey matter-stimulating post-apocalyptic follow-up to Rise
- Richard Linklater may have made his masterpiece with the remarkable, 12-years-in-the-making Boyhood
- Read our glowing five-star review of Jeffrey Schwarz's fabulous new Divine documentary I Am Divine
- Ron Burgundy and his news team reassemble for Adam McKay's comedy sequel Anchorman 2
★★★☆☆A trance-like meditation on humanity's relationship with technology, Godfrey Reggio's non-narrative documentary Visitors (2013) is an anthropological examination of postmodernity and capitalism's affects on human evolution. A poetic montage of intensely moving imagery, the profundity of Reggio's latest allows the audience to study themselves through the eyes of another, and in doing so attempt to understand the essence of our nature. Visitors is Reggio's first film in over a decade after his Qatsi Trilogy, concluding in 2002 with Naqoyqatsi. The trio wowed audiences, with their hypnotic sequences of time-lapse photography and slow motion coalescing beautifully with Phillip Glass' intense scores.
★★☆☆☆Todd Phillips' The Hangover (2009) has a lot to answer for. Not only did it spawn two unfortunate sequels, it has embedded a newfound fascination with lads-only tales where bromance and morals are tested to their very limits. This - along with those films' basic narrative concept - is mimicked in Irish director John Butler's debut feature The Stag (2013), a largely unfunny lads-on-tour comedy that sets about trying to match broad slapstick and enforced camaraderie with brash sentimentality, blending them together into an ultimately flaccid excursion into pre-nuptial chaos. Hugh O'Connor plays Fionnan, a husband-to-be deeply involved with his the wedding plans.
Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World star Chris Pratt) hometown. He spends his time assembling things out of tiny bricks, obediently following the manual. That, however, is exactly what Christopher Miller and Phil Lord's The Lego Movie (2014) doesn't do. Funded by Lego, it's a showcase for a construction toy that deconstructs everything in sight. Emmett's neatly interlocking world is demolished almost immediately when he discovers that he is "The Special", destined by prophecy to stop antagonist Lord Business (Will Ferrell).
★★★★★Comprised of all six of the director's small but remarkable directorial output, The Essential Jacques Tati Collection is a lovingly crafted celebration of one of France's most beloved filmmakers, offering a timely reminder of just how influential he both was and continues to be. Perhaps more renowned for his cinematic, socially inept alter ego Monsieur Hulot - who he played to wide and memorable acclaim in four of his features, Tati was a particularly skilled filmmaker when it came to his deft mixing of perfectly choreographed physical comedy and themes regarding a Western fixation with consumerism and materialism, social class struggles and the (then) unsteady environment of modern society.
Braquo will be released as a DVD and Blu-ray box set on Monday 21 July. Since the first two seasons were shown here in 2012, fans have been left guessing as to what creator Olivier Marchal, himself a former Parisian policeman, has in-store for Eddy Caplan and his team. To celebrate the home ent release of this crime series, we have THREE DVD copies of Braquo: The Complete Third Season to give away. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.
facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.
The Kid Stays in the Picture, Robert Evans proclaimed there are three sides to every story: "My side, your side and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each differently." In Mike Myers' directorial debut (which he co-directs with Beth Aala), Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (2013), the titular Hollywood man about town gets his day in the limelight. Standing over six feet in his stocking feet and looking and sounding not dissimilar to Larry David, Shep Gordon is an entertainment legend. A colossus within the fields of talent management, film producing and cooking he has excelled in a field where being the nice guy normally means finishing last.
★★★★★"Story of my life, I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop,"is just one of the many sublime, double-edged lines that Marilyn Monroe delivers in Billy Wilder's gender-bending comedy Some Like It Hot (1959), which this year celebrates its 55th anniversary. The note of that line is pitch perfect, the sensual, iconic actress allowing it to drop off her lips with comic finesse, whilst simultaneously echoing the tragedy of her own life. Monroe, who died just three years after Some Like It Hot, shares the limelight with two of the finest comedic actors of their generation, Tony Curtis (who, according to Hollywood legend, was sleeping with the actress during the production) and Jack Lemmon (who would star in The Apartment).
One of the key modern exponents of slow cinema - although his films do range in length from eight minutes up to eight hours - Filipino director Lav Diaz made his Cannes bow last year with Norte, the End of History (2013), a four-hour epic that rightly garnered comparisons with such Russian literary giants as Dostoevsky. Using an impulsive double homicide as its focal point, Diaz's first colour outing draws together a group of disparate individuals on either side of the wealth divide, building an exquisite portrait of life in a country still bearing the deep psychological and physical scars of years of dictatorship rule. Languid yet always lucid, Norte is easily one of the highlights of this year's world cinema slate.
Jealousy's (2013) modesty belies its emotional and structural complexity. The new film from French auteur Philippe Garrel, it's a short but substantial rumination on love and the life of the artist. It's a deeply serious work that looks like a frolic, exposing the perennial compromises of la vie de bohème. A modern story with strong biographical lineage, it's a film that harks back to both the director's own life as well as the artistic aftermath of May 1968. Jealousy is the propeller and the repressor; a destabilising force with kinetic drive, inexorably pushing lives away from resolve. Garrel's initial fly-on-the-wall act is a smokescreen; he's the master puppeteer, guiding the events with a remarkable sense of purpose.
Pink Flamingos (1978). After consuming a heap of freshly produced dog faeces on camera, she turned the collective stomach of a worldwide audience and became the talking point she always strived to be. However, years down the line all anyone wanted to talk about was dog mess and misconceived transvestism. Neither of the two had any relevance in the furthered career of Harris Glenn Milstead, the man behind the eye make-up - a character-actor who strived to be taken seriously in his profession, but just as Hollywood studios began to open their hearts to him, his stopped beating.
Grand Central (2013) arrives in UK cinemas this week after bagging the Prix François Chalais at Cannes last year. Zlotowski again anchors her film with the naturalism of Léa Seydoux after working together on her debut film, 2010's Belle Épine. With the backdrop of a nuclear power plant in Austria, Grand Central focuses on the plant's workers and their itinerant existence in a campsite close by. Into this closed community comes Gary (Tahar Rahim), a young man looking for a fresh start and a surrogate family. Taken under the wing of Gilles (Olivier Gourmet) and Toni (Denis Ménochet), Gary appreciates the dignity of hard labour and the comradeship of his fellow colleagues.
Finding Vivian Maier (2013), a documentary that simultaneously explores, commemorates and celebrates the late titular figure whose photography earned her a posthumous reputation as one of the most accomplished living street photographers. Maier's extensive body of work came to light when, in 2007, Maloof happened upon numerous boxes containing thousands of negatives in an auction house.
Memories of Tim Burton's woeful 2001 Planet of the Apes remake were thankfully replaced with far fonder recollections in 2011 following the release of Rupert Wyatt's Rise of the Planet of the Apes. An earnest entry in the flagging sci-fi franchise and a surprise hit at the international box office, a sequel was quickly green-lit with Wyatt once again penned in to direct. After dropping out of the project due to a conflict in vision with 20th Century Fox, Wyatt was replaced by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) who, with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), not only carries on the torch of series rejuvenation but has also crafted an eminently darker, grey matter-stimulating post-apocalyptic follow-up sure to please fans.
Yves Saint Laurent (2014), the first of two big-screen biopics of the French fashion designer to be released this year (look out for Saint Laurent also), is typical of the world of high fashion - sumptuous on the surface, but hiding a bitter core. The film follows the story of Saint Laurent (Pierre Niney), from his formative years at the venerable House of Dior to the heyday of his own fashion brand YSL, and the heady days of its success during the 1970s. Yves Saint Laurent differs from the plethora of fashion based films which have saturated the market in recent years. With a few exceptions the majority of productions focusing on this cosseted world are factual as opposed to fictional.
★★★★★The term 'alien' is originally descended from the Latin expression 'alienus', roughly translating into modern English as something 'belonging to another'. This points us firmly towards the direction of tonal enlightenment offered in Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin (2013). There's a Trojan horse-like nature to its formal audacity; are we watching an alien traipsing the streets of Glasgow and attempting to tempt and trick its male denizens into her perambulator lair of the mythical white van, or is Glazer instead trying to peer among the base questions of existence? To the naked eye, Under the Skin follows Scarlett Johansson's unnamed alien as she traps men before they're absorbed into black nothingness.
★★★☆☆A nostalgic throwback to the Satyajit Ray heyday of Indian arthouse - though admittedly lacking much of Ray's sociopolitical spice - Ritesh Batra's The Lunchbox (2013) blends teasing comic romance with a not-unrealistic portrait of modern Mumbai. Irrfan Khan warms the cockles as the retiring (in every sense of the word) office worker picking through the delight-laden lunchboxes that begin to arrive at his desk each day from a mystery cook. Its more vehement critics will predictably decry its middle-class leanings, but as the success of filmmakers like Joanna Hogg and Jon Sanders here in the UK has proven, there is an appetite for stories about pencil-pushers as well as poverty-stricken slumdogs.
In Bloom (2013) uses adolescence as the conduit in which to explore the confused identity of a country in transition. Perceptive and deftly handled, In Bloom transcends the usual coming of age clichés to depict a captivating portrait of urban dissonance and burgeoning fractions of nationalism against the heartening tale of two teenage girls growing up in post-Soviet Union Georgia. Fourteen-year-old Eka (Lika Babluani) lives with her mother and sister in a large, well-appointed flat in Tbilisi. Her father is in prison for murder, but Eka still clings to the old Soviet cigarettes and passport he's left behind.
Harold and Maude remains as strange a proposition in 2014 as it must have in 1971. Ashby's idiosyncrasies never quite fitted in with the zeal of his movie brat contemporaries, yet he was just as interested in the generational schism precipitated by the sixties counterculture; he simply weaved them through his uniquely offbeat comic vision. Watching Harold and Maude in the same year as Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), it's interesting to note just how influential its deadpan stylings became.
★★★★★The B-movie form begins and ends with Walter Hill's The Driver (1978). It's the blueprint genre picture; a year zero for the modern cult canon. When the French Nouvelle Vague repurposed the American genres of the thirties and forties for the intellectual classes of the Parisian sixties, they gave the forms a new lease of life by burdening them with existential malaise and a heavy sense of ennui. While these elements carried over to New Hollywood, Hill brought the grit back to the B-movie. The Driver is a film of types and trends; a cinematic expression of our basest narrative impulses. Directed with remarkable economy, the seasoned Hill keeps everything as tight as possible.
Mistaken for Strangers (2013) this Monday (14 July), we have THREE copies to give away courtesy of UK distributors Dogwoof. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.
★☆☆☆☆Could Michael Bay be considered an auteur? He certainly has his own line of distinctive tropes: the migraine-inducing noise, the fetishistic gloss, the playground-bully characters elevated to hero status and a fervently male gaze. That's to be applauded for some - he has brought $3 billion into cinemas with the Transformers series, after all - but let's consider the opening scene of the franchise's latest entry, Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014). We're in a derelict movie theatre, forced to close after its proprietor blames sequels and reboots are killing cinema. Don't be tricked, however, into thinking this is one big meta-theatrical joke (he's no Samuel Beckett), as we're soon back in rock 'em sock 'em territory.
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