Rams : A Film Review

  
Rams (Cert 15) Cast. Charlotte Bøving as Katrin, Jon Benonysson as Runólfur, Gunnar Jónsson as Grímur, Þorleifur Einarsson as Sindri, Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson as Bjarni. Cert. 15. Iceland/Danish Production, Duration 1hr 32mins.          Budget $1.75m. Director and Writer,  Grimur Hakonarson.

Gummi (Sigurjónsson) and Kiddi (Júlíusson)

Ice planet

The terrain of Iceland is sculpted by ice unsurprisingly.  So Northern it also is a bleak landscape.  Here in Ram we see the sculpted mountains sacrificed and uninhabitable except by hardy sheep.  The unsurprisingly are central to the story having here been bred to cope with these hostile conditions.  The film will show you the winter as well as the near constant daylight of the more hospitable periods when the locals can meet and share their stories, take part in completions and socialise as only rural communities long settled can invest in themselves and their children.  

For their rural life there is an accepted harshness which collects their natural ancient traditions and provides a continuity not found in cities which they eschew.  They also abstain from authority and assist other in times of trouble.  They are separated by a large span bridge in their remote world.  Across a wide river they can create their own managed existence.

Meet the family

To the story of this settlement the writer takes as a familial motif two bachelor brothers separated by one wire fence and seperated by their hostility or rather festered soreness of an old disconnection from forty years ago when a decision affecting them both was taken. Theirs is a world of rearing rare sheep whose dna presents them with a living and is essential to the survival of the conmmunity.

 Gummi —————————|                         Kiddi ——–|

 
So embrassing for the sheep or the vet?  

Two brothers who share part of the valley and have both prize Rams and Sheep of ancient and cherished value are challenged when one of their stock, Kiddi’s is struck by a lethal disease.  They have to confront this by shedding past conflicts but struggle to amid a despairing close knit community and for their wider survival of income for the inhabitants of this otherwise enriched environment.  It is is fixed in its ways and traditions serving them assuredly until now.  Many consider abandoning the area to its fate, this is a problem which local vet, Katrin, spells out in no uncertain terms.  Survival means not quarantine but more drastic measures.  So the story is set.

I have considered the food and the adulteration of the means of supply as well as our, in the West, tendency to consume too much meat, a habit from feudal times and how evident it is the Chinese; pre-revolution, cultivation of all manner of foods were mainly plant based with little in the way of seafood.  Nevertheless their consumption, still of Kori and nutrient enriched seaweeds is a massive part of even internal parts of China.  The scale of harvesting was and hopefully continues to be managed at sustainable levels, though population levels are again surging forward.  Iceland must also have diversity in its diet and our two brothers have in a sub-component of the film as bachelor basic cooking ideas.  This has a minor adjustment by the more adjustable brother when things change.  He accepts, only in part that things change and makes a new stab at the reality presented. Spot the changes!

Fate enters

Tension is formidable in parts of this saddest of tales.  It is not over played but paced to take in the beauty of the locality and emphasis how different the people’s lives are from the cosmopolitan, city lives familiar, most probably for a lot of the offspring who have left this landscape for education and never returned.  It is a tale of an existence struggling to manage and its traditional animal husbandry is put aside by a remote bureau of food safety and agricultural methods altered not for the best locally but for more external dealings.
Both brothers first tackle the difficulties in different ways and the authorities intervene to cause even more problems.

They need to be prised together to secure the breed from extinction and to save their way of life.  It is as twisted as a Rams horn, this story.

  
Gummi the sensible sensitive one

In a remote Icelandic farming valley, two estranged brothers must come together in order to save what’s dearest to them – their sheep.
The surprise winner of Un Certain Regard at last year’s Cannes, this desolately beautiful film follows Gummi (Sigurður Sigurjónsson) and Kiddi (Theodór Júlíusson), brothers who live on neighbouring sheep farms but haven’t spoken to each other for forty years. Then disease threatens their beloved rams – and the brothers are forced to communicate once again. Full of wry, deliciously mordant humour, Rams is a real treat.

  
Sooo Bahhd

Conclusion ###3

This is a a very straightforward tale told wit attention and sincerity which is at times bleakly funny in a peculiar conscious sort of way.  Sympathy obviously lured the ward and it is a tremendous depiction of the nature of the place and the characters believable in their resolve.  About fourteen characters shape in and dozens of extras.  No animals were harmed etc. Nor did they act very well.  They have only one look even when having sex.  The curvature of their horns, male and female are a weapon not used except by one bored ram. We should have been forewarned about sheep sex and the (separate) expanses of male nudity. The bros are not afraid of fat from the frying pan cooking.  They are also similar but with different mindsets.  That is a core tension which is an entanglement which nearly destroys both.  It is a fairly ordinary telling of a realistic story and is not a bundle of laughs, more salutary tale.  It was worth seeing and will satisfy curiosity about, rural Iceland, the retention of folklore and the visual night and day spectacular wilderness of the place.
John Grahaaaam

9 February 2016

Belfast

On from 12 Feb — 18 February 2016
Queens Film Theatre Belfast

The Survivalist : A Film Review

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Writer and Director Stephen Fingleton, 2015, Ire/UK, Cert. 18. Duration 108 mins.  Cast. Martin McCann, Mia Goth, Olwen Fouéré and small plot parts by Andrew Simpson and others.

Entering a Bleak New World

This film was seen with a following q/a with Director Stephen Fingleton, so I begin with an early insight. I had noticed the beginning which is a flashback was a desaturated introduction and then some colour entered although barely making a difference – it was a subtle shift intentionally, confirmed, placed as an indicator distiquishing the following of the flashback as we are taken on a tension filled journey around the environs of a forest in which Martin McCann lives in a wooden shed with corrugated tin roof and among contemporary utensils with a make piece bed and shelving.  He is completely on edge.  He, despite the period he has been here, (more on that and the story later,)  he is still vigilant and carries a two bore musket which is highly serviceable and he also has what might be a shortened Bowie knife.  He is a figure like any frontiersman, hunting daily and without language could be in any forest of the clement kind.  Every day requires the same clarity as the day before.  It is a relentless anxiety.  He is what the French call on the qui vive, on the alert; watchful, and he is his own guardsman with a weather eye for trespassers. Twenty or so minutes pass as we become immersed and familiar with the scope, limited, claustrophobic and insular with little or no awareness of the eight mile horizon which is unseen. Tension is racked up continuosly and his isolation is set.

Polemic

There are few films like this around.  There are very few people in it.  The world the film exists in is a vision of what may transpire beyond a meltdown of our own planets occupation and making, of humans diminishing swiftly and on a downward slope as far as population is concerned.  At the beginning was the word and our planet became one on which mankind foraged and survived across land bridges moving out of areas cut off by the ice age into territories both unfamiliar and unpracticed means of acquiring the nutrition needed to live.  Ireland was a desolate place once and a fusion of two tectonic plates hence the bog land down its centre.  It gave up its forests once occupied for fuel, land, reclaimation and settlement.

The formula, premis is Fingleton coming down on the Collapse side (see obtain the 571 page Jared Diamond book of the same name at cpor.org › Diamond(2005)Collapse-How…) as it is unfolding and clear before 1985 or even earlier we crossed the threshold of planet debt. Stephen Fingleton has the Ulster cynicism gene imprinted meaning his vision is of a collapse scenario. Again I also believe he does not close off a route to recovery, for that is what it shall entail. The best potential for this would be total worldwide empowerment of women which he accepts is one part of the answer. (see also the Chris Martenson book The Crash Course from 2011 and updates for a wide analysis,)   

I attended a talk a day after seeing this which was a concise and very well spelt out analysis with it coming down on the less but ultimately more challenging thought of redress and reining back through advances in population control a lot of which depends on the equality across all nations of women thus could alter the course which would find its level below the present. 10,000 babies an hour added to today’s population. See http://www.garvincrawford.co.uk for a copy of the longer version. The talk will soon be on YouTube.

As illustrated in The Revenant it is very probable the Native American Indian came via. a land bridge along with, as my past review of it raised, their Appolossa horses.  A recent documentary underpins this colossally and with little naysaying, that the Appolossa horse originates, in the time scale of man utilising and forming nomadic connections with, in Kyrgstan and bordering China were they were also plentiful.  To survive there as here required a broad range of skills.

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Huge Narrow Scope

The film begins with a rolling line red and blue signifying population advancing almost vertically come the era of the industrial revolution.  Director Stephen Fingleton then takes his projection of the future as a story, not to say prophecy downward on that trajectory.  Enter the externals, a bit like Margaret Atwoods externals which I later raised with him and he affirmed saying it was a massive influence in writing the story.  There in The Handmaids Tale, read in several different contextual ways all valid, there is a ‘safe’ world where outsiders are used as numbers and for particular functions and within the confines of the ruled ‘safe’ world there are sexual tasks to achieve a continuing product of babies and assist the stability of the Survived.  In the final third others appear as do ghostly reminders of the past.  They serve anonymously to underpin the disease of destructive urges prevalent in hopeless states.  One hand to hand fight is another crossing point.

Meanwhile as is supposed in The Handmaids Tale, there are implied wars existing on the outside and all manner of danger is around.  It is this exterior our characters of a near future period exist within.  For eight years back we are shown in the opening sequence the demise of the brother to brother union and the sacrifice made to survive and then the present post collapse being now what liberals call the new normal is some eight years on in a shed, (it happens to have entirely been filmed in North Antrim and the entire sound track dubbed, itself a very definitive choice.  The soundscape is raw and as light has a surreal incandescence, sometimes beguiling and bewitching the mono soundtrack – there is only one speaker front and central, used in the film performance – a simmering engulfing detail landscape of sound is slowly raised out of the bed of the earth.  No music is used either.  Only a found harmonica and Miljia playing with sound as percussion to show her interior listening heart is conveyed.

Being on guard is for the good reason he is not and cannot be alone.  Someone will come and an encounter happens one day in daylight and he is inside when he hears noises and immediately drops the door bar and locks.  He looks through a tin reflective enough to be a mirror and hazy figures, two women appear to be standing in the middle of his vegetable plot.

Women of Persuasion 

Opening the door he sees two women, both on the limits of starvation.  They are mother and daughter, Kathryn and Milja played by Olwen Fouéré whose striking features of long white hair lean body and softly matured face articulate a knowingness and Mia Goth her screen daughter of an age barely into womanhood.  Her wildness, like the orphan in Les Miserablés and emerging sexuality, her lanky angular awkwardness is open and forming a response to what she sees in this world they now live in.  One where starvation is the norm, where violence happens.  It is where the trees plants flora and fauna are surviving without interruption and Martin McCann’s character, he has no  name in the movie – only names his brother, so we shall call him Orpheus, is asked to provide some of his crop in exchange for firstly trinkets then seeds.  Orpheus makes no demands rejecting what they offer then Kathryn cast up by implication her daughter who is aware of the forthcoming translation and steps forward while Orpheus decides to accept with perfunctoriness the offer.

Seeds are used as perfunctory and commodified trades including bodily fluids as the negotiation just taken place includes a breaking clause.

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A Wooden Bolthole

The three are filmed in the cabin and frank nudity and explicit, perfunctory exchange takes place which summons new reactions and implicit bonds of a joining contract where the three are bound in the survival game.  Orpheus is in charge and his musket a central theme of power.  For her own specific survival and for Milja it is less clear Kathryn what’s to be in charge and to obliterate Orpheus.  To do this will take nerve, conspiracy, swiftness, accuracy, daring and a lot of luck.

This is known as a post event movie and Stephen Fingleton eschews the preconceived barrenness of landscapes here to produce a fecundity of verdant and present forms of life which in his view, as far as mankind is concerned is best expressed, best symbolised by the Inuit tribes and in my own interpretation as a follow-on the Asian Mongolian and Native American nomads whose background was Asian and nomadic life being the link of all.  It transposes as the Ulster Museum struggles to point out a settlement of nomadic types here who became farmers as Orpheus has become.  Here they have and armed struggle group called the Indiegonous Race Etnic Allegiance whose an acronym escapes me.  They are like Peppers Ghost – unlike other dubious armed struggle groups – only appearing at their calling – on stage – deceptively harmful/threatening/pointless and of only fictional preciosity is a-ghastly, flagrantly, inhuman and mythological.

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Other natures

Our planet is challenged is the notion of the film.  Despite the over grave outlook presented by Stephen it is intelligent subterranean almost visceral realism charged with deep emotions of bonding within a family, caring and compassion and love expressed tenderly and unequivocally.  It sanctions goals but they are only to be accepted through agreement.  The narrative places several choices – and it is important to notice these polemic turning points when they subtlety arise.  They throw up questions of mere fate, desire, strength of character and ultimate sacrifice.  At the beginning of this paragraph I alluded to an overload of gravity. Very true. There is an absence of, and wrongly humour, and mere non-visual unspoken longing and bonding.  Only occasionally is there any clue to the bond internally of Orpheus The Survivalist, and Milja.

Milja uses her body to draw them closer as a more perfect bond. The nakedness at times when it’s not part of a earthly comeuppance is in both their state one of celebration of freedom as they bath and have time to breathe.  These times are few and the vocabulary of beauty and existentialist thinking and wondering are virtually minimal as dictates prevail. Nevertheless all thre characters use their bodies as an extra acting device unclothed they are of any time or place or origin giving only identify familiar through bone and flesh shapes.

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This is a tremendous film of quality with a hard path to redeem the ticket and entry to it.  To take in,cab sorb its rough and delicate transience, it’s life force is fragile and starkness of reality is summoned through Survival is uppermost your part of the deal.ccTo engage in its cinematic, provoking challenges.  There is one religious one, of serious contempt, there are bodies corrupted by violence and bloodily as well as the naturalistic settings and their stimuli.


Conclusion ####4

This is a formidable provocative apocalyptic film outside the genre of that overused adj. apocalyptic, it is beyond stereo forms of placement, heavily immersed in monolithic tableaux. Sound is a statement which initially is stronger than the visual as a mechanism of connection.  Then the visually deciphering of The Survivalist himself and how he lives comes in slowly.  In its pace also it moves deliberately slowing our senses down to engage with all its values.  They panoply of choices fighting among the trio is a woman man adventure, a power struggle of equal measure, of natural precedence, meaning nature is the master and cells and skin are interchangeable commodities.  It is, the film, at a cellular molecular level in a lot of aspects and the more you burrow the more you learn or will see.  It is a parable on life’s journey in that sense. It is begging to be seen widely and for the complexities to be drawn out of what appears on the surface only as a simple thriller and contemporary; dystopian and such appendages are not welcomed by either Atwood or Fingleton as the fiction is probably and horrendously contemporaneous as examples such as Isis and they are not alone, show.

One thing Stephen Fingleton mentioned and it features a core thrux of the film is commodity and entity in product which he is viscerally challenged as we all are by.  Except he attempts to make movies about them by I understand distancing himself from those stimuli when escaping (as a Surviavalist might, though without choice to survive this modern animal of entertainment come infortainment.

In for a penny in for a pound.  Except the pound is a barbed wire fence with you on one side and uncivilisation on the other.
I hope it receives the acclaim it deserves and is widely a success given its performances and messages that can be diversely drawn from it.  No reaction will have an equal and as ‘animals’ with a lot in common we continually surprise and alarm.

John Graham

3 February 2016

Belfast

The QFT show the film exclusively before general release around the 12 February 2016 when all sorts of wider audience will be devoured by it!

Their showing QFT is from  Friday 5 February 2016 to 18 February 2016 so it bridges the opening also.

On Friday 5 February Director Stephen Singleton and Martin McCann will be at the QFT screening for a Q/A

On Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 February Director  Stephen  Fingleton and key crew will be at those screenings.

So Stephen has a busy schedule immediately before he goes of to other films and some writing already in the plans ahead.

Go see hopefully with the Q/A elements.

Magpie is a prequel short starring Martin McCann in another guise directed by Stephen Fingleton which he advises is free online to view at the link www.magpieshort.com

Youth : A Film Review

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Directed by Paolo Sorrentino Italy/Switzerland/France/ UK Cert 15 Duration 2hrs 4mins
Michael Caine as Fred Ballinger Harvey Keitel as Mick Boyle
Rachel Weisz as Lena Ballinger Paul Dano as Jimmy Tree
Jane Fonda as Brenda Morel Roly Serrano as Diego Maradona
Alex Macqueen as HM emissary Luna Zimic Mijovic as masseuse
Robert Seethaler as Luca Moroder Tom Lipinski as Screenwriter
Chloe Pirrie as Screenwriter Alex Beckett as Screenwriter
Nate Dern as Screenwriter Mark Gessner as Screenwriter
Ed Stoppard as Julian Boyle Paloma Faith as herself
Mark Kozelek as himself Mădălina Diana Ghenea as Miss Universe

Never waste a moment
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“Yoof!  Wasted on ’em” Janet Street-Porter

Right said Fred, I said only blow the bloody doors off!  Action man Michael Caine (Fred), enigma, not many people know that scores highly as the elderly curmudgeonly retired composer in reflections about life with the voiceover artist (DirectLine Insurance) come actor Harvey Kietel (Mick) in robust knowing form as a film director having a fit about his construct of a script for a movie, it’s on is third draft apparently and in situ are a team of young(ish) they happen to be around thirty, whose interjections more or less have stalled the process.
Hydrotherapy
The setting is a luxury hydrotherapy and health fixated Swiss alpine hotel.  Switzerland is becoming more bizarre by the day with the Athletic Federation, FIFA, end of life Termi, Banking and Tax haven, Immigration hostilities and the heritage Julie Andrews, the cows and cowbells gave us in The Sound of Music providing us with a rich presupposed richness.           There is a sacred place as well, Rougemont (not the hotel location) happens to be the location of the J. Krishnamurti Foundation and affords and accords a deeply meaningful relationship with nature viewing Rübli, Videmanette, among other things to meditate on the Creator.
Landscape prime and pure
The hotel with the backdrop of the Alps  – the Matterhorn is there somewhere – provides a salutary hideaway and beautiful backdrop for its hundred or more guests and our visual delight.  Chocolates and expensive watches are mere sidelines as are red trains running on time.  We are firstly treated to a musical interlude which comes as a pop band on a rotating lit stage in the grounds of the hotel as al fresco entertainment.  The song will be familiar but you will not quite place it as the opening scene draws you in.  
Score Silent Songs
Music is a core part of this film.  Simple Songs is composer Fred’s Crown Jewels and Her Majesty wishes him to play it as a gala which might conferr a Knighthood upon him. Just one of the central absurdity comedic and very funny planks this film presents. Strangely youth isn’t present a great deal except they, the patients all have been through it and little very young children who wouldn’t qualify as being called the ‘youth’ serve up some of the best lines.  There are many good lines and perhaps this is the draw for the two maestros of Cinema whose presence saves this film with it almost being like fruit rotting on the vine.  Vines come and go and this is composed as a set of vines maybe as fragmented and multi faceted parts are loosely weaved together.  It would be unfair to call it a mash up but it borders on it.  It is more Operatic and sanqine.   

Friends United. Great Cast.

The first half introduces these two men as friends, one relaxing and having the facility of being cared for and checked upon as years have accumulated wear and tear.  Mick is alone except for his five scriptwriters. Fred has his daughter Lela, the fabulous brilliant actress, Rachel Wiesz stay and share his quarters before she heads off on another journey with .., Paul Dano who is Micks son.  All becomes unsettled, I won’t say how, and the relationships are challenged with the theme being youth and music. In parallel with Freds story about the revisiting of the Simple Songs – represented sweetly by cows, kids and chocs – is Micks whose film hinges on the reprise for a love of his the leading actress.  Late into the film we are given a big wake up from the cadaver nature of some of the film episodes by the winging in of Brenda aka Jane Fonda.  She recently said not unobservantly   “Jes, I was so hot in those days who the hell wouldn’t fancy me!” Such is cinema in Holywood et al.

One scene reminded me it was as if Rachel Wiesz had walked off the set of Lobster and we were in a continuum and alternative hotel as her afterlife such were the narratives obtuse, psychological gestures. Here is a hotel where the staff have lives separate and apart.  They are merely serving each and every whim and need of the clientele as they are embalmed in clay or towels or water along the boring routine existence at the therapy hotel.  It is a scene where orderly lines traverse a walkway to and fro a pool or spa or sauna.  Some discreetly naked, some in towel gowns but obedience and a code of behaviour is adhered to rigidly and like Animal Farm or 1984 or Lobster, along with other dystopian traits is envoked.
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Except this is pressingly real and the enclave is a set of twenty first century evaluations of wealthy and ordinary. The ordinary is portrayed; except it isn’t, you’ll get the drift while the ‘presentation’ separations unfold, for example by the masseuse who is about the only youth and not a callow one but a young girl taking steps in her life and reaching maturation.  I could strain your nerves with analogies to Swiss Cheeses ripening but as the director swerved by that analogy so will I.
Jewels
She is beautifully played and projected by Luna Zimic Mijovic as a masseuse and it is to these single moments (what Reith Lecturer Stephen Hawking might describe as a singularity where a planet – this is a rich vein of connection – implodes into itself becoming a greater and greater mass until it folds into itself to a huge mass as a black hole – it’s like a windows zip file except all the data is unretrievable from a black hole – within present knowledge) which there are several which make this film so remarkable yet frustrating.  It is relying on superficiality and only when Rachel Wiess gets up a head of steam – she does it it a restrained beautifully crafted way which is the essence of her acting besides her fine beautiful features – or the two maestros deliver soliloquies of very strong content. The Paloma Faith entry as herself is funny and her metal is given full on music treatment in a diversion which Paolo Sorrentino repeatedly relies on. 
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There is something in that black hole paradox I make as I see the film intended to, and Michael Caine navigates it superbly, of memory accumulating, of father daughter relationship; Harvey Kietel has a father son comparison speech to make, so alluding to the passage of time and how expectations of youth are flipped on their head once looking back and philosoph pays a visit as does the value game and evaluation of a life through a life and with summaries placed before you. With a daily presence of Altzimers disease occupying any and predictions we are in for a growing avalanche of the disease it is tough to consume the implications of loss of memory, how it materialises and then perhaps ultimately becomes dust before death.
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Paolo Sorrentino’s story has a beginning middle and end despite what strands and threads I remark on as sideline ‘effects’ so all ages will enjoy this hopefully.  Except pre-youth presumably.  All adults are this strange to them.  Our slightly experienced jaundiced view expect absurdity and enjoy maverick or eccentric personality as this features here at a celebrity level – come to think of it no minor characters are employed except as mediums for jokes amid mischievousness.  Side bets, closet prostitution, service the film.
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Paolo Sorrentino uses the medium in a film noir way to examine the art of Cinematography employing in the fellow director role the discourse on what fiction deserves screening.  What endeavour need be employed.  He gets a teach in from Jane Fonda.  She is cast as the siren with a difficult past, with a desire to act, paying bills would be nice in the mega dollar present day industry. She devours the script chews it up and spits it out with exemplary vision and viperish wisdom spiked venom.  Good just to see her own topping and tailing of the Cinema vogue.  Bright as a silver hat pin.  Whether Paolo Sorrentino succeeds is for a longer project.  Lines written these days – unless your a Tarantino fanatic – never get repeat coverage or enter folklore but a harvest could be made of some recent dialogue which I see as a standard of writing trying to equal and surpass the diet of television and challenging perspectives, documentary included being cinefied.
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Conclusion 3/half! ###*

There is a lot to savour in this black comic surreal/real film.  It Spurs emotion of youth as mirroring age and decay of one sort or another. It takes the theme of replenishment through action – creativity, be that film making, painting, music, writing as essential discoveries and the promulgated diet of many in the consuming western world.  A digital universe.  Phones storing contacts, contacting, communicating and the ubiquity of trains running on time and the decadence of luxury.  Alongside are few opposites set.  The only one we are intended to smart about, that is think about, is dwelling on youth and its presence fleeting and also ever present.  This is a sumptuous visually stimulating film with many many enjoyable parts.  It’s multi-faceted nature is sometimes a burden but the acting troop are excellent in every detail. Well worth a visit if not recommended as a destination as Samuel Johnson may have described it. It savours life and is funny and emotionally packed. Vacation where next?  Why 3/half, it’s because it’s a bit of a curates egg.

See exclusively at Queens Film Theatre in Belfast in this province from 29th January to 4th February 2016.

The Revenant : A Film Review

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He’s not a Reverent, but a Revenant, someone who also seeks revenge. Inside his spirit has returned after a near death experience.  The Revenant is a spirit or ghost which comes back to haunt the living.   It is as this film turns out.

Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, USA, Argentina, Rating 15. Cost. A chilling $13 million dollars. Duration. 2hrs 36mins.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass. Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald trapper, Domhnall Gleeson as Captain Andrew Henry the hunting party leader, Will Poulter as Jim Bridger, Forrest Goodluck as Hawk, Glass’s son, Isaiah Tootoosis as young Hawk,
Arthur RedCloud as Hikuc, Grace Dove as Hugh Glass’ Wife, Paul Anderson as Anderson, Brendan Fletcher as Fryman, Kristoffer Joner as Murphy, Melaw Nakehk’o as Powaqa, Duane Howard as Elk Dog, father of Powaqa, Brad Carter as Johnnie,
Lukas Haas as Jones,Tyson Wood as Weston.
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The Revenant is a 2015 American frontier revenge film directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Written by Iñárritu and Mark L. Smith, it is based in part on Michael Punke’s The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge, the film is inspired by the experiences of frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass. Set in 1823 Montana and South Dakota

Blood lost, Life Found

So goes the story of the film based on true events.  Already acclaimed by academicians for the Oscars and acclaimed by early cinemagoers it brings adventure of a frontiersman on expedition into new territories.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays the explorer Hugh Glass who is brutally attacked by a bear and then left by the members of his team abandoned.  The epic nature of his will to survive is borne out by the strength of recovery from blood loss and loss of the mobility required to trek the two hundred or so miles to safety. He is full of the urge for revenge for what the team he has recruited done to him after the mauling which has his life hanging over the precipice.  Elk were once common in Ireland but they became reduced in number and eradicated when they fled into the forests and due to their antlers with a very large span they became trapped and unable to get out.  This is a similar tale in many ways.
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Bravery, ingenuity, sufferance, guile, conviction, knowledge of the natural world, all sustain his character and this is a giant formidable physical tolerance of pain and handicap to overcome with the wildernesses capability to be vengeful along with his fellow humans in their abandonment.  The Wild West is untameable and Hugh Glass has two things in mind driving him on. The first is the love he holds for his lost Native American wife.  The second is revenge for his betrayer John Fitzgerald played by Tom Hardy. 

Complex survival

What starts off as these two drivers becomes instead a relentless heroic epic journey unfolding like a Nordic saga.                 It is an epic story without respite or reprieve from the opening frames of the world to which Europeans and despots; some not mutually exclusive,went to explore a future existence.  Trading in animal skins and logging, mining for the newly discovered places enriched by gold pockets were being unearthed and no-one had the gain on their fellow man as it was mostly new territories unfolding unheard of riches.

This is a superbly made, extraordinarily realistic depiction of horrific events which almost appear to be the daily consumption of the new frontiersmen.  Packing companies were formed and trappers employed.  The explore Hugh Glass hires a crew to take him into the inner wildernesses of the Rocky Mountains.  Giant mountains, untracked trails, wide expansive rivers and filled to the gunnels with Wolves, Bears and the original human beings of discovery. The Native American Indians. The wars between the Sioux Indians and settlers and the U.S. Army lasted from 1854 to 1890 and between the warriors of the explorer Indians themselves.
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The origin of the Amerind race could be traced to the aboriginal Indians of North and South America, mainly of Asian ancestry and the reddish dark brown features and high cheekbones make it a distinctive race which itself became broken down into tribes.  The presence of these people was a massive obstacle for any new settlers and both armies of European and White descent were able to establish footholds through force of arms and weapon army of all descriptions.  Also a major obstacle was the terrain and severe winters. Strangely though the climate and cultural connections via. Sprit alone makes it hard to believe the Innuit, Eskimo race had no part in North American land occupation.

The film starts off with a very violent, brilliantly choreographed and filmed battle scene full of stunning shocking acts of  hand to hand violence and brutality as the frontiersmen in Hugh Glass’s group gather their pelts and are harvesting the a carcasses and every scrap of useful trapped animal for food and fortune.  They are attacked by the Native Indians firstly descending from the hill above them in a daylight attack in big numbers on horseback. Some with rifles and many with arrows and spears.  The Indian warrior collective acts as a swift invading army as the frontiersmen are nearing completion of their hunting and departure again in the boats they arrived in and had planned to again depart this area, this dense stretch of forest where they have hunted and gathered their pile.
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With this battle comes the outcome or presentation of the following, engrossing, compelling story which never lets up, for long, in its grim depiction of this raw reality.  Based on actual events the hardships, tyranny, lawlessness, greed and sacrifice are all in our view.  The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful and the immense grander of nature with its laws and continuity is extremely well captured.

Territories the pyramid of skulls

Away from roads and railways and motels, modern hostellers with spas and hot baths overlooking canyons and affording tranquil rest and recuperation along with measured, contained and conquered recreation this film which the final credits show was a massive undertaking with many, many people of all skills involved is itself a statement of significance for the endurance needed and for the telling of this story of The Revenant.
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Back from the dead.  Leonardo DiCaprio is remarkable and had to fatten up to loose calories and weight during this physical trial.  He had to be very fit and physically sound in all aspects as the film is one of astonishing recovery and regrowth from the deep and severe wounds and injuries which a re prosthetically crafted to convince filmgoers as quite believable and never questionable as the journey into the film is taken by us.  Occasionally there is lens contamination from specks of blood, from snow, both simultaneous reminders of fact as fiction and the inverse.

As we watch it enters folklore.  As Shackleton was to journey across the Antarctic we have no vision of the peril or complexity of survival mental or physical and so this appears as an observers insight.  Not many people will like the lack of dialogue and the slow pace of the film but it is atmospheric in that Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu captures and arrests with his vision of the vast wilderness of unconquered of territories in the new found North America.  The pace only sometimes a problem and no matter how important different approaches to survival are explored it is there, intended to convey the size of the task, to live against the odds in this landscape the retribution, betrayal, hurt and vengeance slowly creep up and from the initial ordeal form the primary consciousness of Leonardo DiCaprio.
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Quality of portrayal and detail

Only so many desperate looks are able to be called upon and much as have long appreciated his skills and ability to turn his characters around and inside out sometimes he is here fixed in a role which while delivering clearly his immense capability to build and hold real persona and convey the depth of the role he is limited somewhat by the sole direction and focus the film brings.  Not many other emotions or range of emotions or times sales are dave eloped or indeed needed in this epic story.  

It is episodic of the life of the real Hugh Glass and is not biographical.  It is true Leonardo DiCaprio performs this role commandingly and at times brilliantly which is deserving of award as it matches and exceeds most other ‘performers’ in their own portrayal of character.  An actor is only as good as his character allows and Leonardo DiCaprio is hide bound somewhat by a singular lack of dialogue requiring instead reliance on thrusting forward those other distinctive acting skills he holds without adding too, to complete the whole.

Horses for Courses.          
For all that the physical gruelling work, he forgoes hygiene for long periods and his Winnebago must have been a mess and stank, he endures sufficiently to make his mark as a brilliant actor and there are roles ahead which will hopefully reveal this even further. Of his skills he can say he is a good if not very good horseman. In one scene this broken but pulling it together Pseudo Indian sidles up to a tied up horse which only happens to be, with deadly accuracy an Indian horse, an Appaloosa which is small, speckled and white.  Maybe the wranglers asked the art unit to give it a bit of make up for authenticity.

Anyhow Leonard is astride and any aches vanish as they helter skelter off with remarkable results. Something miraculous and stunning coming right up which makes you near fall of your seat. Some Indian horses are small stocky Leonard Mesi types. Some are light framed nimble and have immense endurance.  None of your speedy white mans quarter horses here!  Nor the ones from South West America which are mostly chestnut called Palominos that like the sunshine! As they say, if the winds from the North it’s bad for your horses and if it’s from the south or west it’s bad for your pigs.  If it’s from the east it’s bad for me. Are we talking the of the forebode cue of China’s economic woes?
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Indian culture

Spirituality is ever present with the rogue, wreckless John Fitzgeald played with cunning and alacrity by Tom Hardy, frequently summoning up quotations from the Gospel as formative to his will.  Attribution to a spirit is cast by the Indians through evocations more loosened from mortal mans tendency to apply their own existence, mankind, to the form of spirit which the gospel even serves as difference to in that it attributes Jesus’s form in his image yet of mans mantle the spirit is made of other.  The Indians obey the forces of nature and interpret their vexing complexity to serve them.

Duane Howard is in a trance most of the time inhabited by a will to find his daughter and it is conveyed as naïve and ludicrous.  The sentiments of Western ideology is not complicit but the director maybe has chosen that method to convey our own uncertainty in contrast. He’s a Pawnee Indian, a member of a confederacy of North American Plains Indians of Caddoan stock formerly located along the Platte River valley, Nebraska, and now living in northern Oklahoma.

The development of this film must have been a logistical struggle and it has paid of.  Cat of production is not huge and it occurs to me there must have been a huge wage bill and with the actors paid their ‘dues’ along with some of the many unsung stunt men and women the budget was probably efficient.  The conditions were perilous and hopefully any damages to man or beast were minimal.  I left the film theatre with what I would describe as an Eskimo head cold, such was the experience of the winter setting.  I met a lovely couple from Barrow, Alaska last week, Penny and Morgan, perplexed by our weather. Aren’t we all no matter where we are?  We talked amongst other things about their diet and how they lived of the land with duck mentioned as fattening and ‘delicious’. I actually felt honoured to met them, putting that down to an affirmation of natural connection.  It may seem naive or unrealistic to suggest connection exists but I think it occurs naturally, frequently in many interactions. The Chinese have duck acclaimed as a bit of an aphrodisiac funnily enough.  It does not help population control but I’m sure there are ways round that. There are refreshingly common attitudes and creative thinking in the unity of mankind found in these explorations with an optimistic believe if the message and moral analysis is taken more than superficially a beneficial aspect and a lot of positive thoughts to emerge from such evaluations.  A message if you like, that you can extract from this film.

Conclusion ####4

This is an outstanding epic movie which depicts a time when discovery and exploitation along with a loose relation to the law or obedience to the natural order tested humanities skills in overcoming the dynamics of mere survival.  It preceded the period of industrialisation and departures off the land which took very large amounts of labour and some fortune in being in a harmonious place where what you intended would flourish in the conditions.

The story is told brilliantly and with care to detail, incredible acting along with sharp editing with ,any stunts and awesome experiences shown in full widescreen splendour.  As a period of American history it is to use the word correctly totemic.  The actualality of events is, however some distortions may be found, is an example of superior storytelling.  Fortune bound up with spirits unknown it saves going in the direction of patronising and judging and shows things for us to make up our own minds.

Go see, you ought not be disappointed.

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David Bowie : Come down, come down.

The Bewley Brothers

A series of Screen grabs of the sequence used with the track from the Hunky Dory album by David Bowie as used in the extraordinary documentary Bitter Lake, written, edited  and directed by Adam Curtis for BBC Productions and currently available on the iplayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p02gyz6b for viewing in full.  The footage was filmed for the most part as the credits describe it by Phil Goodwin who compiled the remainder.


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Editing is not my strong point so here are the actual lyrics of

The Bewlay Brothers.

And so the story goes they wore the clothes
They said the things to make it seem improbable
Whale of a lie like they hope it was

And the good men tomorrow
Had their feet in the wallow
And their heads of brawn were nicer shown
And how they bought their positions
With saccharin and trust
And the world was asleep to our latent fuss
Sighings swirl through the streets
Like the crust of the sun

The Bewlay brothers
In our wings that bark
Flashing teeth of brass
Standing tall in the dark
Ohh, and we were gone
Hanging out with your dwarf men
We were so turned on
By your lack of conclusions

I was stone and he was wax
So he could scream and still relax, unbelievable
And we frightened the small children away
And our talk was old and dust would flow
Through our veins and though it was midnight
Back at the kitchen door
Like the grim face on the cathedral floor
The solid book we wrote cannot be found today
And it was stalking time for the moon boys

The Bewlay brothers
With our backs on the arch
And if the Devil may be here
But he can’t sing about that
Ohh, and we were gone
Real cool traders
We were so turned on
You thought we were fakers

And now the dress is hung, the ticket pawned
The factor max that proved the fact is melted down
Woven on the edging of my pillow
And my brother lays upon the rocks
He could be dead, he could be not
He could be you
He’s chameleon, comedian, Corinthian and caricature
Shooting up pie in the sky
Bewlay brothers
In the feeble, in the bad

Bewlay brothers
In the blessed and cold
In the crutch hungry dark
Was where we flayed our mark
Ohh and we were gone
Kings of Oblivion
We were so turned on
In the night walk pavilion

Lay me place and bake me pie
I’m starving for me gravy
Leave my shoes, and door unlocked
I might just slip away

Just for the day
Please come away
Just for the day
Please come away
Please come away
Just for the day
Please come away
Please come away
Please come away
Please come away
Away
Away

You may find meaning from the juxtapositions prortrayed by the film Bitter Lake and these lyrics. Profound and prescient are the connections mankind makes.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p02gyz6b Is the film location

John Graham

19 January 2016

Belfast

David Bowie

Black Star White Knight

  
Seeing is believing 

When night arrives stars are white and are so distant as to astonish us in our slowing forming knowledge about their continual presence. From Earth and the time we spend being incredibly short David Bowie was not the first to notice the vast repotoire of the Galaxy and of his own small chemical construction as part of a larger enterprise none of us know much about, or indeed an infinitesimal amount. For myself and my generation growing up the stars and the universe where objects and elements that happen to exist. There was no need for proof, they formed the Galaxy as far as we could see.  Astronomers like Sir Patrick Moore were explores of that universe, Carl Sagan delivered the beautify and intangibility or awe of outer space. Sir Patrick, himself the size of a small planet would describe with fluidity the rotations and occurrences of disappearing and reappearing stars from his seat in the Sussex countryside darkness. Once on a journey back from the local, one of several in a part of Sussex, we lay down flat on the unused village road and looked up to the enormity and beautiful canopy of the Milky Way conscious we had stopped as many earthlings have done before us at this ever present wonderment.  Seldom do we stop to look at what is directly above us and often light pollution and clouds prevent the apparent and ever present Galaxy above our heads.

  
Posted outside All Souls Belfast by a member of the congregation last week.

The experience was unforgettable giving a sense of universality.  Instead of  Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Isaac Asimovs science fiction and all the manifestations of the space odyssey, Alister Crowley et al, we who were less drawn to the intangible which was being reached in the near distance by Cosmonauts found expression through the medium of Music and Theatre.         For many the emergence of progressive rock and folklore turned into song and lyrical fantasy we were blessed with the young troubadour David Bowie to fill our heads with the absurdity of existence and the earth limits with their own abstract idealistic symphonies of uniform voices. Music enabled the captured, beyond the direct allusion of Holst’s the Planets and similarly 2001 A Space Odyssey we were drawn by the magical externalities of musicians putting their imaginations to work by evoking otherworldliness either in jazz meditations and outpouring of electronic driven chords juxtaposed and clashing as meteorites of sound.  Much was experimental and impenetrable but it existed as the stars do.

  
TheWorld is like a Crystal Ball

Bowie took forms from every box on the table.  The aural noise of the electronic progressives, the cults and ldealists forming sects and patronage alarming all, the religiosity of craven imagery, of Nordic mysticism and trolls as favoured by playwrights, George Bernand Shaw and Henrik Ibsen.  All present in the boxes Bowie must have sought out and consumed. He was a compulsive reader. From trash to brilliance he devoured the available and created his own state of mind. Much of it unbalancing, diversive and a corruption of his inner genius.  Compulsions were to be his evocation.  His device to present his ideas as thoughts, visions and music.  He also harboured mischievously contempt for his art.  While being in the same era as the Stones, Marc Bloan, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul he sampled their work without ever plagiarising or drawing even close comparison to it.  Punk and Disco might not have existed, nevertheless Nile Rodgers was the producer of the hit ‘Let’s Dance’ as an appreciation of rock and roll hill bully style – is the closest connection I can make – of the genre of Little Richard in a bright radiant suit. Mock and roll Country Dance music I call it.

  
Of all the personas David Bowie created for his art, the Spider from Mars, Starman was the most electrifyingly different.    It stood out as original but borrowed from Diaghlev and Nureyev as they created works of Firebird, Spartacus, all sorts of influences combined.  It was as if Thrace was reinvented, that – definition – ancient region of varying extent in the E part of the Balkan Peninsula: later a Roman province; now in Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece.  It was a combination of ancient and futuristic visions.

Now it is divided between Greece (Western Thrace) and Turkey (Eastern Thrace) and the clash of cultures it throws up is immense.
Without meaning to, so elaborately, David Bowie introduced us to many things either unwittingly or intentionally.  He drew and conceived of things with words, music, costume and his presence which altered who we are today no matter how large or small that influence might have been amongst individuals or as a passage through time from one era to the next.  It is a fixed place which now is unshiftable and all the more a sense of loss is felt.

  
Bowie was set of concepts that explained the emergence of an emotional bond between an performer and audience and the way in which this bond affects the artists behavioral and emotional development to feeding the animal that is the art.  It was eventually to die and that is what was his worst possible outcome.  That he was to never discover those secrets of life, those unknowns which make our existence and those drivers which for the vast majority are good instinctive qualities and shared beliefs he never got to the end of the story.
It has to be mentioned there has been a lot of miscomprehension and ridicule of the way grief has been expressed.  It is not within anyone’s gift to say or chose how whew grieve but it is no matter the negatory as it is something beautiful and human to be able to celebrate and say farewell to someone who has touched the lives of many and for many speaks for us as millions of voices.

  
  
  
  

Some of these photographs are from http://www.giornalettismo.com/archives/695203/il-ritorno-di-david-bowie/david-bowie-torna-sulle-scene-11/?gallery_pos=0

It is great archival material appreciating the past and whole fabric.

John Graham

18 January 2016

Belfast

Room : A Film Review

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Director. Lenny Abrahamson. Canada and Ireland Production.
Cert. 15. 1hr 58mins.
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Brie Larson as Joy “Ma” Newsome, Jacob Tremblay as Jack Newsome
Joan Allen as Nancy Newsome, William H. Macy as Robert Newsome
Sean Bridgers as Old Nick, Megan Park as Laura
Cas Anvar as Dr. Mittal, Amanda Brugel as Officer Parker
Joe Pingue as Officer Grabowski, Tom McCamus as Leo
Wendy Crewson as Talk Show Host. From the cast list you get the impression, correctly, this movie involves more than the two principals though they both excell and exceed all else about them. Jacob Trembly, is outstanding an intuitive as kids can be in depicting the central persona and how he has put himself in the character is for later enquirer to find out. In final credits after long thanks etc the names Christina and Jacob Tremblay are credited. This is appreciative of the real mother and son relationship on which film making is entrusted.
Suspended beliefs.                                                                                                                                                                                            This film adaption of the award winning best selling Emma Donaghue novel of the same name is a traumatic retelling of the narrative which has some linearity with actual abduction and hostage situations.image  Those of lone kidnap victims living long periods in isolation.  Some of mother and child situations, of several separated but confined in close proximity to each other.  Each and every one placed in a small environment year on year becoming part and element of the space they occupy.  Some carry memory and experience.  Knowledge alone is suspended and time has no authority or purpose as incarceration means endless endured living and existence. We are not in Ireland but everytown, for this, the film makers have taken us across an Ocean presumably to attract and it did, the American audience.  Fear travels.  The rewards are just lining up as this is an awesome traumatic drama by anyone’s stretch of template.
Noun
This is Room.  The noun is solitary throughout as other words tend to be. Wardrobe, Chair 1 and Chair 2.  Sink is attached to a wall.  Wall is sink wall.  Each object is a solitary item in isolation within the mind of Jack and his mother Joy played by with startling realism by Brie Larson who bears a striking resemblance to another of my favourite and compelling actresses, Marion Cottilard, for which she just this week received a deserved Golden Globe for her performance in this role. 
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The story is told from around the fifth birthday, no going back to how events arose or flashback is used making this very much a time conscious movie having some element of time passing observed and carried forward.  We are soon approaching the birthday and the story is developed by director Lenny Abrahamson on the basis of the screenplay put in place by Emma Donaghue herself. This is not a case of control freakery but the authorship creating during the writing a vision of what it might make as a film.  Diligently and eloquently the nuances, the said and unsaid scenes of the depiction of a mind being manipulated into a state of acceptance of Room as being the whole of existence is virtually incomprehensible from our perspective. However it is incredibly immersive. Twelve Angry men was directed in a jury room and similarly this is using objects and spatial awareness to engulf us in Room.  The film set for half the film.
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Hostage
Many themes of outlier satellite themes are in the tenure of film making from Dogma themes? Captive, The Town, Misery maybe, and portals through which we may pass along a Yellow brick road or into outer space and parallel universes or as the allusion and plot device premise utilised – a copy of Alice in Wonderland happens to be one of the objects in Room.  Thoughts of escape conjured up by the mild mannered costumeir David Jones nee Bowie of this world has entered to be free.        The young Brixton Jewish lad who once made Berlin his home and declared the world Low.  Lazarus arisen. Isolation. In Bowie’s words “Look up here I’m in heaven.  I can’t be seen.” It’s as if this is a place outside of the world, a transition space knowing and eating into the psyche of Joy who sees no way out. So many depictions yet none prepare you for what you will see or be absorbed in with this film which is instantly unsettling and grows adding weight to trauma heartfelt and witnessed.  To say it is claustrophobic merely scratches at raw cliche.  
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Room is a habitat of ten feet by ten feet which is usually the dimensions of a prison cell and it is within a shed.  
Silence observed
Lined with cork tiles,acoustic lined it is a forbidden tomb like abode.  Nature enters through a skylight as seasons come and go.  Night comes after day and electricity is feed into Room and captor ‘Old Nick’ provides pictures through a TV set envisioning a two dimensional external world.  A world simply of people who are flat and have coloured faces.
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The captor is a loner, played by Sean Bridgers, with a psychotic control power urge which he initially inflicts on Amy by kidnapping her and fathering, as meanings extrapolate, Jack. He enters Room frequently when Jack is at rest, most of the time.                    As Jacks birthday appears he asks mum for a present and is markedly confused he does not get the meaning of need and want.  Amy has objectives to keep both sane and her own personality is bearing down on her with questions of how to manage the situation when the captor continually abuses her and increasingly becomes less predictable and habitual.

Needs must when the devil drives and Amy begins to determine ways of solving the problem.
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There is a plot constructed by Joy and she calls on Jack to make believe once she has become more open about true existence.  In the course of living in Room Amy is required to develop the concept of the outside world which she does painfully and struggles as Jack does to create an imaged but believable world.  One which Jack can trust is not another lie given all before will become a lie. This is a transition which is a form of enlightenment.  Concepts of good and multiple universes come into play.  The stars are visible in the skylight but the near world isn’t. To boldly go where etc. becomes a reality and a necessity.

How they attempt to escape this is alluded to in trailers and the book is known to have outcome.  We come to the narrative expecting all sorts of possible outcomes all which involve mental and physical brutalised people. The deadliest harm and sick frequently encountered plots and reality themes are distinctly carried in the narrative with jeopardy ever present and lingering as we empathise from a totally inexperienced point of view of the flesh and blood people whose ‘lives’ we, during the film have become wrapped up in.

For the second half of the film this experience becomes reversed and unsettling.  The trauma continues as the world enters in.  To their lives and width of space expands and multiples of universes are presented.  How will their previously controlled, manipulated minds cope?  Amys mind has been also been shut away and her ‘rebirth’ is agonising and presents questions arising from the people she left behind and whose life’s have themselves inevitably changed.  Changing because of despite of her incarceration? This new boy a child Jack they never knew is in the new world.image
Love, freedom, perseverance
Parents, William H Macy plays Joy’s father now grandfather with ragged tousled grimacing being his reactive state and Joan Allen plays his estranged wife and Mum wonderfully, living with a new partner Tom McCamus as Leo. Macy seems to play troubled Mr Normal a lot of the time and though this is an every town movie successful crossing the Atlantic to Toronto of all places it is duty bound to throw up an Everyman to give the plot and the reader guidance.  Remarkably it works extraordinarily well with a line which struck me; and it occurs from a source which could be any character, has some insightfulness though not necessarily always, so to speak a level playing field.  It is the observation – “No one lives their life like nothing happened.  This (living) is one extraordinary happening and set of events.” Or words to that effect!
Conclusion ##### 5.
Other places. Remain the same.
There is something not spiritual about the film and probably the book but it would be impossible if not implausible not to think about duality and spirit of another guidance and driven existence on the other side in consideration with this film.    It is not prescient, co-incidental, interesting, telling that David Bowie has gone on a journey from which no escape is possible or no eventuality presents but it provokes thinking along the lines that Jack is a Child who fell to Earth.  Eventually we all leave the cinema or our front rooms matterafactly with a new idea or two derived from thinking having read or seen unsettling stories light our minds for a period.  The wardrobe of the universe is beginning to unravel before our eyes and we can but gaze in wonder and be a thankful witness.  Room is in several places at once without leaving our heads.  It conveys the brutality and fragility of existence and disassembled change brought about for God knows whatever reason.  Fate and fortune, misfortune and grace are all consuming and this is a very accomplished way of exploring the journey made and happenstance of lives. 

Opening on 15 January in the United Kingdom and at
Queens Film Theatre Belfast from this Friday 15th January 2016.

Runs throughout Remainder of January until 28th at QFT.
SEE http://www.queensfilmtheatre.com for details of times etc.
It heralds a new season of films and 2016 begins with this relatively mainstream movie in the period for awards and Queens Film Theatre as well as a plethora of Art House movies will be bringing more of these mainstream films along in the early part of the years programming. Already it plays out The Danish Girl which has been pulling in audiences and if you want to see ROOM BE SURE TO ARRIVE EARLY AND OR BOOK as I predict it will have audiences queuing up to see it. It truly is a remarkable movie and many praises should be heaped on Emma Donaghue for pulling the material all together so lucidly and engrossingly. Irish Film is in good shape as storytelling triumphs.

John Graham

13 January 2016

Belfast

Remembering David Bowie also
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