Tuesday, 31 December 2013

FILMS FILMS FILMS: JANUARY 2014


My favourite pursuit, besides eating and sleeping, is going to to the cinema.  I can't get enough of it; I would happily go every day.  I frequently go twice a day.  That sounds obsessive, but it's a loving relationship, I promise.  YOU DON'T KNOW, YOU WEREN'T THERE.

Anyway, there are often so many films I want to see it gets hard to keep track so I'm going to start doing regular posts about upcoming releases.  Mainly for myself, but some of you might be interested too.  Think of this as a To Do List with benefits.


AMERICAN HUSTLE 

(everyone I know who works in film always writes titles in CAPS so I am going to do that too).

I've actually already seen this - I went to see it at the only cinema it was showing as a preview in central London - but it's in the list because it's not officially out for a couple of days.  I was completely engrossed from start to finish, and it is a loooooong film.  David O. Russell, of THREE KINGS, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, I HEART HUCKABEES, and shouting at Lily Tomlin fame, seems to have found his niche these past few years.  Characters who are utterly flawed and struggling, but with whom we fall in love regardless.  Difficult situations, Jennifer Lawrence in baffling yet brilliant woman-mode and Bradley Cooper as a man teetering on the edge of completely losing his mind.  This time with bad hair.  Also, the outfits are stunning.  OH and Louis C.K. is in it, and it's based on events that actually happened!?

And, breathe.


12 YEARS A SLAVE

I don't know much about this, but I saw Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello at the Donmar about six years ago and have loved him ever since.  A flawless actor.  Also I remember during the festivals everyone was raving about this film in the way that only people who are seeing things way before the general public can rave about them.  Director Steve McQueen is carving out a career of excellence - HUNGER in particular stayed with me for days - so this seems like it's just going to be the best thing ever.  Right?


INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

When I interviewed Carey Mulligan (I'll just leave that there) she was talking about this film a lot.  She said she'd left the screening in tears because she couldn't bear to watch herself, that she was making stupid faces and looked weird in her dark brown wig.  So I keep thinking about that when I see this advertised.  I feel like I know her and we're best friends, but I don't know her and she never calls.  Anyway, a film about music is always going to interest me personally, and this has the added bonus of being written and directed by the Coen brothers.  It's loosely based on the life of real life folk singer Dave Van Ronk, who was a peer of Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan and was loved and admired by them, but never achieved their level of success.  He was supposed to be one badass guitarist.  Can't wait.



THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

I wonder what it's like between Scorsese and DiCaprio.  Do they hang out a lot?  Is it a father/son mentor/student relationship?  Jonah Hill has said a couple of things about them in interviews, but that's just fired up my curiosity more than sated it.  I'm so excited about this, their fifth film together.  It's obviously slightly contentious subject matter, the true-ish story of convicted fraudster and money launderer Jordan Belfort, and a lot of people aren't happy it's being told for a second time (the first being BOILER ROOM - great film).  There's an open letter from the daughter of one of Belfort's employees here, which presents a point of view apparently not represented in Scorsese's film.  Anyway, I'm not making up my mind till I've watched it.



THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

It must be a very strange feeling to have your aesthetic and approach as a film-maker be so admired that it is (mostly lovingly) ripped off all over the place - everytime we get treatments for music videos there is always a Wes Anderson-esque one - and to have that happen in your lifetime.  So much so that when people go and watch your new film it's reminiscent of a million adverts and photoshoots and other films, so that it almost feels like a rip-off itself.  I'm glad this hasn't made Anderson change his style, but then I would also love to see what would happen if he directed the eighth (it feels like it must be eight now) installment of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.  Still obviously starring Bill Murray and Owen Wilson, of course.  But that hasn't happened yet so we'll just have to make do with this no doubt brilliant hour and a half of cinematic silver screen joy.

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