Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Mar 14th   
Green Card**                             

(US/Aus/Fra 1990)

A horticulturalist enters into a marriage of convenience with a French immigrant,and they get to know each other when they have to convince the authorities that the marriage is bona fide.
Slacker than some of Weir's other work, with supporting characters that veer towards comic caricature, but a pleasant English language vehicle for Depardieu, set in sentimental scenic New York.

Written, Produced and Directed by: Peter Weir.
Starring: Gerard Depardieu, Andie MacDowell, Bebe Neuwirth, Gregg Edelman, Lois Smith, Robert Prosky.
Photography: Geoffrey Simpson.
Music: Hans Zimmer.

Preceded by:
Tom and Jerry in
Trap Happy**
(US 1946. 7m.; w William Hanna, Joseph Barbera; p: Fred Quimby.)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mar 11th  
Goodnight and Good Luck**    
(US 2005)                        

Edward R.Murrow takes on the oppression of Senator Joseph McCarthy at the risk to himself and the CBS Network.
Compelling and nice to look at journalistic crusade (particularly when watching now in the age of Trump), which also captures a vintage era of television with an added warning about its commercial trappings.

Written by: George Clooney, Grant Heslov.
Producer: Grant Heslov.
Director: George Clooney.
Starring: David Strathairn, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jnr, Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels, Frank Langella, Ray Wise, Tate Donovan.
Photography: Robert Elswit.
Music: Jim Papoulis.

GOODNIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK. How America needs an Edward R. Murrow figure today.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Mar 7th  
Taste the Blood of Dracula      

(GB 1969)        

Three hypocritical Victorian gentlemen are invited to invoke the spirit of Count Dracula, who comes for them when they kill his servant.
Visually diverting and distinguished but also hammy Hammer, in the manner of the penny dreadfuls, with a good cast but the star becoming disillusioned at the role now being exploited solely for commercial reasons, and flimsily at that.

Written by: John Elder (Anthony Hinds).
Producer: Aida Young.
Director: Peter Sasdy.
Starring: Christopher Lee, Geoffrey Keen, John Carson, Ralph Bates, Peter Sallis, Linda Hayden, Anthony Corlan, Gwen Watford, Isla Blair, Martin Jarvis, Roy Kinnear.
Photography: Arthur Grant.
Music: James Bernard.
Art Direction: Scott MacGregor.            

Preceded by:
(GB TVM 2016. 12m.; A retiring schoolteacher is bullied by his reclusive husband.; w: Rich Chilver; d: Simon J. Fritton, Tom Edwards; s: Paul T. Davies, Jenny Burke; for Deadline Communications/Essex County Council.)

Monday, March 06, 2017

Mar 2nd   
La La Land** (12A)    
(Everyman Chelmsford)

(US 2016)

A struggling actress and jazz musician fall in love but destiny doesn't quite go the way they hoped.
Pleasantly sentimental semi-musical set in present day LA and capturing some of the area's more endearing side, with one foot in the old and one in the new. Whilst maybe not the masterpiece it was being unwisely touted as, nonetheless a crying whisper for the return of the old fashioned musical.

Written and Directed by: Damien Chazelle.
Producers: Fred Berger. Jordan Horowitz, Gary Gilbert, Marc Platt.
Starring: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, Finn Wittrock, Tom Everett Scott, J.K. Simmons.
Photography: Linus Sandgren.
Music: Justin Hurwitz.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Feb 26th  
A Royal Affair**        

(Den/Swe/Czech 2012)                  

In the 18th century during the Age of the Enlightenment, the English Princess Caroline Matilda is betrothed to the (probably) mentally ill King Christian of Denmark, but the unhappy marriage is boosted in unexpected ways by the King's trusted physician.
Detailed and uncompromising Scandinavian Royal soap opera, carefully based on the true history, and feeling very melodramatic for the latter half of its two hours plus, but always absorbing to look at.

Written by: Nikolas Arcel, Rasmus Heisterberg, from the book by Bodil Steensen-Leth.
Producers: Meta Louise Foldager, Sisse Graum Jorgensen, Louise Vesth.
Director: Nikolas Arcel.
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen, Mikkel Folsgaard, Trine Dyrholm, David Dencik, Harriet Walter.
Photography: Rasmus Videbaek.
Music: Cyrille Aufort, Gabriel Yared.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Feb 20th  
Way Down East**    

(US 1920)                            

A poor country girl is tricked into a fake marriage and loses her baby but finds refuge at a farm with a boy that she was destined to love.
"A story of simple folk" dubs this typical Griffith melodrama, although with very simplistic Griffith stereotypes and slight irrelevancies, but with his continuing skill and craftsmanship, and a tense finale on an ice flow.

Written by: Anthony Paul Kelly, Joseph R. Grismer, D.W. Griffith, from the play by Lottie Blair Parker.
Producer/Director: D.W. Griffith.
Starring: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Lowell Sherman, Burr McIntosh, Emily Fitzroy, Mary Hay, Creighton Hale.
Photography:Billy Bitzer, Hendrik Sartov.

Music: Rodney Sauer.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Feb 12th   
The Poor Little Rich Girl**        

(US 1917)  

Bankruptcy comes to a wealthy businessman, but he rejects all that to look after his neglected daughter after she nearly dies at the hands of the long-suffering servants.
One of many endearing "little girl" roles that this adult star was able to essay with her petite frame quite successfully, a fairly obvious family melodrama for its time, but winning itself over mainly through Miss Pickford's charm, with some unusual hallucinogenic dream sequences towards the end.

Written by: Frances Marion, from the play by Eleanor Gates.
Producer: Adolph Zukor.
Director: Maurice Tourneur.
Starring: Mary Pickford, Charles Wellesley, Madlaine Traverse, Gladys Faribanks, Frank McGlynn, Herbert Prior.
Photography: Lucien Andriot, John van den Broek.