Saturday, March 08, 2014

Film Week - Monday 3rd to Saturday 8th March

In previous weeks I have made the most of the Dutch Pathe 50 showings at The Buitenhof Cinema. However for the past two weeks they have been showing Diana on a Monday evening at 7.15 pm.
I have no desire to go to see this film. Over the past three years I have welcomed being out of range of UK media outlets such as The Daily Express and Daily Mail where a mawkish curiosity of the UK Royal family and Princess Diana in particular persists many years after her tragic death. I could care less of the performances in the film, however I did enjoy the Naomi Watts interview with Simon Mayo from the BBC Radio 5 film show.....

This probably gave the movie greater publicity than it deserved.

Monday 3rd March - Spike Jonze -  'Her'  Pathe Buitenhof  starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johanson as the OS - Warning possible plot spoilers ahead!
The film currently carries an 85% score with the public (94% from critics) on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.3 with  IMDb.
Our hero from a time in the future is Theodore Twombly. Twombly is a withdrawn and detached writer of letters, who is going through divorce.

The film is set in a future where the Simon Cowell fashion of the high trouser waistband seems to have won the day. Small in-ear devices are wirelessly linked to mini computers (much like the old fashioned cigarette box in design) these are carried in special pockets enabling video interaction with the 'real world'. Theodore is very sensitive, evidence this is shown in the empathy of his messages.
Into this lonely life comes a new computer operating system (Samantha) recommended to Theodore by his friend  Amy. The system is lauded as the next generation, an OS that interacts with its user and has the ability to learn and develop.
There develops a relationship between human and machine which seems very natural and loving. Her is shot by Jonze in the warm glow of the future with great colour saturation. The characters are largely quiet and reflective. Adams is excellent as the neighbour as is Phoenix,  each exudes calm despite their inner complexity and turmoil.
The central relationship of the film is as one might guess doomed.... there is a feel to the relationship between humans and computers which is similar to  2001 A Space Odyssey......
I would concur in general with the collective wisdom of the reviews and score HER as 8.5 out of 10. I would place it in the 'do not miss' category for 2014.

Wednesday 5th The Lego Movie 3D - Pathe Spuimarkt

A tale of mistaken identity where as usual a 'nobody' in this case a  standard Lego character called Emmet is 'selected' to be the saviour of the world.... Nothing new there then?
However in The Lego Movie does an excellent job of luring the audience into the story, and before long you too will be willing Emmet and his colourful group of friends seek to thwart the evil President Business.

Eventually we all truly believe 'Everything is Awesome' (or Ossum!)
The movie scores 90% with the audience (96% critic score) and 8.4 with IMDb.... I believe, love Lego, love the Lego Movie.... I would suggest a score of 8.6 - go for it, you will not be alone there will be adults in the movie theatre!

Saturday 9th March After the Tone - Zaal 2 - Filmhuis Den Haag
With my usual cinema going buddy Steve O'Regan off discovering Belgium ahead of his retirement next year, I did not want to watch a 'Blockbuster in IMAX or 3D as these are likely to be on the viewing schedule in the coming weeks.
Instead I headed the the Filmhuis to catch the intriguing 'Indie' film .. After the Tone. The film is built around the life of Onno. He is very successful with a great business family and friends. Onno has just won a prize and initially everyone is trying to get through to congratulate him.
We hear Onno's voicemail kick in at the outset of the film....

His business contacts and girlfriend(s) leave him many chatty message within the first 3 days.... however as time progresses and there is no response, concern and worry grow. Onno misses significant important events in addition to work meetings....nobody gets a reply. Each character who calls is recognised not only by voice and tome, but also by location. Time goes on and it dawns on friends and family slowly that Onno may not be coming back.
For a film where we do not see any of the characters, only hearing their voicemail messages it is remarkably touching and emotional, with Onno's mother, Sister Annet and business partner Adriaan being the highlight for me. The death of his father and how this affects the family is particularly poignant as is Adriaan's reading of his eulogy for Onno.
The film is in Dutch, but is subtitled in English, and is therefore great for those learning the language and Dutch idioms. Of course it is also an interesting film. IMDb scores it 7.5 and Rotten Tomatoes has not yet received any reviews. My score would be 7.9 out of 10. It won't change the world but does throw a light on the Dutch Psyche and also it interweaves the stories of those close to Onno through 365 days.. all in 85 minutes.
 I am looking forward in the coming week to viewing Robocop, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Non-Stop....

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