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Features Live Action Movies

The Old Man
and the Land

Director – Nicholas Parish – 2023 – UK – Cert. none – 100m

*****

As he works on the land, an aging farmer hears his two adult children argue about the future of the family farmplays Glasgow Film Festival which runs from Wednesday, February 28th to Sunday, March 10th following its premiere in the Critics’ Picks Competition at the 27th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, where it was the best film out of a superb lot

Movies. You think everything’s been done, then along comes something you’ve never seen before. Or, in this case, seen or heard before.

The Old Man in question is an English farmer (Roger Marten) whose family have worked the land for generations. He’s getting on in years, so won’t be around forever. His wife died a while ago, so he’s now running the farm on his own. He has two children who have long since grown up and left home: a son (voice: Rory Kinnear) and a daughter (voice: Emily Beecham), and the big question is, when he dies, will they take over – or will they get rid of the farm?

In recent years, the UK has produced a number of rural movies that stand in stark contrast to the urban- (Often London-) based films produced.… Read the rest

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

Return to Seoul
(Retour à Séoul)

Director – Davy Chou – 2022 – France, Belgium, Germany, South Korea – Cert. 15 – 118m

****1/2

A woman born in South Korea and fostered by parents in France unexpectedly returns to the land of her birth – on MUBI from Friday, July 7th

Although it looks at first glance like a South Korean movie, this is actually a predominantly European production, and within that, predominantly French. Its central character is South Korean by birth, but adopted at a very young age and raised by foster parents in France, who she considers her parents. She also may look Korean, but considers herself French. She speaks French, and English too, pretty well, but no Korean. (In South Korea, English appears to function as the go-to language for communicating with foreigners.) She feels French. The film takes place in South Korea, and most (but not all) of the characters are South Korean.

Freddie aka Frédérique Benoît (Park Ji-min) sits chatting in the restaurant of the Francophile guest house with her new-found friends Tena (Guka Han) and Dongwan (Son Seung-beom). They explain you don’t pour yourself soju – you wait for your friends to pour it, because if they don’t keep you supplied, what kind of friends would they be?… Read the rest

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

Reality

Director – Tina Satter – 2023 – US – Cert. 12a – 83m

*****

A young woman working in US security services is questioned in her home by two FBI interrogators who believe she’s leaked classified documents to The Intercept – out in UK and Irish cinemas on Friday, June 2nd

This film is based on a true story. That commonly used phrase can encompass everything from attempts at verisimilitude through to extreme misrepresentation. This film, however, is something different from most films bearing that legend.

The true story on which this film is based is an interview of a woman by two FBI agents. That organisation’s protocols dictate that such incidents, planned ahead of their execution, must be recorded in transcription form. So the film is not based on the incident so much as it is based on the official transcript of it. That includes not only the verbal words, but also pauses or gaps on the parts of those speaking them.

Writer-director Satter was hooked by the transcript and has already turned it into the critically acclaimed Broadway play Is This A Room. Theatre and cinema, while they often share certain elements, are essentially two different media; a successful play has an immediate attraction to movie producers who believe its proven theatrical track record will sell cinema tickets, yet the cinema is littered with stagebound adaptation of plays which worked far better on stage than screen.… Read the rest

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

Reality

Interrogating the text

Reality
Directed by Tina Satter
Certificate 12a, 83 minutes
Released 2 June

A film named after not, as you might imagine, a state of truth, but a young woman, the main protagonist Reality Winner (Sydney Sweeney). She works in a US security facility, translating documents from Farsi to English. The room in which she works separates its workers into cubicles with dual computer screens and workstations. TVs on the wall constantly play Fox News.

They say that truth is stranger than fiction. This is not one of those ‘based on a true story’ movies; it actually is a true story in that the dialogue (along with the pauses within it) is lifted from the FBI transcript of the real life interrogation of the real life Reality Winner.

So, the actors take the words, pauses and so forth, and… [Read the rest in Reform magazine]

Reality is out in cinemas in the UK and Ireland on Friday, June 2nd.

Read my review at Reform magazine.

Read my alternative review for this site.

Trailer: