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The New Girlfriend (Une Nouvelle Amie)

Director – François Ozon – 2014 – France – Cert. 15 – 108m

*****

On BFI Player subscription from Monday, May 17th 2021

UK release date 22/05/2015

Spring

Spring

Directors – Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead – 2014 – US – Cert. 15 – 109m

*****

UK release date 22/05/2015

Both these films can easily be ruined by spoilers, so be wary of reading reviews or cinema blurb or even watching trailers before you see them. That said, the following is spoiler free. Now read on.

Spring

The married, female protagonist of French maverick Ozon’s The New Girlfriend – based on a book by Ruth Rendell who passed away last month – suffers serious emotional trauma then becomes involved with a man who is not all that he seems. The single, male protagonist of US indie Spring suffers serious emotional trauma then becomes involved with a woman who is not all that she seems. In both films, the question is: can their relationship survive?

The New Girlfriend‘s Claire (Anaïs Demoustier) is distraught when friend since childhood Laura (Isild Le Besco) dies leaving behind a husband David (Romain Duris) and child. Having promised to look after David should Laura die, she sets about doing so…and makes an unexpected discovery.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

Synchronic

Directors – Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead – 2019 – US – Cert. 15 – 102m

*****

Two New Orleans paramedics stumble upon a designer drug causing weird hallucinations and inexplicable deaths in this mind-bending science fiction yarn – – on Blu-ray and DVD from Monday, April 5th

The prior films of creative partners Benson & Moorhead (The Endless, 2017; Spring, 2014; Resolution, 2012) inevitably set the bar high since they’ve consistently astonished audiences with their mind-bending narratives. Normally I watch films once then review them, but on this occasion I’ve had the privilege of wilfully watching Synchronic three times in the last year or so. This in itself tells you something about this film’s narrative pleasures. And given that Marvel recently signed the duo up to direct episodes of Moon Knight for Disney+, it would seem Hollywood is of a similar opinion.

Its extraordinary story involves two New Orleans paramedics whose characters completely engage you and pulls you in. Which is just as well because they stumble on some pretty strange stuff in the course of their work – in particular, calls involving trauma and sometimes death in the aftermath of bad drug trips.

It opens with a couple at home taking some hallucinogenic drugs and seeing / experiencing some extremely weird goings on.… Read the rest

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Live Action Movies Trailers

The Endless

Directors – Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead – 2017

Never go back. Watch a kaleidoscopic marvel, the extraordinary, online trailer for the latest film by (and featuring) independent filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead – in cinemas and digital HD on Friday, June 29th 2018

Quote: “I was told… that they were all going to kill themselves… and THAT’S why we left the cult.” The opening words on the soundtrack of the new trailer for The Endless. Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution/2012, Spring/2014) play two brothers named Justin and Aaron. Tension between them. A thunderclap and a flashing image of a man putting a gun to his head. Light, eerie music. Sun-soaked rocks in a daylight American desert. A yearning. “They were our family. I want to go back.” A car journeying across Western desert country, then the image flipped so the sky is beneath and the land above, with no car… and superimposed over this, logos from half a dozen major film festivals. The brothers’ car passing a beatifically smiling man standing beside a sign that reads: ‘Camp Arcadia’. A videotape features strange circular images in a landscape. A man in a group of people round a table asks, “what video?”… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

The Endless

Directors – Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead – 2017 – US – Cert. 15 – 111m

*****

Second time lucky? Two brothers who escaped from a strange desert cult decide to go back for a second look, which may prove to be their undoing – in cinemas & digital HD on Friday, June 29th and on Blu-ray & DVD from Monday, 2nd July

The third film from independent US directors Benson & Moorhead following Resolution (2012) and Spring (2014) sees them cast themselves as characters with their own first names. Here, Justin and Aaron are brothers whose lives seem to have lost direction since they escaped to L.A. from an isolated cult out in the desert some years ago. Specifically, Justin pulled the pair out of there when he became convinced that the cult members were about to enact a mass suicide. However, Aaron is not convinced that Justin’s suspicions were correct.

These tensions surface with the arrival through the post of an old videotape from the cult which suggests its members are still very much alive. Aaron has fond memories of great cooking and a family of sorts so wants to go back and visit; Justin hesitantly agrees provided they stay one night only and then leave.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

78/52

Director – Alexandre O. Philippe – 2017 – US – Cert. 15 – 91m

*****

Oh, mother, mother, what have you done??? Find out everything you ever wanted to know about the infamous shower scene, in this doc about Psycho – – in the London Film Festival on October 13th and 15th 2017, cinemas on Friday, November 3rd 2017, and then on DVD and BFI Player Rental in 2018

When Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock) first came out in 1960, no one knew about the shower scene. These days it’s been so referenced in films, television and popular culture that everyone, it seems, does so.

This documentary is called 78/52 after the shower scene’s number of set-ups (78) and cuts (52). Psycho was shot in four weeks; one of the four was dedicated to shooting that one scene.

In some ways, 78/52 doesn’t do what it says on the tin. It talks a lot about Psycho the cultural phenomenon before it eventually gets round to the shower scene… [Read the rest]

78/52 is on BFI Player. It played BFI London Film Festival 2017 prior to cinema and DVD release.

Full review: DMovies.org.

Trailer:

Psycho trailer:

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

Spring

Directors – Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead – 2014 – US – Cert. 15 – 109m

*****

UK release date 22/05/2015

The New Girlfriend

The New Girlfriend (Une Nouvelle Amie)

Director – François Ozon – 2014 – France – Cert. 15 – 108m

*****

UK release date 22/05/2015

Both these films can easily be ruined by spoilers, so be wary of reading reviews or cinema blurb or even watching trailers before you see them. That said, the following is spoiler free. Now read on.

Spring

The single, male protagonist of US indie Spring suffers serious emotional trauma then becomes involved with a woman who is not all that she seems. The married, female protagonist of French maverick Ozon’s The New Girlfriend – based on a book by Ruth Rendell who passed away last month – suffers serious emotional trauma then becomes involved with a man who is not all that he seems. In both films, the question is: can their relationship survive?

Spring

Spring‘s Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) witnesses the death of his bedridden mother. Distraught, he heads to the local bar, gets into drunken fight which ends up with his leaving the US to evade the police. He heads to Italy where he meets a bunch of Brit backpackers and indulges in more binge drinking, but everything changes when he meets and falls for the mysterious Louise (Nadia Hilker)… (This reviewer confesses that by this point – about ten minutes into the film – he wasn’t feeling much sympathy for the character – or, indeed, liking the film very much at all – but Evan’s subsequent relationship with Louise had him hooked.)… Read the rest

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Live Action Movies

Resolution

Directors – Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead – 2012 – US – Cert. 15– 93m

****

First time lucky? Benson & Moorhead’s ultra-low budget debut feature both anticipates and ties in with The Endless – out now as a second disc on the UK Blu-ray & DVD of The Endless

Michael (Peter Cilella) drops in on his old friend Chris (Vinny Curran) who has become a crack addict and is living in an abandoned house in the middle of some scrub wasteland. Chris thinks Mike wants to join him but Mike has another idea in mind. He wants to force Chris to go cold turkey so he cuffs his friend to some wall piping and gets rid of the drug.

Now the long wait beings. And a series of messages recorded on all manner of media begin arriving: an LP, a VHS videotape, wall carvings and more. Someone – or something – is recording them. But who. Or what? And why?

Resolution is the auspicious debut feature of independents Benson & Moorhead who went on to make Spring (2014) and The Endless (2017). Boasting a wickedly clever script by Benson and shot by Moorhead, it’s not only a textbook example of how to make a low budget feature and launch a film career but also a terrific little movie.… Read the rest