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Documentary Features Live Action Movies

Another Body

Directors – Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn – 2023 – UK, US – Cert. 18 – 80m

***

A young woman discovers her face has been added by deepfake technology into porn videos, and attempts to find out the perpetrator – documentary is out in UK cinemas on Friday, November 24th

The opening five minutes show a normal, well-adjusted, young woman. Taylor Klein comes from a family of engineers, with a mother who is the hardest working person she knows, an attribute that always encouraged Taylor to work hard to become a success. So she went to a college called C-net to study engineering. She was one of two female students out of a group of around fifty. And that was fine. Or so it seemed at the time.

Some time after successfully completing her course, a friend sent her a social media message. Her first reaction has that he had been hacked – but no, he assured her, it was definitely him. And she needed to look at the link he had sent her. When she did so, her world collapsed. Because she found herself watching porn videos on PornHub starring herself. Seven in total, and one more on another site called xHamster.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

Ride On
(Longma Jingshen,
龙马精神)

Director – Larry Yang – 2023 – China – Cert. PG – 126m

****

Ageing stuntman Jackie Chan must fight to retain ownership of the horse he has befriended and trained since rescuing it at birthout on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital in the UK on Monday, July 24th following its release in UK, Irish, Chinese and US cinemas on Friday, April 7th

Why does one go to see a Jackie Chan movie? The usual reasons are the incredible stunts coupled with the likeable, knockabout comedy which is his trademark. Perhaps the star’s winsome personality also plays a part. His best films over the years have probably contained a mixture of all three. While these elements, notably Jackie’s personality, are all present to some degree here, they aren’t really its strengths – which are (1) the depiction of a career, reviewed by a person who is old, past their prime, and forced to confront the fact and (2) the relationship of a man with a horse which he has known from the time of its birth.

The day Ride On was released in both the UK and China was also Jackie Chan’s 69th birthday. While I don’t doubt he keeps himself in good condition, he is clearly no longer the young man he once was.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

Three Colours: Red
(Trois Couleurs: Rouge)

Director – Krzysztof Kieślowski – 1994 – France – Cert. 15 – 99m

*****

An up-and-coming model strikes up a friendship with a retired judge after her car accidentally runs over his dog one night – 4K restoration is out in UK cinemas on Friday, April 14th

This represents the third part of a trilogy based on the three colours of the French national flag, with each film representing one of that nation’s three values of liberté, égalité, fraternité (liberty, equality, brotherhood). I interviewed Kieślowski for this back in 1994, the second time I’d interviewed him. The first was in 1993 for Three Colours: Blue.

Like Three Colours: Blue and Three Colours: White before it, Three Colours: Red is about human connection or lack of it. As if to underscore the point, it starts off with an international phone call which fails to connect. In a nod to Dial M For Murder (Alfred Hitchcock, 1953) where a phone call is shown via images of telephony, little mechanisms springing into brief action to make a phone call happen, Kieślowski has his camera race along telephone cables on the ground, at one point following them down a beach into the sea and out again onto land on the other side of a lake or ocean.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

After Yang

Director – Kogonada – 2022 – US – Cert. PG – 96m

****1/2

In the distant future, a couple must come to terms with the loss of the eldest child, actually an A.I. purchased as an ethnically programmed companion for their adopted South East Asian daughter – SF mystery drama is on Sky Cinema from Thursday, September 22nd

Memory is one of the great themes of cinema because when you point a moving image camera at someone, you capture and preserve their moving image for posterity. (Something similar happens when you record the sound of someone’s voice. Or even if you write down their words on paper, a simpler, more primitive form of recording.) Memory is also one of the elements which defines us as human beings.

Full marks, then, to director (actually writer, director, editor) Kogonada for taking the short story Saying Goodbye To Yang by Alexander Weinstein and expanding it into a feature. As described in the parlance of the distant future world in which this is set, Yang is a technosapien (i.e. a robot), a purchased elder sibling of a family comprising father Jake (Colin Farrell), mother Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith) and daughter Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja).

Mika is adopted, and her ever so Hollywood liberal parents – he a white man who has built a business around his passion for tea, she a black woman who is a hard-working, highly motivated high-flier in a demanding corporate business that’s never really defined – are concerned that she connect with her South East Asian heritage.… Read the rest

Categories
Documentary Features Live Action Movies

Hostile

Director – Sonita Gale – 2021 – UK – Cert. 12a – 98m

**1/2

A documentary about the UK’s anti-immigrant Hostile Environment policy includes a brief history plus stories of both those it affected and a charity set up to help them – out in cinemas on Friday, January 21st, local screening details constantly being added here

The eponymous adjective refers to the UK’s attitude to immigrants since 2012: the so-called Hostile Environment. Make Britain an unpleasant enough place for immigrants, and they’ll leave.

Gale’s film has three main plot strands. The first follows the Sair family, from Pakistan, resident in the UK since 2003. The second follows the fortunes of the Community Response Kitchen, a non-profit organisation set up to feed low paid workers in the London Borough of Brent. The third is a brief history of anti-immigration rhetoric and policy in the UK. Further material includes interviews with Windrush generation Brit Anthony Bryan and MP Stephen Timms, among others.

The story of the Sairs makes for depressing viewing. In 2003, Farrukh Sair married Saba in Pakistan. Four months later, the couple moved to the UK on a student visa to do a course. Today, they have a family, kids who have spent their entire lives in the UK.… Read the rest

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Ieoh Island
(Iodo,
이어도)

Director – Kim Ki-young – 1977 – South Korea – Cert. 18 – 110m

*****

An acquitted murder suspect visits the island birthplace of his alleged victim to learn about the latter’s life and the strange, ritualistic, matriarchal society that still exists there – from the London Korean Film Festival 2019

Environmental journalist Chun Nam-seok (Choi Yoon-seok) is sent by his editor on a boat trip junket. Both men are unaware that it’s promoting a proposed Ieoh Island hotel. Chun Nam-seok was born and raised on Parang-do island, off the coast of Jeju island. On Parang-do, Ieoh Island was regarded with a terrible awe owing to the water spirits alleged to live there and believed to take the fishermen from their boats during storms at sea. The island is populated by women who mostly work as divers and their children, the men having been lost at sea on fishing vessels or having left the island for other reasons.

Aware of Chun Nam-seok’s environmentalist credentials, but not of his past associations with the island, company man Sun Woo-hyun (Kim Jong-cheol), whose brainchild the proposed Ieoh Island hotel is, expresses a desire to colleagues to get rid of him and engages with a drinking contest with the man on deck during which Chun Nam-seok goes missing, presumed drowned.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

The Third Murder
(Sandome
No Satsujin,
三度目の殺人)

Director – Hirokazu Kore-eda – 2017 – Japan – Cert. 15 – 124m

*****

For a director usually associated with family dramas like I Wish, Like Father, Like Son and After The Storm, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s The Third Murder might seem like a change of direction. It begins with a murder, and focussed on a lawyer trying to uncover what actually happened, a narrative template familiar from countless films about journalists in search of a story, detectives trying to solve crimes and courtroom dramas of lawyers at work.

Yet there are plenty of Kore-eda concerns evident here. Ambitious young lawyer Shigemori (Masaharu Fukuyama from Like Father Like Son and John Woo’s thriller ManHunt) is a workaholic estranged from his wife. His daughter commits petty offences like shoplifting. His client Misumi (Koji Yakusho) was imprisoned for a murder over thirty years ago, but since his release has confessed to a second murder. He, too, has a daughter, but she wants nothing to do with him.

As for the murder victim, [Read the remainder of the review at All The Anime…]

Trailer: