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Godland (Vanskabte Land)

Director – Hlynur Pálmason – 2022 – Denmark, Iceland – Cert. tbc – 138m

***1/2

Winter is coming. In the late nineteenth century, a Danish priest who is also an amateur photographer travels to an Icelandic island to oversee the construction of a church before Winter comes – plays in the BFI London Film Festival 2022 which runs from Wednesday, October 5th to Sunday, October 16th in cinemas and on BFI Player.

The late nineteenth century. Lutheran priest Lucas (Elliott Crosset Hove) meets with his Church of Denmark bishop regarding his forthcoming ministry to a remote village in Iceland where he is to oversee the construction of a church building before the harsh winter sets in. While that’s his official, designated task, the young man being something of an enthusiast for the newly emerging art of photography decides to take a camera and tripod with him to document his journey, and to this end, rather than take the simplest, safest and quickest route to his destination, he resolves to travel cross-country. (Although the film is a work of fiction, it was inspired by an actual series of photographs taken on a similar journey around this period.) He is allocated an Icelandic guide Ragnar (Ingvar Sigurðsson) to accompany him.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

The Woman King

Director – Gina Prince-Bythewood – 2022 – UK – Cert. 15 – 135m

****

The warrior women of Dahomey defend their people against capture by neighbouring nations for the white foreigners’ slave trade – out in UK cinemas on Friday, October 7th

Outside of the Greek myth of the Amazons, we don’t really think of armies as being made up of women rather than men prior to the last few decades, yet historically this actually occurred in a West African country, the Kingdom of Dahomey (further info: National Geographic; wikipedia) between the middle of the seventeenth and the end of the nineteenth centuries. These warrior women are the subject of this film which takes place in 1823.

A prologue shows a small unit of the women in action under their General Nansica (an unforgettable Viola Davis) as they attack and slaughter a unit of (male) soldiers [Read more…]

Full review published at DMovies.org.

The Woman King is out in cinemas in the UK on Friday, October 7th.

Trailer (please note that the irritating, ill-judged pop soundtrack is not representative of the film):

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Bright Star

Director – Jane Campion – 2009 – UK – Cert. PG – 119m

*****

The early nineteenth century romance between prospectless young poet John Keats and the younger Fanny Brawne – in cinemas from Friday, November 6th 2009

Bright Star‘s title comes from an 1819 love poem written by 23-year-old John Keats for 18-year-old Fanny Brawne, his next door neighbour. The poet (historical spoiler coming) contracted tuberculosis and died at the tender age of 25, before the couple could be married. Brawne subsequently mourned him for several years.

As you might expect from a filmography including both The Piano and In The Cut, Jane Campion is never one to match standard expectations and often overturns them to advantage.

There is scarce little (verbal) poetry here either spoken by the actors onscreen or in voice-over. The source materials are Andrew Motion’s biography Keats and the poems themselves. Reading Motion’s book, Campion was very taken with his material on the love relationship between the poet and Brawne and thought there could be a film there. Without any real idea as to how such a film would work at the time. She eventually opted for telling the couple’s story through the eyes of the girl.… Read the rest