Categories
Features Live Action Movies

Observing
(Opazovanje)

Director – Janez Burger – 2023 – Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, North Macedonia – Cert. none – 83m

*****

A paramedic must deal with the aftermath of a man being kicked unconscious after people watch the incident on social media livestreaming – plays in the spirit of the Critics’ Picks Competition at the 27th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

The sounds of a man (Vito Weiss) being beaten up by others. No images. Mercifully.

If you lived in Slovenia, you’d be familiar with a news story about a man who was beaten up by others who livestreamed the event over social media, picking up an audience of 20 000, out of whom only a negligible number, maybe a handful, thought to call the police. That incident was the starting point for this film, which is an attempt to come to term with such events.

It’s a drama based around the three-person ambulance detail who find themselves picking up the victim of the livestreamed attack. He’s in a bad way and winds up in intensive care. Most of the ambulance pickups either die on the way to or in hospital, or they make a full recovery; this man, however, remains stable but unconscious in the ICU with no sign of either recovery or lapse.… Read the rest

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

Winners (Barandeha)

Director – Hassan Nazer – 2022 – UK, Iran – Cert. PG – 85m

****

A missing Oscar statuette is found by two kids in the Iranian provinces who work scavenging rubbish dumps – the UK’s official entry for the 95th (2023) Academy Awards Best International Feature is out in UK cinemas on Friday, March 17th #winnersfilm

An Oscar statuette goes missing in Tehran when the woman charged with bring it to the production company office somewhat foolishly leaves it in the back of a taxi while she nips out at her home to collect something. While she is out of the vehicle, a policeman instructs the driver to move on as he isn’t allowed to stop there. She comes back and the taxi is gone – and the statuette with it.

It ends up in the taxi company’s lost parcel office, where an employee who has no idea what it is decides to borrow it for the evening as it will look good in his home, wrapping it in a towel before placing it in his bag. Travelling through the small town of Garmsar on his motorbike, he is forced by a broken down car blocking the road to take a detour across bumpy, poorly-maintained roads which, in turn, cause the poorly packed statuette to fall off his bike where it is found by a girl, Leila (Helia Mohammad Khani), who hands it to her nine-year old friend Yahya (Parsa Maghami).… Read the rest

Categories
Documentary Features Live Action Movies

A Bunch Of Amateurs

Director – Kim Hopkins – 2022 – UK – Cert. 12a – 95m

***

The Bradford Movie Makers amateur filmmaking club struggles to survive in the modern world – out in UK cinemas on Friday, November 11th

Founded in 1932, the Bradford Movie Makers is a club for lovers of movies to make their own films. Such amateur groups were once common in parts of Britain, but now they’re dying out. As one BMM member comments, Leeds and Wakefield are gone. The BMM may be next: its accounts are in a bad shape, with various utility bills unpaid and several years’ worth of rent owing to a seemingly sympathetic landlord. The decrepit garage space at the side of the building needs clearing. It’s currently used as a local dumping ground for rubbish. And many of the members themselves are getting on in years; in the course of the two or three years covered by this documentary, some of the members’ spouses will die.

But this is Yorkshire, and life goes on. Retired carpenter Colin climbs the steps of his uphill garden to perch precariously by his fence to plant daffodil bulbs. Eventually at the club, his herculean feat of climbing the narrow stairs to the screening room is augmented by the installation of a stairlift.… Read the rest

Categories
Animation Features Movies

Boonie Bears
Back To Earth
(Xiong Chu Mo
Chong Fan
Di Qiu,
熊出沒·重返地球)

Director – Lin Huida – 2022 – China – Cert. PG – 100m

****

The latest movie in this long-running, animated Chinese franchise, hugely successful at the Chinese (and therefore global) box office, is the first to get a UK cinema release in a dubbed format for family audiences – out in UK cinemas on Friday, May 27th

Urban bear superhero Bramble (voiced in the English language version by Joseph S. Lambert) successfully battles and defeats a monster formed from the garbage that people in the city have failed to properly throw away, lapping up the ensuing admiration from local child and cute animal residents until rudely awakened from his urban daydream by the human Vick (voice: Paul ‘Maxx’ Rinehart), who wants him to clean up the litter in the rest area of the Pine Tree Mountain forest / national park where they live.

Motivated by the promise of an ice cream on completion, Bramble speedily undertakes the task by racing around gathering the detritus in his arms only to come a cropper at the very end, spilling all the collected rubbish at its allotted bins. Although he has the best intentions and tries hard, Bramble is not the smartest bear in the woodlands.… Read the rest