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The Beast
(La Bête)
(2023)

Director – Bertrand Bonello – 2023 – France – Cert. 15 – 146m

*****

Required to expunge her emotions by the ruling AI of 2044, a woman with a sense of dread revisits her past lives in 1910 and 2014 and their incarnations of the love of her life – curious mix of art house movie and science fiction is out in UK cinemas on Friday, May 31st

An actress (Léa Seydoux) against green screen rehearses a scene in a house – the director’s voice tells her where the stairs and other features are in relation to her position and marks on the floor. With these minimal visuals but with the addition of music and full sound effects, she works through the scene up to the point where she sees the terrifying shadow of the Beast on a wall and screams. Consciously or unconsciously, this echoes the screen test on the boat of Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) in King Kong (Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933) as she is required to scream at an unseen, gargantuan monster for the camera.

As in Kong, this scene anticipates one that will play out later in the film. However, Bonello plays it as a curious introduction to the whole, rather than part of the story proper.… Read the rest

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

The Beast
(La Bête)
(2023)

A Fatal Belief

The Beast
Directed by Bertrand Bonello
Certificate 15, 146 minutes
Released 31 May

As satisfying as it is infuriating, this French genre-bender is part science fiction, part period costume drama and part literary adaptation. It’s based on Henry James’ 1903 novella The Beast in the Jungle, in which a man refuses to marry the woman he loves to spare her from the attack he believes will be perpetrated upon him at some point by a horrible beast.

About a third is, as you might expect, a period costume drama, sumptuously shot on film. However, the co-writer and director Bonello introduces two more separate timelines set in 2014 and 2044 and shot on harsher digital technology for a more modern feel.

He also switches the gender roles round, so that… [Read the full review in Reform]

[Read my longer review on this site]

Trailer:

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Features Live Action Movies

Scream VI

Directors – Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett – 2022 – US – Cert. 18 – 123m

**1/2

The sixth entry in the Scream franchise relocates from Woodsboro to New York City as the masked killer continues to stalk and kill his victims – out in UK cinemas on Friday, March 10th

The phone rings. Someone picks up. If it’s the first time he’s called, the caller (voice: Roger L. Jackson) engages them in conversation, often about whether they like movies, in particular scary movies. This often leads to the recipient of the call being bloodily murdered shortly after. But not always. Some of the characters in the Scream movies stay alive via a judicious knowledge of the rules of horror films. The previous five films, of which the fifth film is somewhat confusingly called Scream exactly the same as the first, are set in the town of Woodsboro, California with a cast of repeating characters among the ongoing survivors.

This sixth film is set in the very different urban milieu of New York City. Which, along with a smart graphic whereby the last three quarters of the letter ‘M’ are coloured red to turn into the Roman numeral VI, may entice back viewers who had long since given up on the franchise (the ideas got tired after the first couple of films).… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

Fish Story
(フィッシュストーリー)

Director – Yoshihiro Nakamura – 2009 – Japan – Cert. 15 – 112m

*****

I review Fish Story for All The Anime.

A comet threatens to destroy life on Earth. Three years earlier a religious cult attempts a ferry hijack. In the 1970s a punk band records and disbands before the Sex Pistols do. Welcome to the bizarre and quirky vision of Yoshihiro Nakamura’s Fish Story (2009). As well as being the screenwriter of Dark Water, Nakamura is also a prolific writer-director whose films include the likeable See You Tomorrow, EveryoneFish Story had a DVD release back in 2009 and distributors Third Window are now putting out a Blu-ray with a lovely new transfer and a heap of excellent albeit standard definition extras.

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The story is touted as how a song by a punk band can change the world… which, while a good bit of PR spin, makes this highly entertaining and enjoyable film sound far more focused than it actually is.

I review Fish Story for All The Anime.

Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=20&v=vC5E4-LRrTk&feature=emb_logo