Film Reviews at the Art Centre Cinema

Submarine

Director: Richard Ayoade

 

Submarine is a candid, dry comedy and coming of age story about a teenager (Oliver Tate) in Swansea, Wales who is dealing with the stress of growing up, his parents marriage slowly deteriorating and the romance between girlfriend Jordana.

Oliver is a very awkward and I have mixed feelings with how I feel about how Oliver and his reactions with whats going on his life. For example, not going to the hospital to comfort and console Jordana over the possibility of her mother dying from cancer to stay home with his dad who has also ditched his wife and Oliver’s mother. On one hand I start to really dislike Oliver as how could he not go and comfort his girlfriend who is miserable over the possibility of her mother dying? But understandably he is also going through some 

 

For me, I loved how stylistic this film was and how there were titles such as prologue, showdown, and epilogue. This hints at the fact that this is a film adaptation of a book written by Joe Dunthorne. One of the stylistic choices I’m not usually keep on is self aware narration. However, I actually really appreciated it in Submarine as I felt like it really belongs with the rest of Ayoades stylistic choices such as the titles and fade outs in blue and red throughout the entire film as it is more of a biopic film. It escapes all the typical cliches involved with most coming of age films in this day and age.

Other film review:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/03/movies/submarine-with-craig-roberts-review.html

Amelie

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

 

Amelie is a over-imaginative comedy about a waitress in central paris who tries to improve other peoples lives. Once she has a taste of bettering someones life by returning a box of child mementos to the owner she sets out to help more people in need.

This film, for me, was so hard to sit through and watch as it felt like it was 3 hours long and I felt myself continuously getting angry at the protagonist Amelie. This is because she was just not being straight forward and just telling Nino, her possible love interest that she is the one that has his book of photo booth photos instead she plays a game with him making him travel around France to find her identity. 

Whilst I really enjoy the magic realism and the effects in the film, for me it doesn’t make up for the unnecessarily weird personality traits and her actions. For example, she took her dads gnome and sent it around the world and anonymously sends him photos of the gnome in different countries. While I can find humour in this I still have no idea to what the point is of her doing this. To get her dad out the house more? Talk to him then. 

Overall this film was disappointing as I felt like it was trying too hard to be a cute little artsy film. If the things Amelie did in the film, like getting another key cut, breaking into someones apartment to mess with the by changing things around is 1 breaking the law and 2 a little bit crazy.  She’s portrayed as a sweet innocent woman-child but if you think about it realistically she is kinda crazy and a criminal.

Other Film Review:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2001/oct/05/1

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Director: Wes Anderson

 

It is said that this is Wes Anderson’s worst film, and while it might not be amazing I think it still reflects everything that makes a Wes Anderson film a Wes Anderson film. This is because he is still using his typical style of symmetry and colour palettes. The storyline and unneeded scenes (I hated the pirate attack scene) is what made it such a flop, in my opinion. However, I loved the style and the way is it made by using a boat set cut in half and how everything is so unrealistic and fake. For me it’s what makes the film so oddly charming. 

In my view I think all of Anderson's films are unique and quirky which is why I love Anderson's style so much. I'm much more into a different way of storytelling compared to other more basic techniques.  

Even though I thought quite a few of the scenes weren't necessary to the storyline you can't deny that the style of the film, the stunning locations and beautifully made set and props absolutely steal the show. It's so visually appealing it's hard to dislike the film as a whole. There will be some part of it that you appreciate wether its part of the storyline or part of the set/props. 

Other Film Review:

https://www.empireonline.com/movies/life-aquatic-steve-zissou/review/

Under the Shadow

Director: Babak Anvari

Under the shadow is an unsettling and suspenseful horror/thriller film based in Iran.

 

I've watched so many horror films over the last few years so I find my self not being surprised or scared with jump scares anymore but as soon as the first one came I knew I would be pleasantly surprised with how unpredictable the scares in this film might be. The entire time I was watching the film I was on the edge of my seat waiting for jump scare after jump scare because I was getting so invested with the film and the characters. A few of scares I did find to be quite predictable but overall I enjoyed being jumpy.

 

Even though the basis of the film - a spirit taking over a child's body is quite over done, the fact that it's set in a Iran during the Iran-Iraq war made it a lot more interesting to watch. It did to the typical horror film technique of the spirit getting worse and worse each day, obviously only happening at night which I did find a bit frustrating because its so overdone.

 

As well as making me feel on edge the whole time it also made me feel a bit sad for the living conditions back then, constantly being on edge of a possible bomb attack and the mum almost getting arrested for not wearing the 'correct' clothing. You would think that if a mother is carrying her child and running down the road screaming you would hope that the police would be more concerned about that rather than her not wearing her headscarf. 

Shideh is effectively already living in a nightmare considering she can't even do half the things that are so normal to us. For example, having a video player to watch her work out videos on. 

Other Film Review:

http://www.nme.com/reviews/movie/reviews-various-artists-16579

Vanishing sail 

Director: Alexis Andrews

Vanishing Sail is a film I was happily surprised that I genuinely enjoyed. 

Watching the challenges that Alwyn Enoe had to face while building the last boat had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Every time him and his family faced a problem regarding the boat building wether it was from the weather or money issues I wanted to help even though I know I couldn't. The film does an amazing job at getting you invested into their lives over the films duration. Even though they are all grown adults I feel that you watch them grow together as a family when building the boat. Through all the challenges and hardships they face you see them get stronger and closer as a family to overcome everything stopping them from going to the competition. 

What really got me was when they finally managed to sail all the way to the competition but on the second race the sail snapped completely off due to the strong winds. I found myself so upset for them. 

What makes it even more astonishing is that the film is made by people who are equally passionate about the village and the tradition of wooden boat building. 

Other Film Review:

http://www.canadianyachting.ca/news-and-events/current/3855-vanishing-sail-review

Force Majeure

Director: Ruben Ostlund

The thing that got me about this film was the fact the problem with their relationship begins with the father running away from his family when the avalanche gets slightly too close. The mother see's it as he's abandoning the family and will always put himself first before them. This then puts a wedge in-between them which leads to some awkward situations with other couple at the resort. 

The avalanche I think is a metaphor for their relationship because its just spiralling out of control more and more as the days of their holiday pass. 

Other Film Review:

Hugo

Director: Martin Scorsese

Hugo is a film that I have watched many times but each time it never fails to surprise me. From the beautiful composition of the shots to the wonderful, playful magic that goes on throughout. 

Other Film Review:

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/hugo-2011

Do the Right Thing

Director: Spike Lee

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