Boyhood

boyhood-posterWhen I was in my early teens, I saw Richard Linklater’s Waking Life. Today, it’s easy to look back and think the movie is more simplistic than it was, but I still have a strong nostalgia. It was a film that spoke about deep issues in an accessible way to teenagers. The same can be said for Skanner Darkly, my still favourite Linklater film. It’s weird and visually interesting, but not purposefully confusing. If I had not enjoyed his films at that impressionable age, I would probably never even try to enjoy films like Upstream Colour. Linklater was my gateway drug to all kinds of non-linear stories and alternative film concepts, and I will always be thankful for that. 

Boyhood, I knew, was not going to be another introduction course to alternative film, but according to the hype, it was very unique. Linklater has spent twelve years filming, using the same actors, who therefore age naturally. Ellar Coltrane, playing the 6-19 year old boy called Mason, said in his AMA on Reddit that every year filming was a bit like summer camp. The film also includes Linklater familiar Ethan Hawke as the father, and Patricia Arquette as the mother. 

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Only Lovers Left Alive Review

Only-Lovers-Left-Alive-Australian-Poster-copyDisclaimers are important I think, and perhaps never more so when writing about vampire movies. Personally, I enjoy them a lot, and have followed the vampire as a character, phenomenon and monster through half my life.

Vampires are more associated with sparkling, emo six-packs these days, but the vampires of Only Lovers Left Alive have much more in common with Anne Rice’s old pantheon of characters than Meyer’s more recent “evolution”. These are vampires who interacted with history, with the great writers, scientists and painters. Their endless, and sometimes tedious lives, punctuated by some cultural or scientific genius who can keep their attention for a few more decades.

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The Fault In Our Stars Review

fault-our-stars-movie-posterThis review will not be very objective, but opinions never are, so why even try pretending? I pre-ordered The Fault In Our Stars when it was first announced. I haven’t read it more than once, but I did enjoy it a lot. It made me want to read more of John Green’s work, and I admit I was oddly hyped for a movie about teenagers with cancer.

The Fault In Our Stars is the story of Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters. It a story about young love. I liked the book because it managed to be deep in that teenager way I remember. Back when I read books that flew far over my head because I was searching for something. John Green captured that without being pretentious, unlike us back then. It’s hard not to know beforehand going in, even if you haven’t read the book, that this is going to be a tearjerker. One of the taglines reads: “One Sick Love Story.” Enough said, but not quite. Don’t let yourself get depressed out of seeing it, for the story has a lot of humour and love in it.

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Aronofsky’s Noah Short Review

noah-posterI remember actually enjoying certain Biblical stories as a child. My favourite was an illustrated version of Samson, which I guess technically makes him my first superhero. Hollywood once knew why the Bible was perfect for the screen, and Aronofsky is apparently the one to remind them, which he undeniably does.

The traditional story of Noah is adapted and embellished in the film, titled simply Noah. The trailer hints at a lot of the additions, but I still wasn’t prepared for how original the story looked. The rock-angels are probably the biggest surprise. Fallen angels who turn to stone upon impact, they now wander the earth being bitter about their decision to help humanity. Noah and his family are far more complex than I expected as well. This isn’t so much a story about saving the animals or surviving the flood, it’s about one man’s struggle with interpreting the Creator’s will, how his family deal with his conviction, and humanity’s capacity for good.

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Tom at the Farm – Tom à la Ferme

tomSet in wide empty farmlands somewhere in Canada, Tom à la Ferme surprised, touched and disturbed me. It comes across as an intense personal vision even though it’s apparently adapted from a play.

Tom comes to the farm in order to attend his boyfriend’s funeral. The mother, Agatha, doesn’t know they were together romantically. The brother, Francis, wants to keep it that way, and threatens Tom with violence should he say a word. At the same time, they both insist Tom stay. As the days pass, Francis becomes almost like an abusive boyfriend, one moment dancing a tango and bandaging Tom’s wounds, the next moment choking him. Agatha has more than a few issues herself, and together the three of them form a group with cult-like characteristics.

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