Brixton Ritzy - upcoming films, reviews and opinions

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by Gramsci, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. DJWrongspeed

    DJWrongspeed radio eros

    Caught 'Manchester By Sea' this weekend. If it hadn't been for dry January I would've liked a stiff drink afterwards. Well worth catching. Casey Affleck is brilliant.
    Lonergan's previous film 'Margaret' is also brilliant but was under promoted due to studio disagreements.

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  2. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I recommend "Silence" for those who crave intense moral questioning. A Catholic up-bringing or familiarity with Catholic beliefs and doctrines would help bring empathy to the choices the leading characters face.

    I think the film has resonance on all sorts of levels, but central here is the response of believers to demands from the Japanese pagan authorities for spiritual subservience (referred to in the film as "apostasy").

    The Catholic church is built on the legends and true stories of martyrs. The moral complication in the film is that of spiritual leaders threatened with the prospect of not them, but their flock being executed very cruelly if they themselves do not recant.

    And further if people (including priests and missionaries) publicly renounce their faith - are they permanently lost - or do they remain Catholics capable of being absolved form their sins?

    I am not very familiar with Martin Scorsese's work - but I am a big fan of "The Last Temptation of Christ". In my opinion "Silence" is a very worthy successor - and in many ways asks probing moral questions in a more incisive way.

    The cinematography is quite striking in places - though looks much lower budget than "Last Temptation". I saw the film at Peckham Plex, for economic reasons, but it is on at the Ritzy still.
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  3. dbs1fan

    dbs1fan Well-Known Member

    Agree with DJ Wrong speed. Manchester-by-the-Sea is totally absorbing, affecting and powerful. Michelle Williams never does a bad film, IMHO.
    It's worth Picture house's inflated price. Go see!
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  4. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    went to see Scorcese Scorcese "Silence". It's struggling at the box office. See here
    Box Office: Why Ben Affleck's 'Live by Night' and Martin Scorsese's 'Silence' Fared So Poorly

    CH1 recommended this film to me last night. Thanks. Glad I saw it.

    I have not read reviews properly yet. Been mixed. It's a long film. I found it riveting after first twenty minutes.I don't agree with some reviewers who say it says in bits it drags and needs tighter editing.

    It is a film (as with all films IMO) that needs one to get into it and enter the films world. Which is faith and religion.Not something I am into.

    It reminded me off "Bridge over the River Kwai" at moments. I can see why it it has not done well. It's subject matter, length and pace make it an "arthouse" film. Not a criticism.

    It deals with existential issues of life. It's been criticized for not taking on enough the issue of the west using religion to colonize other countries. This is unfair. Some of the best bits of the film are the discussions between the Japanese gentry where this is brought up.The tables are turned the Jesuits find they are treated to the same methods that they use by the Japanese.

    The film raises more questions than it answers. Which is a plus point imo.

    Are the poor peasants really "Christian"? As Liam tells the young Padre. The poor peasants see Christianity as a route to Paradise. A way out from there oppressed living conditions. Are the Jesuits deluding themselves that the poor see Christianity in the way that they do?

    Is it pride that makes one keep to the faith and encourages the poor to martyr themselves for faith? Is the better road to be Judas? In the long term to keep the faith alive? Is God listening? Is sacrifice of any point if God is not listening?

    And the Japanese take up the Padres desire to test his faith in a way he only gradually realises.

    Whilst the film is not overtly political I would say it has something to say of the present day. The young Padre says that Christianity is truth. It's applicable to the whole world. If it wasn't it would not be "Truth". It's like the West invading other countries to give them "liberal democracy"in Iraq etc.

    So a film I would recommend. And great performances.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
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  5. OvalhouseDB

    OvalhouseDB Well-Known Member

    Manchester By The Sea is some of the best writing / directing I have seen in film - stunning performances too.
    But it is very harrowing.
    So many brilliant details.
    Set in America, but quite not-American in its style and narrative.
    Gramsci likes this.
  6. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan Sub-Sub-Librarian

    Your review reminds me of Michel Faber's The Book Of Strange New Things. It's about a missionary sent to a newly discovered planet to teach the aliens about Christianity and the Bible. The preacher struggles with similar philosophical uncertainties. Fantastic book.
    Gramsci likes this.
  7. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    You could I suppose try the original novel "Silence", which seems to have made an impact several times over in the last 50 years.

    I was talking to a Japanese doctor about the piece this afternoon. The original novel received awards when published in Japan in 1966. The author - Shūsaku Endō - is a Catholic and on the back of the success of his book organised some sort of symposium about whether Chrisitanity is a suitable religion for the Japanese psyche.

    I see from Wikipedia that the book had been turned into a film twice before (once Japanese, once Portuguese).
    Moreover it was made into a stage play by the author, then turned into an opera and in 2007 inspired the Scottish composer James McMkillan's Third Symphony (Silence).

    All in all the story seems to have made a lot of headway in the artistic sphere - despite current Hollywood takings being zilch!
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  8. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I think you are spot on. The film is like this. I will check the book.

    Liam Neeson who plays the priest the two young Jesuits try to find is a lost soul. The certainties of his faith crumble in the face of this alien culture.
  9. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Last year I met by chance a Japanese tourist who I ended showing around London. Remember her asking me about Harry Potter ( the books and films are popular in Japan) and Sherlock Holmes ( the recent TV version is big hit in Japan). I was surprised she knew all about them. Not really my thing. Realised for her it was exotic and different.

    What the film does not go into is the appeal that Christianity had for the poor Japanese.It's touched on. To me it seemed they saw Christ as a man for the poor and oppresed. The Jesuits don't really get this. Seeing the Japanese peasants as a bit like the "noble savage".It's the Japanese noblemen who correctly see Christianity as a threat to the social order.

    Not is Buddhism covered in the film. Heard someone talk about Buddhism on radio yesterday. Whilst a Buddhist he said in West people have a rosey view of Buddhism. In the east it was the religion of the establishment. With a sometimes bloody history that parallels Christianity.
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  10. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Re Jesuits - what you are saying may be correct when the order was founded (1534 approx) but nowadays they tend to be in the lead with social/religious issues - Liberation Theology etc. They (in my experience) tend to be much more open about different (non-Catholic) traditions within Christianity. When it comes to Japan I guess they may been converting local animists. Buddhism is by no means a majority religion there - now or in 1639.

    So possibly Martin Scorsese is playing an intellectual game with historically aware viewers - not least those who are Catholic.

    Then the is the parallel with Europe. In 1492 the Alhambra Decree required Jews in Spain and Portugal to convert to Catholicism or be expelled. The Spanish Inquisition was created to supervise. Following on from this there was a massive expulsion of Morriscos (Moors - originally from Morocco - some of whom had converted to Catholics but were still thought to be heretics by the Inquisition). These expulsions occurred mainly 1609 - 1613, but the final mass expulsion from Granada was in 1727.

    In the film Silence the action starts in 1639 and immediately shows a cultural purge going on in Japan which as it happens mirrors what was going on in Spain and Portugal. BTW my Japanese friend said the numbers affected in Japan ran into many thousands - although of course the film focuses mainly on the missionaries.

    This Wikipedia article here about Kakure Kirishitan details the effect of the suppression forcing Christianity into an underground religion from the 1630s. It shows artefacts - crosses and virgin/child ornaments perhaps designed to "pass" as Japanese local items. This illustrates the broad cultural accuracy of the film, I would suggest in discussing the question of Christians force to practice in secret.

    So really you have a film depicting atrocities against those who, according to my Japanese doctor friend came from families who had been encouraged by local tribal Japanese medieval rules to convert to Christianity in the interests of trade and social relations with "the west". Then an embargo on foreign trade and religion is imposed by a new centralising regime who see Buddhism as an important Japanese cultural unifier.

    This ironically was going on at the same time as the Spanish (and Portuguese) state was acting in a similar paranoid way. The parallel is not made in the film - but surely the assembled Jesuits at the premiere would have been well aware of this. Brexit is Brexit!
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  11. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Saw "Manchester by the sea" at Peckhamplex. As other posters have said it's a very good film. As OvalhouseDB points out it is different from typical Hollywood film. I think this is partly the setting. I was chatting to someone who comes from that area of USA. Said it's realistic portrayel of the area around Boston and the people.

    It does remind me of some French film- stories about ordinary people.

    It's long but didn't feel like. Ended wanting more. It's a humane film. Whilst the subject matter is heavy it's in the end a positive look at how people are essentially good. Some very touching scenes.

    A friend I saw it with said he normally does not like films with a lot of flashbacks. But in this film they worked. The film has a complex structure without being showy about.

    IMO it also builds up using a lot of short scenes built around the small town and the sea. Which helps to make this long film not drag.
    OvalhouseDB likes this.
  12. iantldn

    iantldn Member

    Saw hacksaw ridge at a preview last week. Amazing story and brilliantly acted. War violence is very gory and graphic so not for the feint hearted, but gives it a very real feel. Highly recommend it.
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  13. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Hacksaw Ridge.

    First off Mel Gibson knows how to make a film. It's gripping. Not a shot wasted.

    It's message? Deeply right wing. The Japanese are portrayed as underhand and lacking humanity. I thought the film might be more anti war.

    However it's message is that good old American values win out in the end. What are we fighting for? The right of the individual to follow his (Christian) beliefs. Unlike the Japanese hordes.

    Contrast this with Scorsese's "Silence". A much more subtle look at belief.
  14. iantldn

    iantldn Member

    I did find the portrayal of the Japanese a bit troubling but it was telling it from an American perspective and I'm sure they viewed them how their represented in the film.

    The faith stuff didn't bother me too much, even though I'm not religious in the slightest, I was more focused on the captivating story of Doss and the brilliant performances by the actors. I was amazed about how much of it was actually true to life:
    Hacksaw Ridge vs the True Story of Desmond Doss, Medal of Honor
  15. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Clint Eastwood did two films on the war from both sides. The same battle for an island.

    Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) - IMDb

    This is a fictionalised account by Gibson of the war against Japan. Eastwood managed to show the Japanese in a different light.

    Gibson did show it in the way that the Japanese were seen as the war progressed. It's not good enough for Gibson to trot out the same clichés of Japanese ina film years after the war ended.
  16. DJWrongspeed

    DJWrongspeed radio eros

    Saw Toni Erdmann last w/e. This is miles away from US/UK film style perhaps more like Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth. Probably not everyone's cup of tea. It's also not exactly a comedy that makes it alot cleverer and able to explore some serious points. It's not 3hrs like everyone says more like 2:40.
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  17. sparkybird

    sparkybird ask the bird...

    T2 Trainspotting. Loved the cinematography, but the story felt a bit meh.
    However it did give me the chance to see the trailer for Prevenge which looks ace! I loved Sightseers and this is in the same vein.... Sorry about the pun :rolleyes:
    Gramsci likes this.
  18. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Also saw T2 today at Ritzy. It was on in screen one. Which is a good screen with good sound. (Almost) worth the high weekend price.

    The first Trainspotting was a big hit here and in Europe. This surprised me. My Spanish friend said it was hit in Spain. Heard this from friends from Eastern Europe. Summed up the 90s drugs and neo liberal capitalism. My Russian friend said Russia in 90s was like the way Scotland was portrayed.

    I took my Spanish friend to T2. She liked it. Warned here about the Scots English. ( In Spain Trainspotting was dubbed. ) She followed most of it. She really liked T2. I did explain the politics behind the scene in the Unionist bar. The funniest scene in the film.

    Agree with sparkybird the cinematography was good. I liked the way the film looked. It's nice to see a director use visuals in an interesting way.

    Times have moved on. It's quite a political film. He manages to do it in a different way to Loach. The four of them are the lost generation of Thatcherism. Out of there depth in the new Scotland. There is a great scene where they apply for an EU grant to "regenerate" the old pub.

    It's a film about growing older but not wiser. Which I did find close to the bone.

    I was wondering if it would be nostalgic follow up to the first film. It manages to avoid this.

    Don't leave just at the end. As the credits are wonderful visuals and sound track.

    All in all I found it a touching film.
  19. sparkybird

    sparkybird ask the bird...

    I wish I could write reviews like you gramsci!
    Yes you're right, the unionist pub singalong was hilarious.
    My Slovak friend also had a bit of trouble following some of the dialogue. I was surprised as her first job in the UK was an au pair in Scotland. She was convinced that Scottish and English were completely different languages at first! And I suppose in some respects they are!
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  20. Lizzy Mac

    Lizzy Mac Well-Known Member

    Moonlight is the first film in years that I could watch again almost immediately. It's beautiful.
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  21. dbs1fan

    dbs1fan Well-Known Member

    Moonlight is incredibly moving. Great casting and acting.
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  22. Angellic

    Angellic Well-Known Member

    Was at the screening with a Q&A with both Barry Jenkins, director and Tarell Alvin McCraney, co-writer, there. Loved the film and great to see it that night.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
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  23. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I gather Moonlight should be coming on in Peckham soon - so may go. It had 20 min utes cut for showing in India apparently!

    Did they show "Loving" at the Ritzy? It was well reviewed by the Standard, but now seems not to be on anywhere local.
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  24. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I saw Moonlight. More later.

    Ritzy workers are now asking for a boycott of Picture House/Cineworld as part of the Living Wage campaign. So will be my last visit for a while.
  25. Winot

    Winot I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint

    I saw that. Is it an open-ended boycott do you know, i.e. until they give the all clear?
  26. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I don't know. Only realised today.

    Ritzy workers former position was for people to support the strikes but still go to Ritzy at other times.

    I'm not sure boycott is good tactic. Not everyone who uses the cinema will know about it. Unless they read local press. I don't think Ritzy workers can stand outside asking people to boycott Picture House cinemas.

    Bottom line is I don't think boycott will affect Picture House that much. Whereas strikes and demos gain attention.
    Winot likes this.
  27. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member


    I haven't seen La La Land. This film is worthy winner of an Oscar.

    I think the film is about masculinity. It has parallels with Manchester by the Sea in hindsight. Both of them deal with issues around men dealing with there emotional lives.

    I agree with reviewers who say this film does not undermine Black male masculinity. That it takes stereotypes and undermines them. The drug dealing surrogate father, for example, is shown to be a tender father for the boy. It's a more complex look at Black lives in a tough working class neighbourhood. In a similar way Manchester by the sea did the same of a white working class town. What I'm saying is that,like all good works of art, the film has universal themes.

    An American take on the film,

    All That Stands in Our Way: Between Tyler Perry, Barry Jenkins and the Black Art Film
  28. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I haven't seen Moonlight yet - but it sounds to me as though we've been there and done that here in UK - but it has not broken through.

    Isaac Julien is a black gay Londoner (originally) and made quite a few films of varying genres.

    His film "Looking for Langston" (1989) was quite well received. An "art film" made in black and white, poetry being read against back scenes.

    Young Soul Rebels (1991) was a gay/bisexual love triangle story around local pirate radio fans and a homophobic Jamaican garage mechanic.This could be compared to a black "Don't stop the Music" with a murder sub-plot which might explain its poor reception - though it was typical of the sort of thing Channel 4 funded at the time.

    Isaac Julien made several other films - mainly documentary or biographical. Particularly impressive being Frantz Fanon: Black skin, White mask (1996) about the black Marxist psychiatrist born in Martinique.

    I think I need to see "Moonlight" to comment further about Barry Jenkins - but he seems very very "normal" (i.e. not flamboyant or arty farty) from the quick interview I saw. I suspect he has been lucky in that the film Moonlight gathered the favourable reviews at just the right time to get the Oscar - which is great.

    Isaac Julien on the other hand seems to have given up film-making and now concentrates on art installations.
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  29. Lizzy Mac

    Lizzy Mac Well-Known Member

    I do agree with you, however, I think I'd react in the pretty much the same way as the male protagonist in Manchester by the Sea if that happened to me.
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  30. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

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