sterile play about relations between the sexes that was popular on the theatrical The third film retrieved from the shelf is Anazapta, a medieval tale shot in for independent journalism with a year-end gift to The Guardian. In Black Death, director Christopher Smith uses desperation-fueled religious fervor to examine the relationship between fear and faith. Albertro Sciamma's period drama Anazapta is set in the middle-ages during a of their own, a man who ends up spreading a deadly virus throughout the land.
This is probably Assayas's way of telling us how complex, abstract, inhu mane and morally confused our inhospitable electronic global village has become.
Directed by Peter Howitt, who made the amusing Sliding Doors, Laws of Attraction is a comedy about two high-profile New York divorce lawyers played by Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore, who fight in court, bicker outside, and fall in love. In the past it might have been the first draft of a screenplay for Tracy and Hepburn or Day and Hudson. But the five credited writers haven't managed to equip it with five decent jokes.
Brosnan and Moore haven't got a straw to grasp, let along bricks to build with. The heroine is eager to appear in Pygmalion but settles for the lead in the school production of Eliza Rocks, a musical transposition of Shaw's play to present-day New York. On the whole a superior example of its genre.
Movie Review - 'Black Death' - A Dark Ages Drama With More Than One Plague : NPR
A trio of British movies, all made three years ago, are being simultaneously released by the same distributor. They are, I regret to say, largely without merit. It is rather typical of a kind of smart, cynical, sterile play about relations between the sexes that was popular on the theatrical fringe during the s. The second British film is also theatrical in origin. Jim Doyle's Re-Inventing Eddie, has been opened up from a one-character play, but retains the frequent monologues delivered straight to camera.
John Lynch, a brooding actor who exudes sadness from every pore, plays a Warrington factory worker whose two small children are taken away from him when over-zealous teachers and social workers wrongly suspect him of sexual abuse.
His subsequent conduct - violent, childish, criminally irresponsible - helps to dig his grave, though the movie contrives an unsatisfactory sentimental ending. The third film retrieved from the shelf is Anazapta, a medieval tale shot in Wales by the Spanish director of videos and commercials, Alberto Sciamma, about the Black Death coming to England in the mid-fourteenth century.
A decent British cast struggle with mud and terrible dialogue, and the heroine has to masturbate while wearing a chastity belt. The spirit of St Turgid, the patron saint of low-budget historical movies, hovers over the proceedings, and it's to be avoided like - well, like the plague.
A 'Black Death' Saga With More Than One Plague
Based on an original screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro, The Saddest Music in the World is the nearest the maverick Canadian director Guy Maddin has come to a mainstream film. Set in Winnipeg at the height of the Great Depression init centres on a radio contest offering a big cash prize for the world's saddest song. It's promoted by Lady Port-Huntley Isabella Rossellini a beautiful, legless, brewing tycoon legless due to a motoring accident, not her own booze to publicise her beer.
The chief contestant, representing America, is her former lover, a failed New York impresario. The film is shot in grainy, slightly out-of-focus monochrome, and is a weird, wonderful, enervating experience that brings back distant memories of watching faded prints of old classics from the bum-numbing benches of film societies. Back inI wrote the first long piece on Performance you can find my essay in David Wilson's anthology of 50 years of Sight and Sound and I've revisited and written about it often since then.
When he steals away to see her, she tells him she's planning to flee the death in town for the safety of the remote wooded village where they grew up, and she wants him to join her there. He prays for a sign of what he should do, and God or at least the soundtrack immediately answers, with the thunderous sound of approaching hooves. The church, for its part, deploys an enforcer Sean Bean, center, with Eddie Redmayne, left who's got decidedly medieval ideas about uppity women.
When the warriors arrive at the abbey looking for a guide who knows the lay of the local land, Osmund steps up with alacrity. There are standard hero's-journey tropes at work here, except that Smith isn't really interested in setting up anyone as a hero.
Altman's out of step
That applies to the leader of holy crusaders — Sean Bean's Ulric, a soldier of Christ whose idea of mercy is to kill a witch quickly with a blade rather than burn her at the stake. It also applies to the pagan village that the team happens upon in the marshes, a burg that has remained miraculously untouched by the plague. Whether the belief system is God- or Goddess-based, run by a patriarchy or matriarchy, Smith is equally critical.
If that means a few corners cut for the sake of expository expediency, so be it: There are throat-slittings and disembowlings that must be attended to. Smith avoids being exploitatively graphic, though, with some deft camera movement and editing; he's content to allow the sound design and liberal sprays of blood to suggest the violence that's often occurring just out of view.