Here are a few things I’ve seen in the cinema recently:
Spring Breakers [pictured] – a really exciting commentary on 21st century entitlement, vulgarity and hedonism, wrapped up in an entirely watchable film that’s actually a whole load of fun. James Franco turns up as a ‘Pitbull’ style rapper underlining the aggression behind much modern pop music and demonstrating the modern American dream of making it by faking it. Harmony Korine directs with an abundance of style.
Oblivion – ultimately shallow, but relatively enjoyable, Oblivion at least does its own thing amongst a sea of sequels and remakes – even if its own thing involves heavily borrowing from the best sci fi of the last 60 years. Nice soundtrack by French electro band M83.
Trance – Danny Boyle’s film looks stylish, but it stops there. It’s neither an effective heist movie nor a coherent mind-fuck. A good thriller should reward the viewer with new developments, different perspectives or plot twists throughout, but Trance it holds all its cards too close and plays them too late. Gratuitous shots of Rosario Dawson’s vagina don’t help, only serving to underline the misogyny of filmmaking’s male gaze.
Compliance – a detestable film, but that’s the point. There were walkouts but I squirmed and writhed my way through this indie flick about fast food workers manipulated into sexual acts of humiliation by an imitation authority figure. A more effective horror film that the majority of explicitly ‘horror’ films.
Ghost In The Shell 1 & 2 – a Ghost In The Shell double bill at the Prince Charles Cinema you say? God, I forgot how heavy these films can be. The first one contains an overload of plot developments and fine details, the second an overdose of the absurd and faux philosophy. Still they look pretty, and – if you can keep up – provide an enjoyable slice of neo-noir.