Looking Back…Blue Velvet (1986)

When David Lynch burst into prominence with Eraserhead in 1977, he came in a burst of cult flames. Weird, quirky, unashamed and without inhibitions, David Lynch took the boundaries of cinema and broke them into a million little pieces. Specialising in the strange and unusual, Lynch is a God when it’s comes to cult cinema. But what really made him and is by far one of his most critically acclaimed pieces of work is Blue Velvet; a lesson in terror and the seedy world beneath suburbia.

Following eccentric student Jeffery Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan), Blue Velvet is a tale of the woes of curiosity. Returning home after his father has a stroke, when walking through the back fields of the small town, he finds a severed ear. As the police come to a dead end, Jeffery and detectives daughter Sandy chose to carry out their own investigation which leads them to Dorothy Vallens; a pained jazz club singer and Frank Booth a sadistic mobster who takes sick pleasure in torturing Dorothy.

Blue Velvet is a film that goes beyond the social norms of Hollywood cinema. It’s a very difficult film to watch for those with a weak stomach. As our antagonist is a sadomasochist, it stands to reason. The torture is uncomfortable but it is made that way. What is brilliant about violence (a phrase I never thought I would say) is that it is juxtaposed against the sunny sweet and colourful opening of All-American Suburbia that we were introduced to in the beginning. Blue Velvet isn’t about that; it is about the “bugs underneath the green green grass”. Blue Velvet doesn’t hold back, it jars with constant images of blood, gore, gunshots, rape and murder. But don’t get me wrong, Blue Velvet isn’t a torture porn film. Unlike movies such as Ichi the Killer, the violence is layered, as is Jeffery’s journey down into the twisted world of his town. The violence is there to shock because we too are on this intriguing mystery journey with Jeffery. Lynch works the violence in a way that chills are sent down spines and hair is on stand.

Blue Velvet works because it is strife with some incredible acting. The late and great Dennis Hopper as Frank Booth is a sensational villain whose contorted mind and horrendous persona haunt for years to come after your first viewing. Isabella Rossellini is stunning as Dorothy and both of them together cause a truly remarkable movie because they take acting and push it further. When their characters are at breaking point, you feel it and you believe it causing such a breathless reaction that it is a deep shame that no great awards were bestowed on the too.

Blue Velvet is a dream for movie lovers. Filled with countless symbolism (the bug motif runs throughout the movie) and some haunting imagery, the different levels of Blue Velvet will have you chewing it over for years to come. Considered one of the greatest films of all time and clearly and important cult film for anyone to have in their collection, Blue Velvet is legendary and near faultless. Every viewing of Blue Velvet is a fresh viewing because you see something you have never seen before.

Much like a sleepy ideal town, with dark secrets beneath your feet.


Blue Velvet returns to cinemas from Fri.
Watch it at the Ritzy.

Assassin’s Creed – Brand New Clips!

Could the upcoming film for Assassin’s Creed break the cycle of terrible gaming adaptations? Probably not. BUT I can guarantee that it will look absolutely fantastic!

The film revolves around a criminal who was seemingly put to death, only to wake up in a futuristic facility that puts the inmates to work. What is that work? Well, they have to explore their ancestry and cause a riot in the past as they kill folks in a time long gone.

Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, director Justin Kurzel certainly has a winning team involved! Judging by the new footage, however, it probably couldn’t gravitate upwards from the shit-stream of gaming adaptations.


Assassin’s Creed is out 1st January 

Majora’s Mask: Terrible Fate – Short Film

Animated short films are making waves at the moment. From social media viewings to screenings at film festivals, shorts are captivating audiences like never before. With a category in the Academy Awards and many film studios accompanying their feature films with shorts, it is no wonder so many aim to make intriguing and accomplished short films.

For fans of game series The Legend of Zelda a new animated short reveals the backstory of one of its characters. With striking visuals and a brilliant score the short is a huge accomplishment for producers Ember Lab.

Majora’s Mask – Terrible Fate, follows a small Imp that is found crying by two glowing spirits. The Imp follows these lights until he happens upon a sleeping salesman. On finding the man the Imp steals a colourful mask which entices him to wear it. Putting the artifact on the Imp transforms into the all-powerful Skull Kid he is later known as in the series.

Rather than repeating the story seen within The Legend of Zelda series Terrible Fate acts as a prologue. The story of how the Skull Kid begun his journey as an Imp that stole an ancient artifact. The artifact, a mask, grants him great power but also corrupts the wearer.

The short has no dialogue but features a strong authoritarian voice over from the point of view of the salesman, after his mask is stolen. Tone and narrative are established through brilliantly accomplished visuals as well as through the shorts dramatic score. With a mixture of whimsical melodies than accompany the Imp through the forest onto the more atmospheric music as the Imp finds the mask.

As the short is based on an iconic game the visuals are closer to a video game than an actual animation feature. Animated characters have been blended with hyper realistic textures and a more realistic backdrop of forest and trees. In comparison the closest thing to the short stylistically would be The Good Dinosaur. Although the feature did not resonant with audience like the majority of the Pixar back-catalog visually it was some of the studios best work. It combined cartoon like characters with a realistic setting but managed to make the two feel natural, like in this short.

A beautifully animated short that adds to the timeline and back story of the great Zelda series. The short is proof Ember Lab are a studio to look out for.

Suicide Squad – Brand New Clips

When it comes to movies, there are some that we simply cannot wait for.  Suicide Squad was one of them. Despite the media marketing machine running afoot,

Suicide Squad revolves around a collection of oddball villains trying to save the day seems like a humours and action-packed piece that should delight anyone who wants to wash the sins of Dawn of Justice away…

With the film heading to DVD & Blu-Ray very soon, we’re quite excited to see how much was chopped out of the film to make it a rather dull and  boring mess. What do you think?

 


Suicide Squad is out on DVD & Blu-Ray on 5th December! 

Come Together – Wes Anderson’s H&M Christmas Advert

Sometimes you just don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

On the one hand, you have Wes Anderson, a fantastic auteur, a man who has a unique view on the world, a firm artistic eye for detail and a vivid imagination directing an advert that will be seen by millions, many of whom will be unaware of his work.

On the other hand, it’s a Christmas advert for H&M…

Regardless of your feelings on the whole affair, it’s another beautifully shot piece, starring Adrian Brody and filled with Anderson’s signature style of symmetrical camera shots and long pans over the set that help set the tone of the scene.

Despite all this though, this advert lacks that je ne sais quoi that often infuses Anderson’s works. It is missing that spark of life that we saw in Grand Budapest Hotel, or Rushmore and the story feels somewhat muted in its tone.

That being said, it’s still one of the better Christmas adverts out there.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Brand New Clips!

Oh Star Wars,
Nothing but Star Wars,
Give me those Star Wars,
Dont let them end.
Oh Star Wars,
If they should bar wars,
Please let these Star Wars
Stay.
And hey, how ’bout that nutty Star Wars Bar,
Can you forget all those crazy creatures in there?
And hey, Darth Vader in his black and evil mask,
Did he scare you as much as he scared me?
Oh Star Wars,
Those near and far wars,
Oh STAAAR WAAAAAAARS!

 


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is out 16th December