Ghost in the Shell – Final Trailer!

Do you remember 1995?

I vaguely do, but it was a simpler time, one where the sun shone brighter, the holidays went on forever and films were starting to pull themselves out of the 1980’s headspace and were forging ahead to become a new wave of cinema.

Nowadays, it’s all sequels and reboots. Much like this year’s Ghost in the Shell, which is out later this week.

I’m not going to get into the whitewashing debate that has plagued this movie; there are simply too many other voices out there. But I will say that despite the complaints, the setting looks to be a fantastically colourful and vibrant place.

By now you already know whether or not you’re going to watch it. I’m not going to try and persuade you either way.

Ghost in the Shell is out in cinemas March 30th!

Five by Five – Review

It’s more important than ever to shine a light on the little known story tellers of our time; the industry is rife with talent that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but sometimes all it takes is a little bit of attention and a true artist can go a long way.  Kate Herron is somebody who deserves to go a long way, and that is evident from her directorial work on the BBC Three series Five by Five.

Five by Five is a series of five short episodes centered around particular characters. The story works like a relay race; the narrative is a baton that gets passed from character to character and they carry on the story. It’s done in a very clever fashion, especially if you watch them all in one go, which takes less than half an hour. The story is far too tight knit to separate the episodes, and you can end up losing something if you don’t watch them together.

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Five by Five is an engaging and thought provoking series that tackles many themes including masculinity, race and disability. The writing is great; it takes on these issues in a very respectful, level headed and poetic manner, and whilst some parts of it feel a tad insignificant compared to the rest of it, it all comes full circle in the best way. Nothing is done that doesn’t have consequence, it all flows very nicely and very believably too.  It’s a testament to short form entertainment, in that each episode is no more than five minutes, and yet we still manage to have such investing, well rounded characters. What helps is the great cast hired to bring this writing to life; relatively unknown actors such as Michael Ajao, Georgina Campbell, Ben Tavassoli, Ruth Madeley and Sope Dirisu amongst others, ignite the characters perfectly and add a real sense of passion to the roles, all complemented by a small but crucial appearance from producer Idris Elba.

And speaking of Elba, he is essential to what is easily the best aspect of the show; the way this show looks at prejudices against race and disability etc. is fantastic, no way to dispute that, but the most effecting and moving issue raised is the image of masculinity, played out through Ash’s story line. Ash’s desire to be a big man is personified visually by Elba, who plays it with such a childlike innocence to him. The way he acts is how any young person acts when they want to be taken seriously; it makes you feel for the character far beyond you thought you could, and is a beautiful use of symbolism. It sends out a great message to young men everywhere, but like I said, this series has something important to say about every issue raised.

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All that beauty is topped of with the astounding direction of Kate Herron. Herron’s vision for the show is completely perfect; it’s paced so well, it’s focus is endearing and it feels like every shot has meaning. She has a keen eye for great shots, as I’m sure is the case for her other pieces, which I and hopefully many others will explore after seeing her work here. It’s done to perfection, with the final shot of the series in particular being completely marvellous.

Five by Five is a poetic and important piece of work that proves the need for fresh talent in this industry we love so much.

Check out Five by Five on BBC IPlayer now.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Brand New Trailer!

There’s something about the modern political climate that makes the idea of a dystopian world even less appealing than usual (and it was pretty unappealing to start with!)

Despite this, the latest trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale paints a picture of a more repressive time before women’s suffrage and the establishment of a democratic government.

The trailer itself is compellingly chilling, despite the creepy scenes that run throughout the teaser, you’ll find yourself unable to look away. It’s almost as though you are drawn to the images like a moth to a flame.

This looks like it will be a TV series that stays with you long after the final episode has aired.

The Handmaid’s Tale is out on Hulu April 26th!

Below Her Mouth – Brand New Trailer!

When you look at it from a certain perspective, you can almost guarantee that Below Her Mouth is going to be the new Black Swan, even if it’s solely because of one aspect of the film.

Yes, I am indeed discussing the Sapphic aspect of the trailer, a part that will make the stereotypical, heterosexual manly menfolk a wee bit more alert whilst they are watching after getting dragged to the cinema to watch a “chick-flick” by their girlfriends.

However, if they aren’t the terribly jumbled hodgepodge of clichés described above, they will see a beautifully shot story about coming to terms with emotions, fear of the future and almost hedonistic escapism as you find solace in something you never fully understood about yourself.

That is what Below Her Mouth’s trailer looks like. A tragically beautiful story that is hidden behind a trailer that is as close to soft-core porn as you can get, because Hollywood won’t make the big bucks if they don’t pander to the male demographic on some level.

Below Her Mouth is out in cinemas April 28th!

Mulholland Drive: 4K Restoration – Brand New Trailer!

One of the greatest films of this century is Mulholland Drive. The convoluted plot and stunning cinematography create a wonderful air of intrigue and mystique to a confusing tale.

If you have yet to see one of Lynch’s masterpieces in the cinema, then fear no longer for the 4K restoration of Mulholland Drive is returning to the big screen in April!

While there are some out there who complain about the surrealist nature of the film, there is fantastic acting by Naomi Watts and Laura Harring as the two protagonists of this psychological thriller.

Be sure to catch the film if you can!

The 4K restoration of Mulholland Drive is out in cinemas April 14th, and on DVD and Blu-Ray April 22nd!

Paterson – DVD & Blu-Ray Review

by Jamie Garwood

Paterson stars Adam Driver as the eponymous main protagonist who lives in a city of the same name in New Jersey. Paterson is a bus driver who lives with his girlfriend, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) and their English bulldog, Marvin.

Paterson is a city rich in cultural history of America, it is where Lou Costello (of Abbott and Costello lore) was born and their are near neighbours such as Iggy Pop (long time friend of Jarmusch) and renowned poets William Carlos Williams. Paterson, himself, is a would be poet and on his bus journeys throughout the day he listens to passengers and during his lunch break he sits at the famous Passaic Falls.

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Using a trope familiar from those who have seen Amy (Asif Kapadia), we see what Paterson writes as he puts it to page. The use of Driver’s bass voiceover is effectively used as he recites it as if he is reading, when it is fully formed we hear a more confident rendition.  The poems featured are by real-life Ron Padgett, who swam in circles along with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.

Paterson is a unique soul in a small city – he is observant taking in the landscape as he walks from the bus factory to home, as many creative souls he listens to what is around him and not afraid to have conversations. Paterson does not have a mobile phone, he feels it is would be a leash and a burden on his creative freedom.

Critics may well say that Paterson yearns for a by-gone era of creativity, however, Jarmusch is making a comment on the power of individuality and freedom. Paterson was in the army so he has spent a portion of his adult life being ordered what to do, wanting that freedom to do what he wants to do is supported by his girlfriend, Laura.

Laura, herself, is a creative soul one who wants to be a country singer, can cook amazing cupcakes and has an eye for interior design.  Their relationship is one of immense support and companionship, they praise each other and are there for each other.  Critics again, might point at Laura as a manifestation of the post WW2 perfect housewife – cooks, house proud, domestic – which is not exactly an advancement of feminism in this the 21st century.

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Yet perhaps in this difficult time in the country’s history with a tumultuous political landscape and race relations; Jarmusch has created a film that is part time capsule and can show America how life can be without the advancement of technology, Paterson (the city) itself seems a bit out of time or frozen with the necessity of bus travel, black and white cinema and a bar without television; yet there is an idealised depiction of community with comfortable race relations, something for America to currently aspire to itself, and that something marvellous can grow out of the unlikeliest environments.

Whilst the film is a meditation piece it nevertheless does hold your attention and features from Driver, a quite charming and soulful performance of an individual with a burning desire to write and be loved whilst given equal love in return

Paterson is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now!