arts / Film / rock

BCB Movietime – Aug 29, 2013


John Otway and Wild Willie Barrett’s 1977 single, Really Free, ushers in this programme of news and views from the big screen, because John Otway, the movie, who describes himself as “rock & roll’s greatest failure” is getting a limited cinema release. I’m Karl Dallas, and I have a fondness for Otway and Wild Willie’s music that transcends their lack of music biz success. Anyway, number 27 in the charts ain’t bad.

John Otway, the movie, has been shown in Halifax and Hebden Bridge, but no news of any other Yorkshire showings.

Now, welcome to my “why on earth did they bother?” spot, in which I document unnecessary remakes of classic movies.

Be fair, the latest remake of Carrie is said to be closer to Stephen King’s horror novel than the Cissy Spacek-starred version, but the author didn’t get his wish for Lindsay Lohan to play the title role of the telekinetic heroine.

By the way, Sam Raimi’s unnecessary remake of Evil Dead, the original of which I think is the scariest movie of all time, is now out on DVD.

Personally, I prefer re-releases to remakes, which is why I’m glad that Otto Preminger’s Bonjour Tristesse, based on 18-year-old Françoise Sagan’s 1954 teenage angst memoir, is now out again. Here’s Juliette Greco singing the title song.

Following the satire of apartheid in his 2008 scifi, District 9 – which could be held, today, to apply equally validly to Israeli apartheid – director Neill Blomcamp broadens the satire in his latest, Elysium. It’s a sort of updating of the final chapters of H.G. Wells’s Time Machine, in which the elite Eloi oppress – and are eventually destroyed – by the sub-human Morlocks.

In Blomcamp’s movie the apartheid between rich and poor finds its logical outcome in the year 2154: the rich live in an off-world paradise – the “Elysium” of the title – and the rest of humanity is imprisoned on a dystopian earth. It could also apply to the present attacks on the UK’s National Health Service, or Obama’s attempts to get medicare for America’s poor.

Matt Damon plays the hero, Max, who gets medicare in Elisyum for thousands of earth people.

Elysium is on general release at present. There’s an Imax 3D version, so presumably we’ll be seeing it at the Media Museum shortly.

Don’t write off the sequel to Kick-Ass as just another superhero movie. Though Kick-Ass2 isn’t quite as good as the first one of the series, it does see a promising development in the character of Hit-Girl, played with such aplomb by the 11-year-old Chloë Moretz – and not only because her use of the forbidden C-word so shocked the Daily Mail.

In fact, this sequel could well be the prequel to a possible Hit-Girl movie. Just my guess, folks, but remember, you heard it here first.

I have mixed feelings about the latest movie to focus on the life and terrible times of Linda Susan Boreman, AKA Linda Lovelace, persecuted star of the Deep Throat movie and, until her death after a car crash in 2002, a dedicated anti-porn campaigner.

Surely, everything we need to know about this poor woman was told in the 2005 documentary, Inside Deep Throat, and the most significant fact about the movie that made her name is that it was adopted as his pseudonym by Mark Felt, the Watergate whistleblower.

All I can really say about it is that it’s better soft porn than the dreadful Look of Love, which isn’t saying much.

Here’s an update on cinemas showing the re-edited re-release of Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate. It will be shown at the National Media Museum on Sunday afternoon, September 8, and is also programmed for cinemas in Edinburgh, Coventry, Newcastle upon Tyne, Norwich, Stamford, Lancaster, Belfast, Cardiff, and Wareham.

What I’m waiting for is the full five-hour version!

Going the rounds right now for limited cinema release is an exquisite Irish film, Silence, about a sound engineer, Eoghan, who returns to his native Donegal  wanting to record natural sounds which are not man-made.

In a way, it reminds me of John Cage’s remark: “There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot.”

This is a slow, meditative film, that ought to be seen at the National Media Museum, but I don’t know if it’s been programmed. It can also be rented from the distributor’s website, www.volta.ie, for 3 euros 99.

Over the end titles they play Sandy Denny’s Who Knows Where the Time Goes, though it might more appropriately have ended with her Here in Silence.

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