In association with the GFT.
In association with the GFT.
Watching Fifty Shades Darker is like sitting in a restaurant waiting for a date when you’re not even sure they’re going to show up. It’s embarrassing, infuriating and soul-crushing all at the same time.
The award season has rolled around again, and many of the films that garner attention are predisposed to the sentimental and emotive. The amount of drama releases, and their close proximity can often inoculate viewers against one of film’s greatest facets: its ability to connect on a deep personal level. Luckily there’s always a chance a film like Manchester by the Sea will come along and blow away all hints of cynicism; a brisk east-coast wind in the face of middling sentimentality.
There’s a single moment in Passengers where a paradox causes a slight, pained twitch on the face of Android barman Arthur, played by Michael Sheen doing his best to cap every scene off with an almighty wink to Joe Turkel in the Shining. Sadly, ends up being cast to the side, as anything beyond rote misadventure is more than writer and director Jon Spaihts and Morten Tyldum are willing to risk in this soporific SciFi.
In association with the Glasgow Film Theatre
Amid the rising tide of disillusionment and anger among black and ethnic minority groups in America, veteran director Spike Lee brings us musical drama Chi-Raq. The film, which takes its title from the real nickname given to Chicago (more people have been shot and killed in Chicago since 2001 than American soldiers killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan combined), is a modern retelling of the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes’ magnum opus, Lysistrata, which tells the story of a woman who refuses to have sex with her husband, a soldier, unless he and the other soldiers agree to end the Peloponnesian War. Lee relocates the characters and the outline of the plot to gangland America, with explicit references to George Zimmerman and Sandy Hook, while retaining the tone and theatricality of a stage production.
In association with Glasgow Film Theatre
In Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson, a mysterious man explains to Adam Driver’s character (and subsequently the audience) that sometimes a blank page offers the most opportunity. This ultimately serves as the message of the film – that even the most mundane can offer meaning to those who are observant enough.
I am always incredibly impressed by stop motion – the time-consuming nature of the work, the exquisite detail in the models, the ability to make rich on-screen worlds using mostly play-doh. Just thinking about the enormous patience of the animators blows me away. You might think, then, that Lima, a fifteen-minute short directed by Afshin Roshanbakht and Vahid Jafari, would have a low bar to clear, and maybe you would be right. But even amongst one of my favourite genres of animation, Lima is a true gem.