DVD Review: The White Ribbon

From Netribution

Michael Haneke’s critically-acclaimed The White Ribbon, which was released on DVD yesterday, is a chilling look behind the apparently normal façade of a small north German village in the lead-up to the First World War.

Narrated by one of the most sympathetic characters, the schoolteacher, when he has become an old man, the film shows us brutal events, some apparently perpetrated by children, but gives us very few answers as to why they have happened. The schoolteacher narrator supposes, with hindsight, that this generation of children were displaying their capability for cruelty before growing up to become the Nazi generation.

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DVD Review: Disgrace

From Netribution

Any film adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning author J. M. Coetzee’s 1993 Booker Prize-winning novel would have a daunting reputation to live up to, and the husband-and-wife team behind this 2008 effort, director Steve Jacobs and screenwriter/ producer Anna Maria Monticelli do Coetzee’s big themes justice. As ever, eatch out for spoilers, although the book has been out for over a decade…

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DVD Review: (500) Days of Summer

From Netribution

As dedications go, the one to (500) Days of Summer tells you immediately that we are definitely not in rom-com land anymore, Toto: “Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Especially you Jenny Beckman. Bitch.” Wow. And although the film is fun, occasionally true and makes you feel incredibly sorry for the main character, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the underlying bitterness makes the female lead (Summer, played by Zooey Deschanel) a mysterious caricature. Why does Tom bother falling for her at all? But first, the good stuff. Watch out for the spoilers…

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Adventures in Short Film: Volume 1

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Future Shorts, the film label behind Rock’n’ Roll Cinema and Secret Cinema , as well as global distributor of short films, has released its first DVD, a bit of a greatest hits called Adventures in Short Film – Volume 1. They chose well for their inaugural compilation.

As with a short story, short films can do great things with a hint of strangeness. It works for Henry James in The Turn of the Screw and John Wyndham in Consider Her Ways (please do click on the links and read them when you can, especially the second one), and it works for a number of shorts on this DVD.

Short films don’t necessarily need to have an iron-clad story arc or a decisive conclusion, but must create an atmosphere that, briefly, transports you to another world.

[Original over on Netribution, or you can read it here after the jump…]

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La Jetée

Ah, La Jetée. Here’s the one sentence you need to know about its maker:

Chris Marker lives in Paris and does not grant interviews. When asked for a picture of himself, he usually offers a photograph of a cat instead. His cat is named Guillaume-en-egypte.

How divine!

Just been watching La Vie d’un Chien on the Adventures in Short Film DVD from Future Shorts (out yesterday, guys!) Had to watch La Jetée again. Chien is an affectionate homage; a piss-take, in a way, but a nice one.

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Happy-Go-Lucky

Wow. When Mike Leigh goes comic, he really goes for it. Happy-Go-Lucky , the tale of Poppy, a North London primary school teacher with a very un-London persistently sunny nature and a whole host of whacky quips, gets driving lessons and talks too much. That’s the film. The latest Mike Leigh film. No, really.

Read on at Netribution