Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Freeview film of the day : wednesday 26th of November

Le Serpent (2006 121min.) [Film 4 1.10am thursday &+1]

Thriller starring Yvan Attal and Clovis Cornillac. A photographer is manoeuvred into a web of blackmail and murder by a vengeful former classmate.

From the same school of paranoid mystery thriller as Cache [Hidden] (2005) and Ne Le Dis A Personne [Tell No One] (2006) "Le Serpent" revolves around "why is he doing this to him?" rather than "why is this happening to them/him?" .

Although it's not as gripping or enthralling as either of the two previously mentioned near contemporary films, nonetheless there's enough of interest to keep you watching and entertained for two hours.

Not from the top drawer and not essential - but an interesting and worthwhile addition to the burgeoning canon of 21st. century French thrillers.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Freeview film of the day : monday 17th of November

Hero (2002 95min.) [Film4 7.00pm &+1]

Martial arts fantasy starring Jet Li. A Chinese warrior arrives at the palace of the mighty ruler of Qin to relate how he has slain three would-be assassins - but all may not be as it seems.

Absolutely terrific film - beautifully shot and directed by Zhang Yimou who uses light and coloured filters to dazzling effect and starring three of the very best Asian actors of their generation : Jet Li, Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung.

The story itself is interesting enough, but when you add in some astonishing fight scenes, great acting and sublime direction you arrive at something very special.

Thoroughly recommended, even if martial arts films aren't normally your thing.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Freeview film of the day : monday 10th of November

The Station Agent (2003 86min.) [Film4 11.05pm &+1]

Comedy drama starring Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cannavale. A dwarf inherits a disused rural railway station in New Jersey and chooses to live the life of a hermit. However, he unexpectedly and reluctantly befriends a Cuban fast-food salesman and a bereaved mother.

Stars the always good Peter Dinklage as Fin (hobbies : model railways and train spotting).

Thomas McCarthy's film is warm and involving and as Fin falls in with two local misfits (Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cannavale - both excellent) we become increasingly involved with their lives; although all they do is talk, eat, sleep and spot trains.

A mesmeric and slightly surreal viewing experience but one that's extremely rewarding. A remarkable and terrific film.