Tag Archives: Romeo and Juliet

Cinema costing you too much? Fancy a night out then try @vauxhallvillage this week #anniehall #moonrisekingdom #film

10 Feb

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When my friends told me it cost them £15 to go watch the Wolf of Wall Street this weekend, even though I’m a huge fan of the film, I was compelled to find somewhere SOMEWHERE that provided a much cheaper solution to watching great films for less. So, luckily I stumbled across Vauxhall Village.

Back for a second season, this company bring the big screen to original and unusual locations. This time round they’re turning a disused railway arch in Vauxhall into the tunnel of love for one weekend only. From the 13th 16th February film fans can come down to a mixture of screenings, ranging from the quirky art house and indie flicks, to the old school classics, as it seems that there’s something to suit all tastes!

So here’s the schedule:

February 2014

Thursday 13th7.30pm – Annie hall

Friday 14th 7.30pm – Romeo + Juliet (Baz Luhrmann)

Saturday 15th2pm -Moonrise kingdom    4.30pm– Lost in translation   7.30pm – Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

Sunday 16th2pm – Brief encounter   4.30pm– Breakfast at tiffany’s 7.30pm – Casablanca

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Who are Vauxhall Village? 

Vauxhall Village have previously brought us outdoor summer screenings in the pleasure gardens and festive delights in the railway arch, this time round love is definitely in the air. So its a great place to head down early to soak up the atmosphere, with friends, your other half, your family or your next door neighbour’s cat. They’ve got a bar so you can  sip champagne cocktail, in aid of Valentines day you can pick your loved one up some flowers at the flower stall, or just treat yourself to some chocolate fondue! Sounds like much more of a fun night out I think!

The films are being shown on a big screen at the back of the arch, comfy chairs, wireless headphones and cosy blankets will be provided.

Tickets – £7.50 from www.wegottickets.com/vauxhallvillage  with profits going to local homeless charity Thames Reach (even better!)

Make your Valentines day that little different this year and watch some fantastic films!

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Django Unchained – The D is Silent…

23 Jan

 

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Up for five Academy Awards this year, and already a Golden Globe in the bag for supporting actor Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained really is playing the underdog game well and becoming a strong force to be reckoned with.  With its bold slavery storyline, homage to Spaghetti Westerns and signature Tarantino style, this film see’s its director assemble a stellar cast and return to his Pulp Fiction best.

Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 09.39.48The film is essentially split into two stories. The first, being the uniting and unlikely friendship between a German Bounty Hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), and slave turned bounty hunter Django Freeman (Jamie Foxx).  The second, being the quest to find Django’s slave wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) who is being held by a brutal plantation owner in Mississippi.

From the outset, Tarantino puts his personal spin on this big issue of slavery and plants it in the Deep South in an exciting modern Western format. Having heard some time ago about Tarantino’s plans to make this movie, I felt it was an interesting and exciting move, but with unpredictability from audiences, Django Unchained was never going to sit in the middle of people’s opinions. But I am pleased to report that in my book, it is being hailed more as a triumph with controversy rather than a failed attempt.

The many great things about this film begin with the performances. Christoph Waltz shone so brilliantly in Inglorious Bastards and he continues his Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 09.38.33‘Best Supporting‘ competition campaign in this film. From start to finish he embodies the unassuming Dr. King Schultz with a jolly European elegance that you can’t help but find endearing, even when at his most violent and unforgiving. Jamie Foxx is perfect casting as the titular character, and I doubt there has ever been a remorseless revenge hero quite so straight faced as he is throughout this film – when he finally cracks a satisfied smile in the end scene the relief is welcomed with open arms. Letting Schultz do the majority of the talking on his behalf so he can play the sultry side-kick, allows this duo to work together in harmony as both a ruthless partnership in the first half and with genuine comradery in the second.

In addition to these drivers of the narrative, Leonardo Di Caprio plays so against type in this film it’s genius. Girls who grew up falling in love with him in Baz Luhrmanns’ Romeo and Juliet wouldn’t, after watching this film, entertain being in the same plantation let alone the same room with his repugnant, baby-faced, spoilt and menacing Calvin J. Candie. This role shows DiCaprio switch from upper classed Southern-drawl charmer to manipulating and loathed sadist – a role every actor would have desired but few would have been able to accomplish quite in this way. Just as Django and Schultz have an unlikely partnership, so does Calvin Candie and Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), the cheeky Head of the Household at Candyland who demonstrates that not all slaves are fighting for the same cause necessarily, and that this is a world where even the slightest bit of privilege may skew the utilitarian factor from his mindset.  Throughout the upcoming awards season, one can only wish that there would have been room for more nominations for supporting cast members as they were all so brilliantly portrayed.

In terms of directing duties, what Tarantino does brilliantly here, is provide not only a great epic American Western with fantastically well thought out Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 09.37.34characters and intriguing plotlines, but he also shows both the best and very worst of the human spirit – Christoph Waltz’s democratic Dr Schultz, who cared not for the colour of the skin but only the good of the job, and Calvin Candie’s degrading abuse of his slaves show the two extremes here very cleverly. Tarantino also manages to balance the humour, making us laugh at the most absurd scenes and allowing audiences to question and second-guess themselves after viewing the film – the Klu Klux Klan scenario is a good example of this type of humour, and is one of the best scenes of the whole film.

So what is bad about this film? Well, firstly it’s long, just how long is one of the many jaw-dropping moments presented when you check your watch as you peel yourself out of your seat once the lights go up. But actually, upon reflection, you’ll find it hard to discover many wasted minutes. Every part of the dialogue is carefully constructed and thought out, and although there are slower parts, they are necessary to provide a pathway towards the more climactic moments.

Secondly, it’s violent, but what did you expect? It is Tarantino after all, and if you learned anything from Kill Bill, it’s that Tarantino likes adding in the gore element – but in Django Unchained, you wont see any group slaughter scenes in black and white to shade the violence. However, like in some of Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 09.39.06his earlier films, the end shoot out is almost so grotesque that you don’t wince when watching it, as it doesn’t evoke that kind of reaction because it is so expected of Tarantino. Equally, the more brutal parts are implied rather than shown in full i.e.: the slave and the dogs, so you are shocked by the horror of it happening but not by seeing it on screen. But what we must remember is that this isn’t just Tarantino going for a shock factor joy ride with his film making, in fact, Spaghetti Westerns of the 1960’s indulged in extreme violence, and to pay proper homage to that era Tarantino is bringing some of that cinematic history to the modern stage.

Finally, the extended use of the ‘N-word’ has been steeped in controversy, however when you’re not seeing slaves pulled apart by each other in a death match or set on by dogs it’s a necessary reminder of the horrors of slavery and not a tip toeing premise to hide behind. As with the rest of Tarantino’s portfolio of work, if he’s going to tackle a topic be it Nazi Germany or the Deep South, he does it full throttle.

So should you go watch this film? For Tarantino fans this is a must, when questions started to arise about this director through his Grindhouse homage phase that didn’t quite hit the mark, rest assured that he has steadily been building up to this crescendo, lets hope his future projects maintain this level of courage and craft.

 

 

 

BFI Day 5 – Coriolanus – Ralph Fiennes sits in the directors chair for this Shakespeare Adaptation

17 Oct

Lining up a stellar cast for not the easiest of Shakespearean adaptations must have been daunting for Ralph Fiennes, but as he put it at  the press conference, he was obsessed with this character and how relevant the play is to our modern society. That is the beauty of Shakespeare, its adaptability and ability to impact audiences around the world year after year and in so many different forms.

I wonder how difficult it must have been for Fiennes to pitch this to the financiers though, as on paper its not a well known play, its dark, aggressive and political. However when you know that Vanessa Redgrave is on board as well as Brian Cox and the then unknown Jessica Chastain – you must be on to a winner. Gerard Butler may have been somewhat of a wildcard in the first instance due to his action and rom-com notoriety however if you watch the film, you’ll notice how he holds his own just fine amongst these distinguished thesps!

The setting is Serbia, Belgrade in the midst of political turmoil and uprising against Coriolanus. The Serbian actors in the film adapt to the prose expertly and provide small but valuable parts in the film. The action, particularly at the beginning of the film is electrifying – particularly in a cinema surrounding and you feel like you are a part of the warfare yourself. You get inside the skin of Coriolanus, brilliantly portrayed by Fiennes.

However, it may have been the time of day in which the film was shown, but there was a considerable lull in the middle of the film. For wider audiences this is no Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, it was never an easy play to take to, and despite Ralph Fiennes valiant attempt – it just misses the mark. The real star of the show is Vanessa Redgrave, there have to be Oscar bells ringing, this performance is one all actors should watch and aspire to emulate in their careers, a real master at work – particularly in her closing speech. This film has all the right tools to make it magical but is just a very near miss. Die Hard Shakespeare fans may love it, I’m not sure, but for the wider cinema going public, I’m not so sure.

It still however managed to successfully pull in the crowds at the premiere and hopefully thats a reflection of the same level of people that will support this film. We’ll have to wait and see. Its out on UK general release on the 20th January 2012.