So Long, My Son

We watched this highly rated film by streaming from Curzon Home Cinema. At over 3 hours, this slow-moving, subtitled, Chinese film tested our concentration and we ended up watching it over 3, or was it 4, sessions. This didn’t help our understanding of the story, particularly as there are random time jumps as well as there being two characters with the same name. Subsequently reading some reviews and synopses has helped, but without sitting through it again I suspect we’ll have pretty negative feelings about the film.

Machines – an astonishing documentary

This astonishing documentary about life in an Indian textile factory is available once again on the BBC iPlayer, but only until Tuesday (now expired): https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09g8cc9/machines
At the very least, these workers deserve 65 minutes of your time.

Capture“A mesmerising and unflinching look behind the doors of a textile factory in India, as director Rahul Jain observes the life of the workers and the oppressive environment they seldom escape from. Machines tells a story of the human cost of mass production in a globalised world, showing the gulf between rich and poor from both perspectives.”

Visages Villages (Faces Places)

What a delightful film Visages Villages is. It’s a documentary by, and starring film director and photographer Agnès Varda and photographer JR, who travel through France visiting villages, taking photos of the people and then plastering large images of them on walls and buildings. The two artists form a warm bond whilst engaging with the villagers. The film looks terrific, from the opening credits to the very end. We watched it on Netflix and is highly recommended.

Calibre

Calibre is an extremely taut and tense film set in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands. At the first major scene I wondered whether I would be up to dealing with the shocking development, but my motto is “it’s only dots on a screen”, so I stuck with it and I’m glad I did. A terrific, tense thriller, though not suitable for all.

I viewed this on Netflix using my free, 1-month, introductory offer. Thank you Netflix.

Ricky Jay

The American actor and magician, Ricky Jay, has died.


In one of my favourite films, Things Change, Ricky Jay has a small part with some memorable David Mamet lines. The film opens as follows:

Shoe-shop owner: “May I help you?”
Silver (Ricky Jay): “A friend of ours would like to speak to you this evening.”
Shoe-shop owner: “I just shine shoes.”
Silver (Ricky Jay): “There’ll be shoes there.”
Continue reading “Ricky Jay”

Beast

What a terrific film Beast is, with a tremendous performance from Jessie Buckley in the leading role as a troubled young woman rebelling against a stifling home and mother. A thriller, with surprises right up until the end – go see it!

No sunshine is expected here until Tuesday, so one might as well be in the cinema. Three cheers to the Wimbledon Curzon for not dimming the lights during the adverts and trailers, which meant that I could read my novel!