10 Things I Hate About You
d. Gil Junger / 1999 / USA / 97 mins
Romantic teen comedies get a bad rap, and usually for good reason. But I’m man enough to admit that I have a bit of a soft spot this Heath Ledger / Julia Stiles starrer, and here’s why…
After Life / Wandâfuru Raifu
d. Hirokazu Koreeda / Japan / 1998 / 118 mins
Viewed at: A3.03 @ UEA (Norwich, UK)
Almost anything you’re likely to read about contemporary Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda will contain reference to the stylistic debt he owes to that most quintessential of Japanese directors, Yasujirō Ozu.
After Life, Koreeda’s second film, takes place in a processing centre for the recently deceased, where new arrivals must select a single memory from their life, which is then recreated on film. At the end of their week long stay the recently deceased watch their films, and during the screening they disappear into an undetermined state of existence, taking only that single memory with them into eternity.
Sure, the story doesn’t sound particularly Ozu-ish, but there are actually plenty of similarities between Koreeda’s film and that of the ‘most Japanese’ director of them all.
The City of Lost Children / La Cité des enfants perdus
d. Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro / France / 1997 / 112 mins
Viewed at: Screen 3 @ Cinema City (Norwich, UK)
My, oh my! What can I say about The City of Lost Children?
I should probably start by admitting that it has long been a particular favourite of mine. Ever since I first set eyes on this darkly comic, wildly fantastic slice of cinematic spectacle from the unparalleled partnership of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, I have been utterly enamored with every single frame.
And by sheer coincidence, this is not a film that I just happened to have stumbled across on DVD, or had recommended by a friend just a couple of years back. Nope, I came to this film (and Jeunet and Caro) thanks to the (half) French family who lived across the road when I was growing up, and with whom I spent large chunks of my childhood. (A French family across the road is surely something of an oddity in itself, since I grew up in a tiny – and I mean, tiny – country town in South Australia.)
Videograms of a Revolution / Videogramme einer Revolution
d. Harun Farocki, Andrei Ujica / Germany / 1992 / 106 mins
Viewed at: Starr Auditorium @ Tate Modern (London, UK)
If film is possible, then history too is possible.
Audiences are mighty interesting things. What one audience finds horrific and appalling, another might read as humour. And ‘audiences’, traditionally, have not been especially kind to the starkly brilliant work of German artist and filmmaker Harun Farocki.
Same Old Song / On connaît la chanson
d. Alain Resnais / France / 1997 / 120 mins
Viewed at: Lecture Theatre 3 @ UEA (Norwich, UK)
An open homage (and worthy tribute) to pop-dramatist Dennis Potter, crafted by Alain Resnais – cinematic dark horse and homme à part of the French Nouvelle Vague – Same Old Song is a whimsical romp narrated via chanson moderne and a host of other quintessentially Gallic pop.