Bunny and the Bull (2009)
If you're a fan of all things Mighty Boosh, then this film will possibly be your most favourite one yet. Its cast and crew are alike, starring actors/comedians such as Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt.
I'm not There (2007)
This film is an adaption of Bob Dylans' life, portrayed in quite a unique way.
Firstly, the actor for Dylan as a child is black - a bit odd when the rest of the actors who play Dylan during his life are white. An usual choice on behalf of the casting director, Laura Rosenthal. An obviously intentional decision by Todd Haynes (the director), although I cannot understand why. Maybe its my naive mind, but I would have simply assumed that they would use the same race of actors to show the life of Bob Dylan.
Although the narrative of this film is interesting, and the intense sound design works wonderfully for the genre of film, I believe their use of casting takes the effect of believability from the story. Using actors such as Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and David Cross made the 'realness' of the film weakened, as their are all established actors - therefore it seems odd that they are trying to pass as Bob Dylan. In my opinion, I would have used less memorable actors, as they already have a reputation for their characters, and trying to make a documentary of someone as renowned as Bob Dylan takes the effect away of how real and believable it really is.
What a film! From the very beginning, the hard hit of Bronson in a cell with blood all over his body, attacking the officers immediately creates a mood and tone for the film. It's in-your-face style of narrative is quite abrupt, yet it perfectly represents the personality of Charles Bronson.
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003)
Carrying on my theme of criminals, I decided to watch a documentary about one of the first known female serial killers, Aileen Wuornos.
Nick Broomfield (as annoying as his voice may be) makes a connection with Aileen after his first documentary about her in 1992. Wuornos establishes a friendship with him, telling him the hard honest truth about her killings.
In reality, this film is quite tragic. You see Aileen live, and then die. Although you don't see her actually been executed, you see her last words to the camera, which she declared was her last interview. At the end, the police who witnessed her death stated that she said 'God would forgive her' and she was ready to meet her maker.
You also find out the back story of how she became this way. Her biological mother left her at 6 months old, and her grandfather (who was rumoured to actually be her father) used to beat her and her step mother. She was performing oral sex for money at the young age of 9, and by 13 she was pregnant and kicked out of her home. Sleeping rough, the only solution was for her to hike and prostitute simultaneously, which is where she started her killings.
By the end of the film, you see how much emotional damage being on death row for years had done to her. Her eyes scream insanity, and she is determined to prove that police knew about her first killing, but swept it under a rug so she'd turn into a serial killer, then they'd be able to sentence her to death. She also believed she was being controlled by sonic waves that her warden was controlling.
All the above statements scream insanity, yet she passed the test to be clinically sane, and was sentenced to death. This documentary has a weird, eerie feeling about it, with little edit in the takes, and everything quite raw. I love this style of filming, as it shows what really happened at specific moments in time, and you feel the awkward tension between people talking, which really emphasised the points to the film.
Paddy Considine, in my opinion, uses this film to punch mainstream cinema in it's overly predictable face. Admittedly my statement is over the top, but that's the only way I can express my opinion on this film.
I loved the themes of the production - they're so in-your-face you cannot NOT notice them. Domestic violence, religious belief, British society are just a few of the obvious themes seen in the film. But are there any subtle themes?
The characters name, Joseph (a well known biblical name) immediately sets the tone for the time, although not obvious at first. However, once he meets Hannah (a christian charity shop worker), it seems like there was a more deliberate reason as to why Considine named his main character Joseph.
I had to research this - all my years at Brownies and going to church on sundays left me with no knowledge of the bible whatsoever - but I found out about a Joseph in the bible.
In the old testament, it tells you the story of a man named Joseph. He was young, and constantly wanted his fathers approval, much to his brothers disapproval. He belittled them, but couldn't see what he was doing over his joy of being his fathers favourite. His brothers decided to get their revenge, by throwing him down a dry well, then selling him. Joseph eventually ends up in the Pharaoh's household, where a wife of the higher workers trying to have an affair with him - he rejects her, which sends her in a jealous rage, and tells her husband that Joseph tried to rape her. He gets sent to the jail, where he (somehow) becomes in charge of the rest of the prisoners. Two years pass, and his brothers arrive in Egypt, where they see him in his high status, and plead for his forgiveness. He accepts, and they all live happily ever after. Oh and by the way, if you haven't worked it out, this Joseph is the story of 'Joseph and the amazing technicolour dreamcoat'.
So after reading this, I thought of how much this story is similar to Tyrannosaur. Joseph (in the film, not the bible) thinks he is doing right when he tries to protect a child from abuse, but only gets beaten up himself. He hides in a charity shop, where he meets a christian named Hannah. She is constantly been raped (in the bible, a wife says Joseph raped her) by her husband, who she ultimately gets her revenge on. Joseph is a hero in disguise, although he doesn't know it. In a twisted sort of way, I can see many similarities from the story of Joseph in the bible, and Joseph in the film. The 'happily ever after' ending is similar too, as all is forgiven after Hannah pays the price for murder, but he stays by her side.
Although the story of Dyer is upsetting, I believe it would make a fantastic narrative, and a great biopic documentary - maybe not as a student short, but with the right funding, the story of the Angel Maker would be a fantastic project to work on.
My Winnipeg is admittedly not something I would typically watch - experimental, black and white, no clear narrative - me, watch something like that?! Well as it happens, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The messy narrative made me think of all the themes and messages behind it, and the experimental visuals made me look for clues.
The use of black and white was annoying, but once you understand what the film is about (dreams, being stuck), it brought me to the conclusion that the use of black and white colour palette was to make it seem closed off, delusional, dreamy and secluded - referring to what the main character was talking about.
One of the themes I picked up on, which isn't obvious to the naked eye, was homosexuality. This may seem strange, but there were several parts where the main character gave hints to homosexuality.
"I was brought up around women...I think that's why I turned out how I am", referring to homosexual rhinos and talking about men naked suggests homosexual tendencies, and maybe that's why the main character feels like he is stuck where he is (because he can't accept his homosexuality, and feels trapped by it).
Wings of Desire (1987)
I found myself forcing my attention on this film. I couldn't appreciate it as an art form, neither could I a film. The production value for its age was impressive, which was one of the few positives I could see. As much as I tried (and maybe that's the problem, I tried too hard), I found myself staring at the clock, waiting for the film to end.
The film had a narrative. Not a very good one, but a narrative nonetheless. I quite liked the scene in which one of the angels gets his wings clipped and becomes a human again, but it dragged - as did everything in this film. It seemed to be stretched as far as possible, every scene longer than needed, which is a massive downfall.
My short attention span needs constant entertainment or emotions thrown at me, and I just didn't get any with Wings of Desire. My tiny mind could not appreciate any of the little details in it, nor could I find themes, messages, or points to the film. I just found it tedious, ridiculously long and the story arc wasn't deep enough to make me feel any emotion, except boredom. I apologise for my crude review, but I stand by 'honesty is the best policy'.
FILM IDEA 2: