Set in London, 1962, Ginger & Rosa is a largely insufferable coming-of-age story, charting the friendship between two teenage girls set against a backdrop of the threat of nuclear destruction and the beginning of the change in attitudes towards sex and femininity that the 60s instigated. Wonderfully shot, but populated with insufferable characters and terrible British accents, Ginger & Rosa is a psuedo-intellectual endeavor, overflowing with proto-philosphical nonsense.
First-time director Simon Aboud constructs an elaborately jewelled (if slightly overdone) bracelet of British cinematic talent with his debut feature Comes a Bright Day, a slightly unexpected comic romance set in the traditionally ardour-stifling confines of a heist in a jewellery store. It’s a little hectic, sure, but taken one gem at a time there’s a lot to admire.
The witching hour approaches and the fire is burning low, dear friends. So gather close and listen we list some of the greatest Halloween classics to… what? Made them up? Of course not! All of these are one hundred percent genuine films. If by genuine you mean that they came to us in a dream and we wrote them down and crudely edited some images. In that case they totally are.
In the wake of critical and commercial successes such as The Queen and The Young Victoria, director Tom Hooper has taken on one of the most obscure dramas in recent British royal history – the titanic struggle which King George VI faced whenever he was called upon to speak in public. In doing so, he has categorically made the best film of both his own and Colin Firth’s career. The King’s Speech is perfect.
With their debut feature Jackboots on Whitehall about to open the Raindance Film Festival, the McHenry Brothers are men to watch. We caught up with them in London to talk puppets, Nazis and Terminator 2…
Two parts Team America and one part Battle of Britain, with a healthy dose of Robot Chicken and some Braveheart thrown in for good measure, Jackboots on Whitehall sounds like a thoroughly unsavoury mix – think sage gravy and Minstrels. But don’t be fooled! With the addition of some superb voice talent and snazzy FX, first-time directors the McHenry brothers have created an unorthodox but thrilling cinematic taste sensation. Think chicken hearts and fried banana (trust us on that one).
Production company Hammer continue their return to form with Wake Wood, a chilling horror set in the Irish countryside. On paper it could be dismissed as an Irish version of The Wicker Man, but sets itself apart by grappling with the realities of grief, the occult, and how to safely deal with cattle. It’s not perfect, but strong performances, a strangely Scandinavian feel (part of the filming took place in Sweden) and artistic flair makes Wake Wood an enjoyable addition to Hammer’s canon.
We love watching films on the BBC. They’re almost always well-chosen and intelligent, they stay on iPlayer for ages, and there are no commercial breaks. Bliss. With this in mind, you can well imagine our excitement when BBC Films scheduled a weekend triple bill of recent British features to celebrate its official move to BBC 2 – free cinema in the comfort of our own squalid bedsits? Yes please! Here are our thoughts on three cracking new films: The Damned United, Eastern Promises and Is Anybody There?