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And now for something completely different.......

I am currently watching the final film, Lulu, of the trilogy directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder: the trilogy comprises "The Marriage of Elizabeth Braun", "Veronika Voss", and "Lulu".

I got the DVD from the local public library here in the US. I noticed with awe the price of the DVD on Amazon (gulp!): see the attached link. So I am not sure how you chaps in the wild, wooly, and wonderful world of video streaming services will be able to see these films.

They are well worth viewing, despite being rather "deep" in psychological terms. There is a certain dark nuance to many German films I have watched in the past and that is certainly true here. I shall not try to give any kind of summary here of the various plots. Suffice it to say that I don't think you could characterise these films into any popular "genre". Made, I think, during 1979-82, they are set in the mid-fifties, so there are obvious echoes of the recently ended war, coupled with the encroaching cultural influence of the occupying American forces and the emerging Wirtschaftswunder (Economic Miracle).

I strongly recommend that, if you can, you should watch them.

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PROJECTOR ROOM
Episode 10 - Kind Hearts and PPP
The latest now available via http://stevelitchfield.com/projector/index.html or your podcatcher of choice. This time +Ted Salmon​ and +Steve Litchfield​ welcome TV Producer and Presenter Jon Bentley to share his thoughts on all things film, cinema and TV. Enjoy :-)
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What I Watched This Week:
Gravity (PVR'ed)
Spectacular survival story set in the Earth's orbit. Sandra Bullock has to survive the catastrophic effects of debris disabling the space shuttle from which she is working, and find her way back to Earth. I'm no expert, but the science is sciencey enough for me (no sound in vacuum &c) and Sandra Bullock is really good at portraying the desperate hopelessness of her situation.

If I had quibbles, it would be the film makers slightly losing their nerve, and chucking in a lot of soundtrack music towards the end, and the thought that Bullock's character would probably have been more measured in real life (more Apollo 13) than written here. Still a great watch though.

Train to Busan (Prime)
Kicking off an inadvertent Korean cinema binge (a bit like Ted's Chilean season a while back :) ), this is effective Korean zombies on a train stuff. Not quite as propulsive as [REC] (which the breathless pace reminded me of at times) but certainly fast paced and worth catching if you're a fan of the zombie genre.

I'm a Cyborg (But That's OK) (PVR'ed)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KaOLDZe2GI
A lovely little film about a young woman who believes that she is a cyborg. She's committed to a psychiatric hospital, and stops eating - at which point, another patient (a kleptomanic young man who believes (as do the other patients) that he can steal characteristics as well as things) sets out to help her, using the idiosyncracies of the other patients and his ingenuity not to cure her, but to make her illness something that she can live with.

It's tragic, and tender, and beautifully shot, for all that the premise is bizarre, and I think there's a nice message about not trying to change the people you love tucked away in it as well. Definitely my main feature this week.

Tour de France 2017
I've been switching between the ITV coverage and Eurosport coverage - the latter have really upped their game in the post stage analysis stakes (ITV used to be clear winners here) so it's not an easy choice!

Orphan Black (s5) (Netflix)
I'm pleased to see this back - Tatiana Maslany's playing of six different characters (and sometimes, brain meltingly, of those characters pretending to be on of the other five) is an amazing feat.

Preacher (s2) (Prime)
Very good, but with some quite challenging themes and at times, insanely gory violence. Excellent performances from the leads, and some sharp writing and direction, but it won't be everyone's cup of tea.


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FALLING DOWN
A Road Movie on Foot! This is the story of a man who, as we discover as the film develops, is troubled. Troubled by his mental health, his place in society, self-worth, tendencies towards violence and control of anger. It's a baking hot day in LA and the traffic has ground to a halt in roadworks. The man, played by Michael Douglas, gets more and more heated and exasperated with the situation until, in desperation, he throws in the towel, gets out, leaves his car in the jam and starts to walk home.

Home is the place where he used to live with his ex-wife and daughter before things had gone wrong, rather than the place that he now sleeps, his mother's house. Today is also his daughter's birthday and, even though he's not allowed near his family, he's determined to go there and take her a present. His journey across the city starts and it becomes littered with a series of interactions, conversations, liaisons and conflicts with various people. He gets himself into scrape after scrape in a multi-cultural city which presents him with opportunity after opportunity to sound off in different ways about injustice, unreasonableness, racism, social values, gang warfare, immigration and old fashioned values of family life.

As things develop, he ends up on the radar of the LAPD and a retiring cop played by Robert Duvall, on his last day at work. The cop begins to try and trail him across the city and intercept him before something catastrophic happens to him or those around him. The cop, who behaves more like a Social Worker most of the time, has his own back-story which opens up as things move along at a reasonable pace.

Things go from bad to worse and incident after incident just serve to make him more and more irate about everything in the world - and in his path. It's a sad film in many ways, though the script also has injections of humour along the way. It was made in the 1990's and it's really odd to see, what in many ways could be reasonably timeless, that nobody has a mobile phone! How things have moved on so quickly.

It's an enjoyable film and very well acted by Douglas in the lead. Duvall does his bit, too, laid back as his character dictates. Some of the close-up photography, particularly in the first half of the film assisting the depiction of the claustrophobia created by the inescapable searing heat of the day, is used very effectively indeed. The landscape is urban city streets and much poverty is reflected via the path he treads. If you've not seen it, I'd recommend you doing so. You won't regret it, but it may well make you think about some of the social issues which it raises.

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127 HOURS
This is the true story of a mountain climber Aron Ralston who goads danger and excitement by pushing himself to various limits out and about in the canyons. He goes out one day, starting on bicycle, then on foot, leaping about between rocks and ledges and crevices until he slips up, falls and traps his arm between a canyon's wall and a fallen boulder.

And that's about it really! Nobody knows where he is or that he has gone off to do this, his meagre supplies of water and nibbles begin to run out and he realises that his destiny is in his own hands. Clearly it's a survival story, one man's plight against the odds and a picture of what he might try to do and engineer to get himself out of it and live to tell the tale.

It's been made in a fairly dour manner without much injection of suspense or depiction of seriousness of the plight. I get that he had started to hallucinate but they spend far too much of the film's time leaping around between images and thoughts mixed up in delirium from his past to, what would seem, pad the film out to a given length.

I didn't really know much of the actor involved, James Franco, but it's clearly apparent from his IMDB Profile that he must be the busiest actor of all time! An incredible number of projects he's been involved in form a list longer than his trapped arm! He plays it well enough, I just don't think it's been particularly well thought through as a film and unlike, say, Cast Away, there was little if any shuffling towards the edge of one's seat.

Certainly a Sunday afternoon film when you've got nothing much else to do.

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Very bad ... unfortunately

I watched the trailer for this film and it seems like it might be a good thriller however how long can you be.

The main character in this film is played by Halle Berry and she seems to overact and pull some of the most strange faces throughout the movie.

Basically the plot is about a mum who takes the son to the park after a hard days work, the child is kidnapped and the film is about her trying to get her kid back from the abductors

The film seems to drag on for the sake of and still only reaches the 90 minute mark, she has many chances to kill the people who have kidnapped her son but doesn't do so.

In one scene she is driving down the freeway and doesn't pass another car for at least 10 minutes 😳

3/10 
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This video may be of interest to anyone who is interested in the art and craft of cinematography (as I am!). It's beautiful.

There are consistent references to the noir films Odd Man Out and The Third Man.

I recall from one of my previous posts that no-one in this forum seemed to have heard of The Third Man, a fact that amazed me. It's a recognised and indisputable classic
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