Few moments in cinema, in art even, will leave any lasting or memorable impact. Audiences have precious little storage in the brain to savour some of cinema’s greatest moments. The final fight in Aliens, the scale of Ben-Hur or Eddie Marsan screaming “I’m Frank Sidebottom” in a nasally comic voice in Filth all spring to mind. Marsan is, controversially, not Frank Sidebottom. Frank portrays him as Michael Fassbender, and even then, it is hard to believe that Sidebottom is a character that existed before and after Irvine Welsh’s novel of corrupt coppers and drink-addled Scotland. But he did, and here he is.
Terrible secrets for those that swan around the titular character are the downfall of their misgivings and aims. Jane Eyre is a fascinating tale that, when translated to the screen, has the opportunity to make right with its consistent dialogue between Eyre and the reader. To stage that on the screen, with camera angles and pieces to camera, monologues that detail the heartbreak and sorrow of Eyre and her immediate friends and family, is far easier than referring to it on the pages and pages offered up by Charlotte Brontë. Her prose was good, but is no match for the cutting and directing of Cary Joji Fukunaga, whose English-language debut sees him tackle a strong literary work.
While the “This is Sparta!” scene is now synonymous with weak YouTube fodder and crusty, pixelated meme culture, it is an oddly solid scene. Odd, in the sense that, up until this point, I have yet to see anything good from director Zack Snyder. 300 seems like the type of film he should always be making. I mean that as a compliment, to some degree anyway. That is what Snyder does. He makes good scenes. He has concepts for moments that will elicit joy and excitement from an entertaining set-piece. On paper, this is the easiest and ultimate route to success, but it hardly ever works in his favour.
Documenting and understanding the many sides of The Troubles and the impact they had on Ireland’s culture and families is a difficult task indeed. An outsider to those days such as myself couldn’t possibly capture or understand the intricate horrors that tore friendships in half, destroyed relationships beyond repair, and took the lives of thousands. With Hunger, there is much faith to be had in both its cast and the man helming this piece. Steve McQueen is a tremendous director, one that has put social issues to film time and time again, but Hunger marks not only his feature debut, but his first attempt at capturing a pocket of relatively modern history.
With such a slump in quality biopics these last few years, playing catch-up with all the ones that slipped by seems like a hellish, dull task. Steve Jobs, from the great Danny Boyle, brings us three different launches of the mighty titan conglomerate Apple. The “true story” of over twenty years of history, all condensed into a two-hour set that comes at its audiences thick and fast. Detailing the various successes and failures, the personal life of Jobs and his relationship with his daughter and colleagues, Steve Jobs looks to offer quite a lot in such a short amount of time. We stumble through these moments rather rapidly, enough to keep us moving, but not enough to keep us engaged.
Knowing absolutely nothing at all about Carl Jung or Sigmund Freud makes A Dangerous Method a completely blank canvas for me. I don’t know of their methods, their practices, their politics or even what they really stood for. All I know is that director David Cronenberg has crafted a repugnant film that paints the two as horrid individuals, and his direction, style, cast and crew stoop to this point of no return in a foolhardy attempt to craft a somewhat period piece style film detailing their methods and lifestyles.