Where Spencer will immediately cause controversy is in the audience and their perception of Princess Diana. Homewrecker or hero, the ambivalent many that sway from side to side on this perception may not even care. The gross explosion of interest in the Queen of Our Hearts has heralded a mass appeal to have a stake in the private lives of the few that find themselves on the front page. Spencer dives into that somewhat, the latest Pablo Larráin feature explores that thoroughly well with the Kristen Stewart-led feature seeing her take the eponymous reigns of such a fascinatingly divisive figure of modern British culture.
One integral proponent of Mike Leigh’s work is the coming together of characters who have nothing to do with one another. Their lives are entwined, but the issues they hold within them are the business of nobody else, not least those Leigh wishes them to spend time with. There may be the idle chat or comment made, as there is in Another Year, but never an explicit, obvious piece of dialogue that demonstrates a clamour for help or an expression of guilt from one character to another. The implication is stronger than the obviousness. Ambiguity is the strongest tool of Leigh’s work, especially for Secrets & Lies, a film where the struggle of the two leading characters is through the ambiguity of family and what it means.
What we as audience members and movie lovers must remember is that there is no such thing as a bad idea. Not really, anyway. Adapting Alice in Wonderland to the live-action arena, for instance, is not a bad idea. Animation provided Disney with some magnificent visuals and a thoroughly well-defined feature that brought the characters written by Lewis Carroll to life with faithful effectiveness. What we as audience members and movie lovers must also remember is that, if there is even a little crux of whimsy found in a feature film, then Tim Burton would, probably, love to adapt it and slather his strange shtick all over it. Hence, Alice in Wonderland, of course starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.
Cinema lacks ample football drama. We are presented with the hooliganism of Green Street or the obsessive addiction of Fever Pitch. Sometimes, we suspend our disbelief as audiences and struggle through the hyperviolence only Danny Dyer could present in The Football Factory. Where are the films taking a bite out of the controversies of the real world? The Damned United is a good example. Michael Sheen portrays Brian Clough, a legendary player of great tenure and legacy, depicting his doomed 44-day run as head coach at Leeds United. Continue reading The Damned United Review
Seeing the unrivalled success that puppetry has within Team America: World Police, some wise producers decided this system had better be applied to the United Kingdom and its rich history. Thrusting a childish, fictional setting to the streets of London during wartime, Jackboots on Whitehall is an amalgamation of talented performers coming together to drizzle grey paste into the ears of any audience doomed to listen. The Battle of Britain is lost to the Nazi forces, and their invasion causes a ragtag bunch of characters to defend the homeland from horrid invaders, peculiarly voiced by Alan Cumming and Tom Wilkinson.
Working-class woes and modern periods of bleak history are put to film, more often than not, with the intention of capturing an abstract feeling. Something we as an audience can vaguely learn from, about a certain mood among a ramshackle bunch of characters. Tangible links between the unique individuals within Life is Sweet make a sturdy, enjoyable foundation, bringing to light some of the more pressing issues of the time. Some now outdated, others that are as relevant today as they were thirty years ago, when this Mike Leigh directed feature first released.
Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. I missed out on all three when they hit their peak in the 60s, mainly because I hadn’t been born. Not having the chance to glimpse at the initial lifespan of the mods and rockers era of British culture with anything but a historic head and a love for the music that appeared during this period. I’m a huge fan of a culture’s music that I was never involved in. The Who, The Ronette’s, The Kingsmen, Booker T & the M.G.’s and The Crystals dominated this period, and have since carved a soft spot in my ever-questionable music taste. Quadrophenia is the closest I’ll ever get to experiencing the pill-popping, brown ale swirling period of 60s culture.