Greetings one and all!
It's time to don the space suit and get into space for this week's #AtTheFlix. Well, at least that's the case with one of the films, and it's not the only new one out this week.
Let's see what's out in Brum this week shall we ….
Christopher Nolan's ambition is what drives his films - his whole ethos is predicated around cinematic scale - from the ideas to the sense of spectacle to the large Zimmer chords. There's a drive in Nolan's films which are all about crescendo - build, build and build some more. Even at its most fantastical and scientifically complex, Nolan is all about 'real' from the human predicaments at play through to using actual sets as opposed to green screen.
The other big ambition here is the attempt to combine big sci-fi matched with a very simple tale of love and sacrifice. I'd like people to stop comparing Nolan to the likes of Kubrick and put him in his own category. He deserves it by now, surely.
Or 'Laggies' as they're calling it Stateside. Lynn Shelton's film centres on Megan, a late 20-something played by Keira Knightley who in a sort of crisis moment, panics when her boyfriend proposes, then escape for a weeks, hiding out in the home of her new friend, 16-year-old Annika (Chloe Moretz), who lives with her world-weary single dad (play by Sam Rockwell). On paper, the film's rather twisted premise is perfect fodder for comedy and to play up conventions and twist them for everything they're worth. The cast is top notch so for me the issue is more whether the comic ideas live up to par or whether it plays safe and sweet or goes full out creepy and disturbing as the premise might suggest.
At The Electric, As: Time Is Illmatic (15) is a documentary profiling the upbringing and career of Nas, the prolific street poet turned MC, looking into his creative process and featuring interviews with his producers and peers including Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys.
At mac Birmingham, Violette stars Emmanuelle Devos in an acclaimed performance as Violette Leduc, and an honest look at close female friendship, literary life and the social mores of early 20th century France. There's also an opportunity to catch some showings of Citizenfour at the mac, Laura Poitras's documentary following her and two reporters' trip to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with a man who turned out to be Edward Snowden.
Finally, I was meant to include a preview Mike Leigh's new film Mr. Turner (12A) last week which explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner and featuring Timothy Spall in an acclaimed performance as Turner. Very little else to say but go see!
That's it from me this week, as always any queries or quibbles, please do send me a tweet at @timmy666.