Monoglot Movie Club: The Secret Life Of Arabia

Part of an occasional series in which Spank The Monkey travels to foreign countries, watches films in unfamiliar languages, and then complains about not understanding them. This episode: Saudi Arabia and Dubai, May 2017.

There was a meme which made its way around Twitter at the end of May. It consisted of the following message, printed boldly in white on black: “YOU HAVE JUST OVERTHROWN CAPITALISM. The 10th photo in your camera roll is the new economic system of the planet.” I had a look at my phone’s camera roll to see what the tenth photo was, and it turned out to be a shot of the city of Riyadh, taken from the top of a 99 storey building. No real change there, then.

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A Change in the Weather

Sarah Slade finds a chilly charm in the latest Jon Sanders collaboration. 

Films that play with reality and perception tends toward the spooky end of the cinematic spectrum. Not so with A Change in the Weather. In fact, it’s hard to find a premise more cosily middle-class and…actorly…than the one offered here: a group of performers spends a week in a French gite and things get a bit sticky on the relationship front. It’s got Radio 4 written all over it.

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Il Cinema Ritrovato 2017

Philip Concannon reports back from this year’s Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna.

No two experiences of Il Cinema Ritrovato will be the same. The festival’s vast and eclectic programme offers so many options for the curious film fan, there’s really no right way to navigate it. Some will choose to revisit old favourites screened from original prints or restored copies, while others will focus on rare titles and unknown quantities. Treats are to be found in every corner of the festival, along with a number of very difficult choices. On a single evening in Bologna, you could see one of the following: D.A. Pennebaker introducing Monterey Pop on Piazza Maggiore’s huge screen; the Austrian silent film Die kleine Veronika presented on a carbon projector; or a new restoration of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, with Dario Argento himself in attendance. It’s not always easy being a cinephile.

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Editor’s Inbox

New MostlyFilm editors are initiated into the Siblingity of MostlyFilm Eds in a short, non-surgical ceremony where the old editor hands over the Gimlet Eye and passwords before skipping off to the Field of No Fucks Left To Give. In my month or so in the editor’s rather cheap plastic chair, I’ve discovered a glitch in the Gimlet Eye and the email password opens a whole new world of delicious nonsense to play with. From upcoming releases to bizarre ideas for tie-ins, this is a round-up of things that we wouldn’t normally get around to talking about, but we thought you might like to know.

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Dying Laughing

Jim Eaton-Terry looks at Dying Laughing, a new documentary on the life of the stand-up comic

There’s always something odd about an extended conversation with a really great stand up.  Inevitably there’s the tension of waiting for a gag that never comes, which often distracts from the conversation.    Comics are clearly aware of this, and the weaker ones will defuse the tension with a crowd-pleasing riff or two, but the best conversations strip away the humour and show how the world looks from the stage.

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