Mostly Links – 1 July 2011

BY NIALL ANDERSON

Just good friends: Shia 'Shirley' LaBeouf and Megan 'Don't Call Me' Fox

Mostly Film spent last weekend at Glastonbury. Every year, millions of pixels are indiscriminately slaughtered to convince the public that it’s the best fun they never had. We will refrain. Let it just be said that your life will be made briefly but appreciably better if you watch Janelle Monáe’s astonishing performance from Saturday night. Viewers outside the UK will have to make do with edited highlights, but still, not since Prince in his absolute pomp, etc.

By coincidence, this week Mostly Film will be going to see Prince, but we promise not to mention it. Unless Tricky turns up again. Or Limahl. Or, you know, anyone who Prince bafflingly thinks is cool.

Stepping briefly away from the corporatisation of fun, we turn to taking the piss out of corporations. What should an advertisement for KFC look like? Peter Serafinowicz has an idea that I’m sure the Colonel will love.

It’s a thin enough week for cinema releases here. Looming over everything like a giant Orson Welles-voiced planet is Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, and its charming almost-star Shia LaBeouf. Shirley Beef certainly has a mouth on him, along with the courage, suavity and general good manners to strongly imply that he saw rather more of sometime co-star Megan Fox than her bejeaned bottom fleeing a morphing robot. “It was what it was,” he sighs, with an evil equanimity not witnessed since he failed to thank those monkeys for saving him in Indy IV.

Aiming to be Ultra Magnus to the Transformers’ Optimus Prime is Tom Hanks’s exploration of the upside of unemployment, Larry Crowne. From the trailer alone, this seems to have School of Capra running through as through a stick of rancid rock, but it’s quite a cast: Hanks himself, Julia Roberts, Bryan Cranston, Pam Grier and the ever-limited Cedric The Entertainer as a cantankerous next-door neighbour.

In anticipation of the London Indian Film Festival (which Mostly Film will be covering in some depth in the coming weeks), we have Abhinay Deo’s comedy Delhi Belly. We also have Asghar Farhadi’s Iranian divorce drama A Separation, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. Juanita Wilson (best known for producing Inside I’m Dancing) returns as director of As If I Am Not There, an adaptation of Slavenka Drakulić’s controversial 1999 novel, which took the issue of rape during the Bosnian-Serbian conflict as an expression of a larger war between women and a male-dominated history.

High on a hill stood a giant beetle

The most purely entertaining-looking outside bet this week looks to be Jessica Oreck’s Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, a documentary about insects in Japanese culture – from ancient legends to Mothra, to insectile Happy Meal toys. Not that you’d get much of that from the trailer.

There’s good fare to be had too among the rereleases and special seasons too. Nicholas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now finally gets a Blu-Ray release on Monday. Will it clear up the murky sound that’s dogged all other disc version? We’ll have to wait and see. Roeg shares some of his memories of making the film here.

And what could be better – now the nights are drawing in again – than a season of Ingmar Bergman films? Film4 is showing seventeen of the films between the 4th and the 17th of July, including Smiles of a Summer Night, Persona, Cries and Whispers and the deathless, even-parody-can’t-kill-it The Seventh Seal.

If you’re in London, and you rush, you may be able to get to the Brixton Ritzy’s Terrence “Terry” Malick retrospective this weekend, showing all the slowpoke master’s films up to now. Mostly Film will be looking at Malick’s latest, The Tree of Life, next week. Or perhaps we’ll just stare at a leaf, stare at Brad Pitt, draw a dinosaur and decide that it’s all evidence of a miraculous chain of being.

Assuming that doesn’t happen, we’ll be back on Monday with the films of the half-year so far, a recap of what’s been happening in Game of Thrones, and the usual much, much more.

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