Mostly Links – 5 August 2011

By Niall Anderson

"It's okay kid. They haven't seen the films you haven't seen either."

MOSTLY LINKS was chided recently for the persistent inaccuracy of its views, previews and reviews of the week’s films. His name’s not Oliver! The film’s not really about killing: it’s about identity theft! That’s not a bromance or, indeed, a gross-out comedy. What can we say? We are humbled by others’ greater grasp of the press release. Our only defence is that sometimes we like to imagine films as they could be, in a better world. Like Wes Anderson’s Spider-Man, for instance. Or the unmade films of JG Ballard.

We also like to imagine happier endings, happier middles and happier beginnings. In this spirit we bring you Marlon Brando playing the ukulele and dancing with his wife in Tahiti in 1967. If Apocalypse, Now had only ended like this.

How do you feel about ukuleles anyway? Fun? Twee? Unplayable and pingy? Would the listening experience be better if it had more cowbell? If only there were some way to establish what sounds good, scientifically. In a happier world, maybe there is.

Still, we should probably make the best of what we’ve got. And what we’ve got in cinemas this week is a continuation of this summer’s most surprising trend: lots of documentaries that look a lot more interesting than the fiction on show.

There’s yet another sports documentary in the form of Yves Hinant’s The Referees, which pictures the lives of football refs at Euro 2008 almost as an X Factor-style knockout competition. There’s also Ian Palmer’s Knuckle: an account, ten years in the making, of insane and unremitting bloodfeuds in the Traveller community. Irish masochists, long accustomed to dodgy refereeing decisions, are hereby invited to make a double bill of it.

In cineplexland, the week is dominated by JJ “J” Abrams’ Super 8 (given a cautious thumbs up here earlier this week). Hanging on and hoping for sloppy seconds is the latest chapter in the back-and-forth duel between Jim Carrey and credibility, Mr Popper’s Penguins. Elsewhere, Kristin Scott Thomas returns to her favourite theme – being interestingly fragile in a second language – in Sarah’s Key.

MOSTLY FILM returns next week with music, nudity and Captain America. Not necessarily in that order. In the meantime, can you tell a cheese from a font?

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