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.
Continue reading Monoglot Movie Club: The Secret Life Of Arabia
A coat and a hoodie? Love it.
I know it’s Capaldi’s costume, but it looks better on a woman.
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.
Continue reading A Change in the Weather
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.
Continue reading Editor’s Inbox
An elderly man plays with the remains of a fence, then walks across a scrubby heath.
“There were no trees here,” he says, looking at a path weaving through the bushes. “Nothing.” He regards the nothing for a moment, then tells of the last time he saw his family at the Kraków-Plaszów forced labour camp, in 1942. The camp featured in Schindler’s List.
Continue reading Destination Unknown
The year 2016 was a big one for movies about jazz, it seems. Before the release of La La Land (where Ryan Gosling saves jazz from Death By John Legend), Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead was released in the UK in June, followed closely in July by Born to be Blue. MostlyFilm’s Sarah Slade counts beats to the bar and claps the rhythm for both films
Continue reading Born Modal
Sarah Slade watches Elvis’s granddaughter go through The Girlfriend Experience
Continue reading Girlfriend is Better
Sarah Slade enjoys the silence.
In the director’s statement for In Pursuit of Silence, Paul Shen says that rather than encapsulate “the ineffable qualities of silence” he set out to mimic “our experience of the world when we are still”. Continue reading A Little Peace
Sarah Slade considers if Stormy Weather has weathered the storm.
There is a school of thought that maintains that musicals of the Hollywood Golden Age were at the forefront of social commentary. Look at Carousel, with its depiction of domestic violence, single parenthood and walking on through the wind and the rain. Or Oklahoma in the light of Judd’s mental illness. Let’s skip over the message behind Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and look at Showboat, which has actual people of colour singing songs about rivers and takes a sideways look the trials of being mixed-race in the Deep South.
Continue reading Stormy Weather
Sarah Slade looks at a beautiful retread of an old theme.
There isn’t much that is new about Departure. An English family rattle around their French holiday home, replete with colour-washed walls, Le Creuset everything and a lovely collection of china. An enigmatic stranger appears and there is a sexual awakening. Everybody goes home, wiser, sadder and ready to face the future. It’s a theme that has been explored in many ways, by many film makers over many years. You could even say that middle-class angst in Aude is quite a safe topic for first-time director Andrew Steggall, but that would detract from what is a rather beautiful, sensitively acted film. Continue reading Departure