Category Archives: Home Video

Smiley’s People

Emma Street explains why Ben Wheatley’s new film is – and isn’t – like The Breakfast Club

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Michael Smiley in A Field In England

Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England was released last Friday across all platforms with the possible exception of kinetoscope. Viewers were offered the option of watching the film at the cinema, on DVD, via digital download or by tuning in to Film4 at 10:45 where the whole thing broadcast without ad breaks.

I dipped my toe in the multiple release formats experience by watching it first on television on Friday night and then seeing it on the big screen on Sunday at the ICA. This showing was followed by a question and answer session with director Ben Wheatley and actor Reece Sheersmith, who stars in the film and is better known as one of the League of Gentlemen. In this session Wheatley discussed how he chose to shoot the film chronologically in order to allow the actors the opportunity to grow with their characters. He also shared his thoughts on the cinematic advantages of shooting in black and white – how it prevents viewers becoming distracted by attractive scenery or costumes and focuses attention on character’s faces. Black and white footage, he says, also highlights dirt and grime.

In which case, he certainly achieved the look he was going for. The images that remain with you after watching A Field In England are the moods, reactions and suffering written on the protagonists’ faces  and the grubby muddiness of their surroundings. Continue reading Smiley’s People

Firebombs and Broomsticks

Indy Datta takes a look at the new BluRays of Ghibli’s Grave of the Fireflies and Kiki’s Delivery Service.

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After the recent theatrical run for the 1988 Ghibli double bill of Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbour Totoro and Isao Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies, today sees the release of a slew of Studio Ghibli titles in DVD/Blu-ray dual format editions. I was lucky enough to score review copies of Fireflies and Miyazaki’s follow-up to TotoroKiki’s Delivery Service. Thoughts on the films and the discs after the jump.

Continue reading Firebombs and Broomsticks

A Truth About Hal Hartley

by Mr Moth

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A man in a dark suit escaping a criminal past. An woman giving up everything for the dream of another life. Deadpan dialogue. Low key drama in the shabby outskirts of New York and Long Island. Welcome to the early work of Hal Hartley. Take a seat. Don’t look at me, gaze out of the window. I’ll talk to you. You talk to the air. The blank space between us says everything else.

Continue reading A Truth About Hal Hartley