Lorenzo's picture

Film Review: The Great Beauty

It is now more than fifteen years since the victory of Roberto Benigni 's unforgettable Life is Beautiful . On Sunday, in Hollywood, an Italian film came back to triumph in the Best Foreign Film category. And it did it after bringing home the same award at both the Golden Globes and BAFTAs in the weeks before. This is The Great Beauty, the new film by Paolo Sorrentino.

The film recounts the story of Jep Gambarella, a journalist and theatre critic (played magnificently by Tony Servillo, at this moment the best actor that Italian cinema can offer) and also the writer, in his youth, of a single novel The Apparatus Human.

The journalist, a man of great charm, immerses himself in the beauty of Rome's great past, whilst at the same time busying himself with the mundane events of the city. He attends every evening salon in the capital, jumping between parties vulgar and poor taste, along with his circle of friends.

Jep, by now lazy and impatient, understands that in his life there is nothing left to believe, and reduces its existence to a single purpose: "not to slip into the mundane of the mundane".

Erik's picture

The Multiple Personalities of the Great Gatsby

As part of our build-up to the 2014 Oscars, we are looking at the films likely to take home some of the top awards. Here, Erik Redli examines the parallels seen in The Great Gatsby with other leading characters in film and television.

The Great Gatsby starts with a black and white Warner Brothers logo just like it would have in the 1920s. I was curious; another tragic story starring DiCaprio.

The story is narrated by Nick Carraway, a young man who has just moved into a small house right next to Gatsby's castle. Ambitious and reverent, he is often a timeless witness to the caprice of the upper classes and eventually he runs away from what he initially pursued.

The mysterious Gatsby does not appear during the first 30 minutes of the movie. Instead the other characters recall his parties and charm, intensifying the expectations of both Nick and the audience. All of a sudden, he appears from the cover of a crowd dancing to the modern soundtrack of Fergie's Little Party Killed Nobody.

Erik's picture

One Man’s Terrorist is Another Man’s Freedom Fighter

Paul Ciancia, 23, killed one and injured six others at Los Angeles airport security check on Friday, 1 November 2013. He told police that he did not want to cause any damage, only express disagreement with the government. He left a ‘New World Order' note referring to a conspiracy theory that a group of politicians want to impose totalitarian control over the world.

It reminded me of the movie Shooter (pictured above).The main character kills in retribution, after a corrupt official turns him into a scapegoat to cover up their own premeditated murder. Vengeance is mine, he could say in the end of the movie.

But is it really the end? Will there be no more soldiers dying, no more mass graves, no more pilotless-drones? It is the same reasoning that says one village being wiped out for an oil pipe is worth it for the rest to live better. It means that a human life has no value when making decisions based on the general welfare.

Séamas's picture

Dinard is Served: The British Film France

For the best of British cinema, the best place to go is Brittany France! From October 3-6, the picturesque seaside resort of Dinard will hold its 24th Festival du Film Britannique. With its beautiful beach, convivial casino, smart restaurants, quaint hotels and its unique seaside strolls, it resembles a more intimate Festival de Cannes and only for British films. Like Cannes, it has popular star turns and ambitious art house endeavours as well as a host of professional and social events.

One event that has become a regular fixture is the students short film competition, featuring three shorts each from the most prestigious French and British film schools, the Fémis and the NFTS.

Apart from that section, all the films on show are British or Irish. There is also a competition of six top-notch new features, this year including the much anticipated The Selfish Giant by Clio Bernard, a film that generated great buzz in Cannes this year. It is a very emotional story, where two young working class Bradford boys find their friendship tested when they get involved in scrap collecting and clandestine trotting races.

Séamas's picture

Iranian Director Honoured as Part of Paris Cinema Festival

After its 12-day sojourn in Cannes for the festival, the capital of World Cinema has moved back to its home in Paris. To mark the event an honorific award was made to the now most French of Persian filmmakers, Asghar Farhadi.

According to Bertrand Delanoë, the mayor of Paris, Farhadi is "a man who brings us closer to Iranian society, through his subtlety and refinement, full of delicate cultural observations".

"Your creation", he continues, "makes me think of Victor Hugo's words: "All human kind has rights to Paris" and you have a very special way of expressing things when you use Paris as a location."

Farhadi had recently returned from Cannes where he was celebrated for his new film Le Passé (The Past), a film shot entirely in the Paris area and in French. In Cannes, Le Passé received the best actress award for Bérénice Bejo and at the opulent salons of Paris city hall, Farhadi himself was awarded the city's gold medal, la Grande Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris.

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