I like to eat marmite toast for breakfast. It has a distinct taste which I gain pleasure from. But if I have marmite every day, then after a few days the marmite gets boring and loses its pizzazz. However, if I have it once every three days and switch between cheerios, shreddies and marmite, then marmite always packs a punch.
Foxtrot is constant misery. Like marmite toast the sadness is always there. Very rarely does it pack a punch as you’re constantly feeling sadness but not really understanding what for.
Upon walking out of my local cinema, I heard two people discussing the film that I had just watched. “What did you think of that?” said the female in an unsure voice. “I think it was a bit over-baked.” replied the male with equal lack of conviction. “I thought it was under-baked” replied the woman. They chuckled unsure of what to make of this truly strange movie. While not one for such metaphors, I understood their sentiment. When you walk out of a film like Border, you struggle to get your thoughts in order as you have been transported to a far off place. This film is one of the strangest I have seen and will see for a long time.
To understand the tone of this film think about what Guillermo Del Toro does to fairytales in making them more mature. Now think someone does a Del Toro to one of his films and makes in even more so. This is served up in the cinema and is our film for this week.
In the first 15 minutes of The Kindergarten Teacher, one of Lisa Spinelli’s (Maggie Gylenhall) poems is described as derivative. Ironically, that is one of the words I would use to describe this film.
Lisa Spinelli is a Kindergarten teacher who is bored of her life. Her kids are growing up with no creativity, her poetry in her evening class is lame, her job is boring. She feels lost and isolated. This is until she hears five year old student Jimmy murmur a poem.
Anna is beautiful. Beautiful enough for me. The sun hits her yellow house. It’s almost like a sign from God.
From here, she starts to claim his work as her own in her poetry class, with rave reviews. Lisa builds up a connection with poetry teacher Simon. She tries to record more of Jimmy’s poems, teaching him ideas such as perspective. Soon, she starts trying to get his father to support his poetry.
Then Lisa starts to go overboard: Giving Jimmy her phone number, becoming his afternoon carer, taking him to poetry events against his father’s will and more…
Sat in the cinema, you see an old looking and sounding 20th century fox logo and BAM, you’re in another time, exactly 40 years ago to be exact, but being transported to the year 2122. Straight off the bat, you have a dark pan across space as the word ALIEN is slowly revealed across the top of the screen and an ominous drone similar to Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” plays and you know what you’re in for.
Straight off the bat, the scenery is eerie and grey in this futuristic ship which wouldn’t look out of place in Doctor Who (Sigourney Weaver would make a much better Doctor than Jodie Whittaker, but away from the point). Your three crew-members go and explore what is sending a distress call and one of them finds eggs, sticks his face too close to a hatching one and OH SHIT THE ALIEN JUMPS ON HIS FACE!!! The classic jump scare.
Back on the ship, they take alien face to their hospital and find the alien is feeding him oxygen. Weird… Anyway, soon the alien is off his face and dead. Alien-face is ok and they have dinner and BOOM OUT OF NOWHERE!!! STRAIGHT OUT OF THE STOMACH IS THIS WEIRD WORM THING!!! Is it scary? Nahh. Is it funny? Hell yeah.
The crew go to catch this alien and you think is that as scary as it gets? And you are wrong. This guy goes after the resident cat Jones, turns around… AND THERE’S A HUGE EFFING ALIEN!! WHAAAT!!!! It is going to go down from here on out. Can they catch it, will it kill them? Well, I’m probably going to spoil this a bit in the rest of the review, but you’ve had 40 years to watch it and if you haven’t by now…