I Wish (2011): Available on All4

I Wish (2011): Available on All4

Hirokazu Kore-Eda is one of the most elegant voices in cinema. From Still Walking to Nobody Knows, his films all have one common theme: At the very centre of it, they are human. Each one provides a form of meditation. Whether we see a misfit family adopt an abandoned girl (Shoplifters) or three girls welcome their younger sister to their house (Our Little Sister), the slow pace and sporadically added “normal conversations which don’t move the story on” make each of his films quite meditative.

I Wish provides a new story where two brothers live far apart. The elder brother Koichi lives with his mother and Ryu, the younger brother lives with his father. They both live in different cities and Koichi wants for the family to be reunited more than anything. Ryu meanwhile is more indifferent, remembering how unhappy they all were together. His older brother considers this naive as Ryu uses his food he’s been planting as an excuse not to reunite his family and to cover his emotions.

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Once (2008): Available on Amazon Prime & BFI Player

Once (2008): Available on Amazon Prime & BFI Player

I truly believe that its the simplicity of Once that makes it one of the most endearing films around. It’s a simple story where our guy (Glen Hansard) is a busker who does what he can to get by. He works in his dad’s vacuum repair shop, but his true passion is his guitar. In the day he plays covers, but at night, he plays his own songs. One evening, he plays and this attracts attention of girl (Marketa Irglova), a Czech immigrant who sells the big issue. While they start off with him being frosty, she gives him a chance.

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Brooklyn (2015): Available on Amazon Prime

Brooklyn (2015): Available on Amazon Prime

With cinemas closing their doors, now more than ever is a great chance to break down my ever expanding Netflix/Prime lists. Therefore, where better to start than with this underappreciated 2015 gem.

Ellis (Saorise Ronan) is a young woman working in a shop in County Wexford, but she wants more in her life. When her sister gets her the chance, she moves to Brooklyn. The first part of the film sees her on the boat, struggling as she makes her way across the Atlantic. However, once she meets a fellow immigrant who just came back to Ireland briefly, life becomes much easier. While a small thing, this early scene establishes a sense of community which carries on throughout.

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Feel Good Films #1: Singin’ In The Rain

Feel Good Films #1: Singin’ In The Rain

For context, Feel Good Films is a new series of film posts I’m doing. See more here.

I truly, truly adore Singin’ In The Rain. I can’t think of a single movie which left me with such a wide smile from the first scene to the last. Each character oozes charm. The fun is full of innocence and mischief. Every single song is an unforgettable piece which 65 years later holds on through the test of time. It takes you to a different time and a different place and you buy every second of it.

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The wonderful thing about films…

The wonderful thing about films…

Is that films are a wonderful thing!

With all of the cinemas shut and me not willing to spend £18 on a 48 hour renting of a virtual film from Sky (Sorry to the Trolls World fans), we seem to have reached an impasse. I have nothing new to review, apart from Misbehaviour and Bacarau, although frankly I struggle to see the point if you can’t watch them. I’ve also been feeling rather desensitised. I’ve not been fully able to embrace the films I’ve watched with all the chaos going on around me. Then I realised what was missing…

I ran over to HMV and like a Karen in a Sainsburys, I stockpiled. Every happy DVD I could think of was added to my basket as I pushed a pensioner down the stairs to get to the last copy of *Generic Taika Watiti film*. I got home, put one of the films on and I smiled throughout.

Because that’s the thing. Despite films being able to take us into worlds and understand a different side to humanity, they can also provide an escape. A chance to forget about everything. Therefore, for the upcoming weeks, I won’t be reviewing the latest releases. I will be discussing some of the great feel-good films you can get and I really really hope you will give them a chance and let them take you away to a blissful place you deserve to be, even for a couple of hours.

~Joe

Review: Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Review: Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

International films now have an unintended burden upon them. After Parasite’s rousing success at the Oscars (and of course in my own awards), any foreign film coming out soon will be compared to it. Portrait Of A Lady On Fire was my first foreign cinematic endeavour since Parasite, so with a lot to be compared against, how did it do? Well, quickly put, not badly.

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Review: The True History of The Kelly Gang (18)

Review: The True History of The Kelly Gang (18)

The world is in a pretty shit mood right now. COVID-19 is all over the news and taking a dump could become a lot more inconvenient as people stockpile bog roll. Therefore, on a Friday night, I was in the mood for an enjoyable, hopefully light at time film. Kelly Gang… didn’t provide this, as scenes full of violence and sadistic imagery very much reminds one that this is not no time to die. (Sorry).

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Review: Little Joe

Review: Little Joe

And he’s back. After a two week post-oscar hiatus, the blog returns. Other than a second viewing of worthy best picture winning Parasite with the good aunt, I’ve been on a secondment. That is… until Friday where I saw a preview of a film coming up next month. I’m not saying what it was yet, otherwise that would be an act of rebellion, or …

Anyway, the next day, the stars aligned so I could go and see Little Joe. Admittedly, I didn’t really plan to go out of my way to see this as it didn’t look like my cup of tea and the general consensus was mundane. However, I rooted myself to my seat, enjoyment stemmed throughout the film and I was satisfied by the credits when it was time to leaf. [Sorry].

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