Sunday, September 27, 2015

Raindance Film Festival: 1 World 100 Lonely Review

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Director: Brian McGuire
Starring: Robert Murphy, Farah Mokrani, Lara Heller, Mark E. Fletcher, Mike Kaiser, & Kendall Carroll

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Messenger Review

Friday, September 18, 2015

Director: David Blair
Cast: Robert Sheehan, Lily Cole, Tamzin Merchant
Running Time: 101 minutes
Certificate: 15

Jack (Robert Sheehan) is a lost soul, tarnished by a deep depression, he is an alcoholic isolating himself from society and pushing family away - the only people he begrugedley lets in are dead people who seek him out to communicate with their loved ones which they have left behind. He discovered his gift as a child and despite wanting nothing but being left alone by the ghosts and wanting the voices to stop he finds himself desperate to create connections with someone and sees them as his only companions.

While some of his experiences are mentioned as it emerges that Jack is a well known charater in the town and has an affinity to crashing funerals and sensitive moments to pass on a message (but instead gets passed off as an insane intruder) there is one particular passing which is followed closely. It is war correspondant Mark (Jack Fox) who gets murdered outside his flat, while his fiance Sarah (Tamzin Merchant) is waiting for him. Mark is now desperate to leave Sarah with a final message and has to convince Jack to help him.

The most interesthing angle which THE MESSENGER takes is the torment of Jack, and his desperation in helping. All he wants is to help and to feel appreciated. His selfishness is nonexistant and his methods of delivering messages drives him into getting in trouble with the law and being seen as insane by the living around him.  A discussion around mental health arises as Jack is seen as depressed due to a rough childhood mothered by an alcoholic who sectioned him at a young age while that is a parallel to the story, the audience, Jack and the dead people are united in their conviction of his sixth sense.

Sadly the film has an incredibly slow start, where Jack comes across as incredibly annoying and the confusion created by the initial 30 minutes is barely saved by incredibly intense and convincing performances by seasoned bBritish actors an interesting examination of mental health and a brief yet raiting murder mystery. Appearances by David O'Hara and Joely Richardon are small almost reducing them to cameos and are not fully taken adantage of to complete the narrative. These blunders along with a baby faced Lily Cole playing not only the older sister but also the mother of a 10 year old boy, and a lack of a well tied together inestigation leaves the audience hanging and torn between wanting more and too frustrated to engage with the film.  It is only towards the end in which the film gains momentum, and Sheehan settles into his role in which it becomes engaging and interesting.

Jack is not left alone, by neither the living nor the dead and the anguish gets so intense that whether his gift is real or whether he is suffering from schizofrenia becomes almost irrelevant but it is powerful to watch and the balance between drama, horror and thriller is brilliantly executed. THE MESSENGER is surprisningly funny,worth seeing and stands out as a good contribution to British cinema this year.

THE MESSENGER is out in the UK on the 18th September.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

How To Change The World Review

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Director: Jerry Rothwell
Cast: Bill Darnell, David Garrick, Bobbi Hunter,
Running Time: 110 Min
Rating: 15

How to change the world is about the creation of world renowned environmentalist organisation Greenpeace. An organisation that many have heard of, but few know of its beginning. Greenpeace was in the 70s the innovator uniting of the peace movement with the environmental movement and became the beginning of the ecology movement. It has since developed a reputation for being more commercial than a passionate anarchist foundation. With such a great movemment. Where do you start? And that's what the film battles; the star. More than that, it is a documentary about friendship, archiving, money and the media as it follows a few men and women on a mission to change the world.

How to change the world uses a number of techniques to tell the story.  Its greatest achievement is never before seen footage from the early days of Greenpeace and their first voyage where they attempted to protest against the nuclear bomb testing in Amchitka and the change of direction following that to stop whale hunting. It's impressive to see how aware the original crew were about putting on a good show, they touch on the concept of images, videos and protests going viral way before the times of social medial and the vitality of the Internet. In a mixture of luck and sheer genius they capture footage and images completing the documentary.

Beside the current day interviews with the founders, the film is accompanied by animation and is not only the footage which authenticates the film but added to that is that Bob Bunter who acts as a protagonist and initially got involved as a journalist to record the voyages of Greenpeace, narrates the documentary. The first person narration is in the form of Bob's journals; impeccable writing narrating a beautiful film and tells of the torment of each step they were taking to make an impact.

Bob couldn't be a greater human being but also protagonist in this well put together and visually enticing documentary. He is a journalist turned activist whose writing encapsulates the film and gives it not only a voice but also his actions serve as contributions and the footage takes us on a heartracing real life thriller.

How To Change The World is out in the UK on the 10th September.
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