Mad Max Fury Road (2015) Review

A HUGLEY LONG OVER DUE REVEW! prior to the release of this film I was not interested AT ALL. I knew of the Mad Max franchise, familiar with Tina Turners hit song, which i love to belt out on the odd occasions, I even vaguely knew of George Miller, he has is own unique style, with his grey curly hair and cute glasses. On my trip to Cannes many were pumped for this film, leading me to eventually come abroad the hype train. This was reinforced by seeing the premiere, hearing the epic music and seeing the stars, featuring two of my favourite actors, Tom and Charlize. I had half heartedly viewed the trailer before but I really mean it when I say I had no interest in the film.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to the film in Cannes, but thats a whole other story. When i got back home, me and my dad(cinema buddy) went to see this in 3D. I didn’t know anything about the plot of this film and I was blown away. By now you have probably heard so many people rave and rant about this film that this is long over due with them. But if anything I want to add my 2 cents.

Hailed by many as the best action film in the last 10 years or so, the audience experiences a stripped back version of the ‘typical action’ movie we are so accustomed to in this day and age. A simple plot that many have embraced and some others have been agitated over, We see Max back. Maybe not on the surface as mad as the war boys or any of the other over the top characters, but instead very subtly he is very mad, as Miller cleverly shows through the lack of dialogue(after years of being alone) and striking imagery of Max’s deceased past. The film is pure post-apocloptic full of rich characters and a rich backdrop, we are thrust into this world with little knowledge. The film does not stop the action of story to tell of countless exposition as to why anything is the way the world is, it simply drops it in seamlessly throughout, we as the audience have to really pay attention and put ourselves in this world. Even my dad loved this film, he was raving out it after. I always loved how the relationships between the characters formed and grew over the course of this ‘road movie’ Max and Furiosa don’t simply fall in love etc, but instead fall to respect each other, after fighting each other they come to form a common enemy which brings them together to want a common goal. Redepmtion.

The masterpiece of this film comes literally from the mastermind that is George Miller. He said himself he wanted the film to be black and white and silent, reminiscent  to Buster Keaton’s epic The General. In having this knowledge one can see why this film is so successful, I believe, anyway, that these type of stripped back films really capture the pure essence of early cinema, which ponders to our basic need of entertainment. It’s only now the audience is incapable of concentrating.Miller packs a punch in beating this new age dilemma with cinema audiences through clever camera work, beautiful cinematography, epic score, and great action sequences. And also great performances from the actors themselves of course!

After viewing this film I went and read and watched as much as i could on the film and was pleasantly surprised to new things I learnt. Such as:

  • How long this film has been in development, aka it was in development hell
  • Miller has back stories to all the characters, which he went through with each actor before shooting.
  • Most of the film used practical effects
  • Miller invited playwright Eve Ensler to act as an on-set adviser. Impressed with the script’s depth and what she saw as feminist themes, she spent a week in Namibia, where she spoke to the actors about issues of violence against women
  • Miller wanted his wife, to edit the film because he said it would look the same as every other action film if a man did it.
  • Every scene is filmed in the centre of the frame, to make it easier for the audience to follow the fast paced action. Something I learnt and thought was very clever.

There are many other things I learned but these stand out the most for me. The film has many interpretable themes about feminism, religion, environment and survival, i urge you all to look deeper into these themes regarding the film because it really does give it extra layers for repeated viewings.There is also a planned sequel to this film which I am so on board for and looking forward to. I hope the hype does not become too much and it takes a new interesting direction which I am sure Miller is keen to do after developing this same story for last 10 years! So if you haven’t seen this film.. go watch it now.

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Star of the week: Xavier Dolan

Because I am a pure laziest, I have failed to write up on MANY films I have seen these past months. Sorry for this. And to catch up I will be doing some quick fire reviews and some central ones, aswell as these type of these posts, star of the week to help cover many films and people. I introduce Xavier Dolan. A VERY young Canadian actor and filmmaker, i simply ADORE. As well as being pretty he is also hugely talented. I had heard about his debut film I killed my Mother for some time now, and had been meaning to watch it (as per usual). However thanks to Netflix I was able to watch Dolan’s later film Laurence Anyways, this was due to my recent fascination with the subject of trans characters in films, me simply wanting to learn more about a subject I really have no face to face experience with, Something film allows an audience to gain;knowledge.

Dolan’s Laurence Anyways, is 168 min film that blew me away and hooked me throughout and introduced me to some amazing music. The soundtrack was very memorising, a soundtrack can really give a film an edge for me. After watching the character driven, study of a film I was highly motivated to finally watch I killed My Mother. One of the interesting things in watching a directors filmography backwards, is seeing their trademarks and unique style being planted, but also stripped back the more the go back, watching Laurence Anyways I saw how Dolan had really come into his own craft, and how his latter film was a slow step but also the MAKING of what he is today. I am yet to see his other films but I will be keeping an eye out for his future releases. I want to watch Tom at the Farm very much!

On Dolans directing style, I love his blend of pop culture, using it almost like a fantasy world to capture the realism of everyday life. It’s interesting to see how his first film was autobiographical, a very intimate personal story is here and its refreshing to see as it is so honest and it is easy to see how every choice comes from the directors own life. Dolan also manages to flesh out his characters very much, showing both sides of their personalities, showing they are simply human, I love these types of films, they always draw you closer to the film, enabling you to really feel for the characters.

Dolan reminds me of James Dean. I feel like if Dean had been a director which I think is not a stretch to imagine, he would be as honest in his filmmaking as Dolan. They are rebellious and outside of the norm of film at this moment, Dolan is a rarity in the film industry, so young, has much creative control and is openly gay, which he channels this into his films, which is great and refreshing to see!

Films for Jalleh – Week 1

This week the spotlight is on the classic hollywood director BILLY WILDER. A very influential director who you SHOULD KNOW. He directed some of the most well loved, most cultrually referenced films to this day!

He was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood’s golden age

And I have chosen to choose his best 3 films, In my opinion, to get you into his style of filmography.  So starting with his earliest out of the 3: 

DOUBLE INDEMNITY:

Wilder’s first thriller and a classic film noir from the 40’s. What makes this film for me is the brilliant performance by Barabra Stanwyck whose iconic image and character is today emulated and referenced in popular culture, and there is a reason why this is. GO WATCH.

SUNSET BLVD:

Possibly my favourite, and the only one so far i own on DVD, this film is so important in that it tells the story of an even older hollywood before the one you will be watching with this film! if you don’t believe me when i say important read this from its wiki page:

Praised by many critics when first released, Sunset Boulevard was nominated for eleven Academy Awards (including nominations in all four acting categories) and won three. It is widely accepted as a classic, often cited as one of the greatest films of American cinema. Deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1989, Sunset Boulevard was included in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 1998, it was ranked number twelve on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 best American films of the 20th century, and in 2007 it was 16th on their 10th Anniversary list.

This film is both entertaining but educational to the film industry, particularly hollywood and the transition to talkies which was a huge corner stone in film HISTORY. It is ICONIC, it is the only word that springs to mind. Again the leading lady performance is what people remember, Wilder could direct his leading ladies. Again this film is referenced so so much. But now i’m ready for my close up 😉 GO WATCH!

Last but not least:

SOME LIKE IT HOT:

A COMEDY CLASSIC!, A WILDER CLASSIC. AND A MARILYN MONROE CLASSIC. three in one, you can’t go wrong! things to know before you watch this film. It is SET in the 1920’s but made in 1959. It is shot in black and white on purpose, despite colour being increasingly popular, this was due to the actors makeup not translating well in colour.This film is fun and all round entertaining with a very, now, familiar formula.. ever wondered where it started.. look no further. Marilyn Monroe is electric in this film, she thrives in comedic performances where her acting really shone. GO WATCH!!

IF YOU LIKED – BONUS!

you liked any of these films? or seen one of them and maybe need another Wilder film to take its place, go on to check these out, also directed by him:

The Seven Year Itch (MORE MARILYN MAGIC)

Sabrina (NO NOT THE WITCH. I personally love audrey hepburn and this role she shines bright as ever, with the addition to legend humphrey bogart, who may have been miscast, but is still an enjoyable watch)

The Apartment (HIGHLY rated)

KABUKI Attributions

Here is a list (in order of appearance) and all the links to the sounds used in the Short film KABUKI, all sounds were sourced from freesound.org

slow-walk-on-wooden-floor by CosmicEmbers

Bedroom tone.aif by bennychico11

horror ambience 39 130206_02.wav & Creacking Oak 6bft SHORT 130418_00.wav by klankbeeld

SwordDraw.wav by Myuzishin

Long Knife by Celticvalkyria

Dark Ambience by PatrickLieberkind

Knife in wooden knife holder.WAV by Millavsb

20 hn_footstepsConcreteHH.wav by cmusounddesign

unsheath_sword.wav by Qat

Rope Cracking by bahaish

My Short Film

Over the past few months i have been doing a short film, I say months but it didn’t take that long to film, more like pre-production etc, it was such a long task to find an actress, hold down/find crew and get locations and also find the perfect filming dates around uni schedule. The short film is currently in Post-Production stages, myself the editor. It is a laborious task. I have never had so many ups and downs while doing a film. I think once i have completed the film i will write a full length detail on the whole process, my personal experience. Keep tuned for the upcoming weeks, i hope to have finished by the end of May! Here are some screen shots of the raw original footage, not colour graded or anything.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 00.58.29Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 00.59.04Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 01.00.50Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 01.02.36

Classic Review – The Third Man (1949)

At Cannes Film Festival, I attended the screening of an Orson Well’s documentry and then after a film, The Third Man, directed by Carol Reed. Orson Well’s is not a man i am too invested in, I studied Citizen Kane for my uni assignment and came to really respect the film on multiple viewings, i have watched two of his others films and that is about it. His image is iconic however in film. Going into this film, i didn’t know what to expect.

A classic noir, thriller from the 40’s i feel like this is a really playful, fun film. I was pleasantly surprised to see Trevor Howard in this too! The score really lends itself to speak about the nature of this film. It isn’t too serious, it is like a game of Cluedo. All the characters are perfectly set up, you could pull them out of a hat of conventional characters. However this doesn’t hinder the enjoyment of the film, all the more it makes you appreciate it. It could be seen as a slight satire of the noir period preceding this film. I would also say, for those who love mystery to check this one out for definite.

Orson Wells, despite small screen time is really the shinning star, and his performance was so enjoyable to watch. I admittedly wouldn’t go out of my way to see a film like this, despite my old hollywood craze, but i was pleasantly surprised!