Friday, 2 September 2016

Sept 3 onward until my mid-October return!!

Captain Fantastic (releases sept 8)
Secret life of pets - (releases sept 8)
La Belle Saison (releases Sept 15)
Snowden - (releases sept 22)
Wednesday May 9 (releases sept 29)
Zen and the Art of Dying - small release - keep eyes on Nova late Sept

The blog (and blogger) are taking a break. It's been a year now since the blog launched, and it's time for a recuperating rest. 
So, in advance, I give you fair notice (and reviews) of those films I've seen prior to my temporary absence, along with the dates they will release. 
Keep checking in to see what's on, when my blogs run out go to where my trusty colleagues will be keeping up the good reviews, and I'll be back around mid October with more of hursto's five minute films. 

Captain Fantastic
Releases Sept 8
Director:Matt Ross
Length: 118  min

© EOne - Ben and his retro-hippy alternate family
Father of six, Ben (Viggo Mortensen), is raising his family in an off-the-grid wilderness, teaching them all the skills they need to survive away from modern life. When a tragedy brings them back to the "civilised" world, Ben is forced to confront the issue of how his life choices have and will affect the kids.  This is a thought-provoking plot, which makes the viewer ponder many aspects of today's world, and what really matters in life. Of course Mortensen is always a powerful actor to watch, and the young thespians playing the kids are all fitting and talented support for him. There are moments of amusement, but ultimately it is a moving film which strongly endorses the value of family and alternative choices in a materialistic and often disconnected world. 

4 - Wholeheartedly recommended!
For a full review:

Secret Life of Pets
Releases Sept 8
Director:Yarrow Cheney, Chris Renaud
Length: 87  min

© Universal Pictures - cute, funny and furry! 
For a non-pet owner, I sure had a heap of fun (5 stars worth!) with this one. Yes it's typically American in its style of storytelling, and at times there are too many characters, but it's inventive, crazy, hilarious and touching. When Katie's beloved dog Max goes missing, animals from surrounding apartments go looking for him, including Duke (Katie's new furry friend), Gidget, a Pomeranian who loves Max, Chloe a haughty feline and Tiberius an old eagle. The animation and characterisation capture the idiosyncrasies of various pets, and there are plenty of fun references to other films. The action moves at a cracking pace, including fun sequences involving an animal underworld that lives in the sewers and wants revenge upon humans who have mistreated them. With notable actors voicing parts (including Albert Brooks, Kevin Hart and Steve Coogan), this is a great film for the littlies and the oldsters alike. 

3.5 - Recommended!

Releases Sept 22
Director:Oliver Stone
Length: 134 min

At the times of writing I am under embargo that disallows me from telling you any actual opinion on this film. 
With Director Oliver Stone and an amazing cast of Joseph Gordon Levitt, Melissa Leo, Tom Wilkinson and other luminaries, it is the story of whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who perpetrated the largest disclosure of classified documents in world history. When he tore the veil from the NSA’s secret global surveillance programs, he simultaneously opened the eyes of the world and closed the doors of his own future - giving up his career, his longtime girlfriend, and his homeland.

For more info on the film:

La Belle Saison 
Releases Sept 15
Director:Catherine Corsini
Length: 105 min

© Palace
Set in France in the 1970s, this is the story of Carole (Cecile de France), a Parisian teacher, and Delphine (Izia Hegelin), a farmer's daughter who moves to the city to escape her oppressive parents. The women meet at a feminist group, which is campaigning for equal rights, abortion and many other issues that were at the forefront of the women's  movement. When the pair's friendship turns to something deeper, challenges arise. Carole leaves her boyfriend, and follows Delphine back to the farm, where Delphine is too afraid and insecure to declare the nature of her relationship. It's hard to remember the problems women and gay people faced in that era, and while strides have been made, the film reminds us that the fight is still ongoing. This is a beautiful love story, passionate and joyous, heartbreaking and disturbing. 

4 - Wholeheartedly recommended!
For a full review:

Wednesday May 9
Releases Sept 29
Director: Vahid Jalilvand
Length: 102 min

© Potential Films - powerful drama from Iran
Iranians often make deeply incisive human dramas, and this one is no exception. Having won a major award at last year's Venice Film Festival, it tells of a man, Jayal Ashtiyani, who decides, on a given date, to give away a substantial sum of money to a person in need. Countless applicants are interviewed, but the story focuses upon two women whose fraught lives could be dramatically changed if they are the chosen candidates. In a deceptively simple style, the lives of Leila (with an ill demanding husband)  and of Setareh (who is secretly married and in danger of violence from her relatives) are portrayed with extreme compassion, and again I am in awe at the strength of women is such oppressive circumstances.   

4 - Wholeheartedly recommended!
For a full review:

Zen and the Art of Dying
Releases late September only at Nova  (other screenings?)
Director: Broderick Fox
Length: 74 min

Just as Embrace was an overdue doco about women's self-image, so this movie is timely as regards attitudes to death and dying in this country. Zenith Virago, a feminist, a lesbian, a mother and a celebrant takes us on a journey of how to handle dying and funerals in the best and most positive fashion. She runs what's called the Natural Death Movement including bush cremations and burials, and pre-death workshops. She encourages people to take ownership of their loved-ones' funerals, rather than handing it to funeral companies. This is a startlingly moving film, which should give us all pause to think how we need to incorporate dying into living, making it more natural and inclusive for all those involved. 

4 - Wholeheartedly recommended!
For more information about the film:

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