Tuesday, 1 August 2017

August 3 2017
The Trip to Spain
A Ghost Story

This week's films are as different as chalk and cheese! One flippant, clever and funny, with great travel and food, the other a deep reflection upon the very meaning (or lack thereof) of human existence. Other releases this week, Atomic Blonde and The Big Sick will  be reviewed a little later.

The Trip to Spain
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Length: 115 min
© Madman - witty, whacky repartee, lovely Spanish
scenery and mouth-watering food - need more?
Reviewing humour is a risky business - one gals' laughs might be another's ho-hum, but I chortled consistently throughout this latest in the Trip series. After touring Scotland and Italy in the first two films, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon head off to Spain to indulge in gastronomic delights and reflect upon their own lives, not to mention perform endless imitations of celebrities ranging from Mick Jagger to Sean Connery, David Bowie and of course a Michael Caine re-run! The verbal jousting is relentless, as the men's egos fence constantly, but underneath each reveals a level of vulnerability that makes me relate to them as more than mere comic presences. I had a great time with this film, and look forward to their next adventure!
3.5 - recommended! 

A Ghost Story
Director: David Lowery
Length: 93 min
© Madman - surreal, contemplative, melancholy, 
philosophical - strange yet compelling
Touted as a meditation on love, loss and time, this is one of the most unusual films I've seen in a long while. A young couple, very much in love, (Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara) live in an old house where he happily creates music, but she is restless to move elsewhere. When he is suddenly killed, she grieves, while he becomes a classic ghost, (think bed sheet with cut-out eye-holes) haunting the house and observing his lost love from the dividing wall of death. At first I wasn't sure if this film was pretentiously philosophical, or an inspired reflection upon the impermanence of all things. Ultimately I'll go with the latter. It moves at an unbelievably slow pace, and yet the whole manages to conjure up the absolute sadness at the futility of life. It also manages to impressively capture the nature of grief, of memories, of history within houses, and of human striving to be remembered after death. Long after I've left the cinema, I find myself cogitating upon its vast themes, and feeling some deep existential sadness, so I guess the film-maker got his message through.
3.5 - recommended! 

No comments:

Post a Comment