This is my new mini- film review series, I haven’t had much time lately to update this blog so I thought I’d just share my thoughts on some films I’ve seen recently.
I tried to get tickets for this film when I was at Berlinale earlier this year but unfortunately was unsuccessful so, when I saw this was being screened in Manchester I was excited to finally go see it. As you can see on the poster, Victoria directed by Sebastian Schipper is a feature length film shot entirely in one take. I didn’t actually know this going into the film which I’m actually glad about because it meant that I was completely engrossed and unsuspecting of all the twists and turns this film takes; and believe me there are a lot of them, the events in this film escalate very quickly.
As someone who has produced several short films, I am astounded at the amount of planning and preparation this must have taken given that the characters in this film are constantly changing location by foot, by bike and by car. The film itself is surprising, dark and thrilling to watch as the events play out. The one-shot technique chosen for this film really brings you into the action and makes the events feel far more up close and personal.
I saw Miss Hokusai directed by Keiichi Hara as part of The Japan Foundation- Touring Film Programme 2016. Based on the manga Sarusuberi by Hinako Sugiura, Miss Hokusai is inspired by the real life daughter of the artist Katsushika Hokusai, famously known for painting The Great Wave Off Kanagawa (1830). The film explores her role both publicly as his daughter and privately as an artist in her own right. The film is non-linear allowing a more anecdotal structure and moves away from a traditional biopic approach but never comes to any climax or conclusion. However it does have an emotional family focussed story with a spiritual and supernatural undertone that was engaging and heartfelt.
If you know me, you know I love animation and have a particular soft spot for stop-motion ever since watching The Nightmare Before Christmas when I was younger. I find the craft of stop- motion incredible and in this department Anomalisa directed by Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, Adaptation) and Duke Johnson (Marrying God) was stunning. The stop motion, (while purposefully not seamless) was used as a device to explore the protagonists inner turmoil and depression in a really visual, and interesting way. However, I think it was the sound design that was the most innovative aspect of this film. The way they played with voice and sound to give a sense of monotony and then colour to the protagonist’s landscape whilst keeping the overall visual style relatively mundane was really surreal and different.