What’s on in cinemas now (aka my film blog)

There doesn’t seem to be a thread for cinema films, although ones for TV downloads/streaming. Not quite the same…

We went to see Les Nuits de Mashhad last night, just released in France last week so in cinemas now. A quite chilling view of Iran.

I don’t like thrillers or violent films but this gripped me from the start. Great acting, good direction and the pace of the film worked well for me. The violence was handled discretely and was not gratuitous.

For those who get Nouvel Obs there were pieces in last week’s about the film and main actor. I have seen other of Ali Abbasi’s films and liked them.

(And the Guardian didn’t like it much at Cannes!)

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I will continue with my solo film thread, if only to serve as a diary of films I’ve like!

Last night we saw La conspiration du Caire, a film set in Cairo built around the election of the Grand Imam and state machinations to influence the elections, which sounds deeply dry, But wasn’t. Lovely settings (Istanbul) and the various plots and counter plots were quite fun.

Released last month, so doing the rounds now.

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Another interesting film last weekend. Jafar Panahi’s Aucun Ours, released in France a couple of weeks ago.

We saw his Three Faces a few years back, which we liked.

This was more challenging. Since he can’t leave Iran, and is actually forbidden from filming there, he directed it by video from a small Iranian village on the border, with the actors the other side of the border in Turkey. And there are two intertwined stories. The Turkish side is about a couple trying to get to Europe, and people smuggling. Whilst on the Iranian side of the border he is accused of taking a photo of some clandestine lovers, throwing the village into turmoil. An awful lots of sub-texts, about censorship, political intrigue. But it gripped us.

And brought home quite starkly the Iranian repression as he is now back in prison.

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Tonight’s local cinema offering was Vivre (Living) a British remake of the Kurosawa film Ikiru, with Bill Nighy acting the central character of an ultra reserved local authority office who finds out he has just months to live. It was quite surreal as despite British actors, setting, language etc etc it was a Japanese film in every other sense. Not surprising really as Kasuo Ishiguru was the screen writer.

Measured, scenic, and a careful structured of boxes within boxes it was a gently absorbing film about facing death and the aftermath.

My criticism is that it didn’t really make best use of Bill Nighy’s talents as an actor.

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@JaneJones thank you for this thread. As I’ve got older, I’ve begun to appreciate film for itself, rather than look down on it as an inferior version of the novel.

I’m grateful for your recommendations and thoughts.

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It’s one of the films on my list to see - I wait until they come out on DVD,

I LOVE Bill Nighy. There are moments of such tenderness in his films, often in the most unexpected circumstances. In Love Actually where he declares his love for his manager. Throughout the film About Time, And he was great in Still Crazy.

I have a feeling that this might be a film that doesn’t work so well on a small screen. But then I love an actual cinema so will rarely watch a film at home - to easy to get distracted - so am a bit biased. Sitting in comfortable darkness and immersing myself in a film is my preference. Bit like the difference between seeing an actual painting and a postcard. Do you not have a cinema locally? Ours is great, especially since I went and mended the torn seat covers. And for these sorts of films there are rarely more than a dozen people.

This is also a very tender film, so he won’t disappoint on that a score.

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You’ve reminded me - Many, many years ago I was in this brand new cinema off Piccadilly wearing a full length jersey dress (I did that sort of thing in those days!) in a perfect temperature. The film? One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, with Tom Courtenay. I was so immersed, I was absolutely frozen! :grin:

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