Eden, a young Korean-American girl, is abducted near her home and forced into prostitution by a domestic human and drug trafficking ring. Throughout the two years she is held, Eden reluctantly ensures her own survival by carving out power and influence within the very organization that has imprisoned her. Inspired by a harrowing true story, EDEN peers into the darkest corners of America and attempts to discover the humanity within. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for February, 2013
Michael Haneke’s latest Cannes dominating feature Amour may be a softening in terms of subject matter but the director’s steely focus on the essentials of human engagement is as tight and tension building as ever. A love story in its end stages Amour chronicles the physical decline of well to do French retiree Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and the actions of her partner Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) as he transitions in role from husband-mate to husband-caregiver. A simple conceit to be sure but Haneke’s unfaltering camera tracks the downwards spiral with characteristic unsentimentality highlighting both the depth and frailty of human love and relationship.
The film begins at the end with a brief epilogue of sorts then leaps back to the central couple finding seats in a concert hall. Haneke shoots from the stage so that we hear the performance but see the audience. The director purposefully does not focus on Anne & Georges perhaps daring the viewer to pick them out of the audience, making a point of their status as average, everyday people. From the concert we follow the couple home and from that point on the action never leaves their Paris apartment; the confinement of the camera to the house mirroring the necessary geographic narrowing of our protagonists’ lives. The film traces the spiral of physical and emotional ups and downs as the couple comes to grips with Anne’s worsening health. For example: Anne’s despondency from slowly accepted loss of independence is temporarily buoyed by the acquisition of an electric wheelchair but this sensation of control is quickly muted once again by the inexorable encroachment of her condition.
We get few enough films devoted to elderly subjects, let alone the uneasy, rich complexity of long held love, so to have one the greatest living directors give this topic such robust yet human treatment is truly a gift. Another film that covers some (loosely) similar territory is Sarah Polley’s Away From Her (2006) about an elderly married couple dealing with the wife’s early onset Alzheimer’s and some of the memories this both stirs to the surface and also those her condition deletes. But where Polley’s film (very good though it is) introduces narrative interest via the couple’s history Haneke keeps his (and our) sights fixed upon the here and now; Georges and Anne living with the changes occurring without much more than cursory references to ‘before’. The incapacitation and confusion caused by Anne’s illness reminded me of The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Cristi Puiu’s 2005 harrowing and illuminating sojourn through the dying night of his eponymous elderly Romanian protagonist, though these are otherwise quite different films. Read the rest of this entry »
Awesome Game of Thrones illustration featuring Daenerys and Drogo by DeviantArt user
After India’s (Wasikowska’s) father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie (Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother Evelyn (Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
A Good Day to Die Hard has launched the fifth edition of the Bruce Willis Die Hard franchise since the rebel cop first came on our silver screens in 1988. Take a math class and quickly you’ll realise its 25 years of John McClane accidentally getting himself in the way of the bad guys to the delight of action loving cinema goers. This isn’t an American Bond story with class as the underlying character trait. John McClane is a character made up of rough mistakes complimented by ‘plan on the run’ courage. Anyone who remembers the first movie’s walk on broken glass scene will get a feel for the character who takes the bruises and then gives back with interest.
In A Good Day to Die Hard we find John McClane trying to track down his supposed wayward son in order to set him straight with some fatherly advice. As with all action as well as comedy movies, timing is crucial and McClane walks right into an International spy operation headed up by his son at ground zero. The bumbling introduction causes the ripple effect for our story and the Father and Son relationship has to be addressed between cross-fire and car chases. The momentum of the movie is well handled by Director John Moore and despite some obvious CGi scenes it meshes well with the hand to hand combat and a brilliant ad for Landrover when Willis drives a four-wheel drive through and over town. Read the rest of this entry »