Thank You For Smoking

thank you for smokingDirector Jason Reitman's debut feature somehow manages to make a sympathetic character out of a tobacco spokesperson... 

Surprisingly, for a film whose main character works in the tobacco industry, no one lights up at all in Thank You For Smoking. As the director has put it, to have lots of people smoking in the movie would distract the audience from his intended aim: to satirise the media treatment of personal choice.

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United 93

2087You remember where you were when you saw it happen. It was a normal Tuesday lunchtime in the UK, just after Neighbours in fact. Flicking through the channels, every one of them seemed to be showing a disaster movie, involving cinema’s most recognisable skyline. Like most of the western world, you watched, incredulously, as fiction and reality merged. No one knew then what was going to happen.

 

 

 

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Dead Man's Shoes Fails To Please Village Voice

Dead Man's Shoes directed by Shane MeadowsShane Meadows has been awarded almost iconic status as one of the pioneers of low budget filmmaking in Britain, which he certainly is, but some people find his work on screen doesn't always reach – on the audience satisfaction scale - the parts others claim it does reach. This week his latest opus Dead Man's Shoes opens Stateside in Greenwich Village, the heartland of New York's artistic and creative community. I turned to the Village Voice to see what their film critic Luke Y Thompson made of it.

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V For Vendetta

V For VendettaFilms based on a comic book will always attract two forms of criticism. Firstly there’ll be those who judge the inherent quality of the film. Then there’ll be those who’ll judge the film and its fidelity to the original source material. For a perfect of example of this then you need look no further than V For Vendetta. Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s original graphic novel has been beloved of comic fans since its publication in the mid 80s. A tale of a vigilante who wreaks havoc on a totalitarian Britain, the novel was a densely plotted and intense vision of the future that was a thinly veiled attack on the horrors of Thatcherism. Intelligent and adult, it was a favorite of those who were used to being told that ‘comics were just for kids’. Almost two decades on, there was slight consternation when it was announced that V For Vendetta was being brought to the big screen. After the debacles that were From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would this be the Alan Moore adaptation that got it right? And, for those who didn’t give a damn about the original, would the film be any good?

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Room 36

It may have taken more than ten years for this one to come to the big screen, but it is a must-see for anyone with a liking for quirky humour, or film noir. It may be low budget, but there’s not a Lottery penny in sight. If low budget means you can end up with these production values on screen, then the UK Film Council needs to move over. They may have lost the plot, but the team behind Room 36 definitely have not. This is a stylish, nourish, production of a kind that can give British cinema a shot in the arm by restoring some much needed self-confidence. We Brits can make films at low budget levels that tell good stories well. Producer/Director Jim Groom and his team have just done it.

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