Thursday, January 31, 2019
A feel-good film that's about something important, even though it doesn't actually say much that's important.
Watched at the Everyman Cinema in Muswell Hill, where they gave us free cocktails at the beginning of the film. Wish they'd turn the heating up a bit though.
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Watched on Netflix.
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
After that the film takes off as the kids - who miss their circus life - establish their own Nepalese circus with a purpose, to provide a role for the formerly-trafficked and to make anti-trafficking propaganda. The children themselves, and the young adults they grow into during the course of the film, and very beautiful, and so are the shots of them doing their acts.
Watched from Amazon Prime via laptop and new projector in the Common House at Springhill Cohousing.
Lots of it looks like 'Life After People' - ruined cities overtaken by plants, and so on. The action centres round whether a surviving young woman scientist, and a slightly older man who arrives by Helium balloon, should leave Earth on the last rocket shuttle or stay behind - she's the daughter of a scientist who advised that Earth could be made habitable again.
So there's not actually much action at all - some talking, a lot of silences, and some dream and memory sequences. It does drag a bit in places, and I did have the odd little doze without apparently missing much. It's quite effective, although I would have preferred it if the disaster that has happened was related to the one that we are actually facing - runaway climate change.
Watched on Netflix - another Netflix Original.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
This works really well, only Billy doesn't really organise the festival. The site is unsuitable, the artists aren't really coming, there isn't nearly enough accommodation on the island (promoted as Pablo Escobar's Bahamian hide-out), or enough water or sewerage capacity. The pics of the site are photoshopped so that it looks like an uninhabited island, even though it's actually right next door to the Sandals resort. Whenever the hapless minions point out to Billy that things aren't working out, he hops on his jetski/quad bike and goes really fast, and then tells them to bring him solutions, not problems. Some of the minions walk, but most don't, and some kick in their own money in an effort to keep the festival show on the road a bit longer.
There is footage of the miserable millenials arriving at the site, where they are plied with tequila so that by the time they discover that there are no luxury villas (and not even food or water) it's dark and they are all drunk and confused. They begin to fight over the tents and bedding, because there aren't enough of either. And the next day they get airlifted out like refugees, their dreams of partying with supermodels crushed.
Along the way we discover that Billy is even more of a scumbag, because he's defrauded investors to the tune of $27m, telling them that the festival had many more punters than it ever could have, and that they were all paying even more money than the ludicrous amounts he had actually extorted from the suckers.
Eventually the FBI turn up and Billy is indited, though while he is out on bail he starts a whole new scam selling tickets to events that he doesn't have, through a young front-man.
It's tempting to conclude that all the idiots who were motivated to go to a festival on the strength of some supermodel tweets got what they deserved, and that people who invested in trash like this also...but plenty of others were also burned, including the day labourers on the island who worked for a month trying to prepare the site and never got paid. And the poor sods who were working on the app, who weren't even fired - Billy just tells them they won't get paid any more after he pulls the plug.
Billy got six years, but he'll probably only serve two, and that in a country club prison.
Watched on Netflix - it's a Netflix Original.
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Because I'm not as familiar with the details of American racism, slavery, lynch law and so on, it's sometimes hard to tell which aspects of the story form part of real history and which are part of the alternate narrative. I'd have quite liked a sort of guide to that for the less well informed reader - which I suspect includes most Americans as well as non-Americans.
None of that detracts from the book, which is terrifying and beautifully written. Looking forward to reading more by Colson Whitehead.
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Watched on Netflix.
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Also really good acting, and a great script. Really enjoyable to see a film with three strong women leads - not at all obvious who was the 'star' and who the 'supporting actress'. I loved all three of them, and didn't notice a trace of a wrong accent in Emma Stone's performance.
The certification at the beginning said 'Very Strong Language and Strong Sex', but this mainly boils down to the repeated use of the word 'Cunt', a few light lesbian scenes, and a jerk-off scene more or less off camera.
Watched at the Vue Cinema in Stroud.
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Somewhat undermined by the fact that the comedy is really not very funny at all, and also by the implausible happy ending in which the troupe is all reconciled and friends again, despite how horrible they've all been to each other.
Watched on Netflix.
Although it covers about fifteen years in time the characters don't seem to age much, and nothing else changes either; a new outfit becomes fashionable as a result of the success of the author's books, and one of the salons gets electric lighting. No feeling for anything else that is happening at the time.
Watched at the Everyman Cinema.
Friday, January 04, 2019
Lots of great character acting, some really good visual jokes that flash by so quickly that they are easy to miss, a good script. Time well spent. I particularly liked the depictions of swimming as something calming and head-clearing.
Watched on Netflix via Chromecast.