Notre Jour Viendra (Our Time Will Come) - 2010 directed by Romain Gavras
Very strange film yet an excellent debut for Romain Gavras, son of legendary director Costa Gavras. Cassel was particularly excellent, this is one of his best performances, forget about Black Swan he was extremely average in that, this is a truly excellent performance from him.
As for the film itself, as I said very strange, I liked the story and it was technically very well made, beautiful cinematography and great score. But the story was completely fantastical and at times disturbing, while still staying fulling within the confines of reality.
I recommend it highly, just don't expect to fully grasp this film.
The Crying Game - 1992 directed by Neil Jordan
The success of this film when it was released was astounding (or so I hear anyway, it was well before my time) so it seems strange that it is barely mentioned these days.
Despite knowing the controversial twist beforehand I was still shocked, fascinated and practically mesmerised by this film. It's an odd film, with a twisted story, but I was gripped from beginning to end.
The Yakuza Papers: Final Episode - 1974 directed by Kinji Fukusaku
Well, I've finally come to end of this series of films and my rating for the whole series is: 7/10
Now I just have to watch the extra's that came with the films, including an interview with director William Freikin discussing Fukusaku and his influence upon US cinema, sounds like interesting stuff, I'll post reviews for all films as well as my general thoughts on the series and on Fukusaku sometime soon...
Black Death - 2010 directed by Christopher Smith
Wow, this was a very good film. A small budget yet it had a very nice aesthetic to it, it made excellent use of it's budget. It's exceptionally well made.
The films content is rather ambiguous, sometimes a bit too ambiguous for it's good, but I liked it's views of religion and heresy nonetheless. They were very unexpected and daring, and the end was as far from a Hollywood film ending as one could get. I also really liked the atmosphere, that was one of the films strongest elements.
Definitely one of the best of last year, that could have been a bit better with some better camera work and a slightly longer running time.
Quadrophenia - 1979 directed by Franc Roddam
One of the earliest rock opera's (excluding "Tommy") this film was based in an album of the British band The Who, the album is also entitled "Quadrophenia".
Seeing as I was very impressed by another, slightly more well known rock opera, Pink Floyd's The Wall, I began looking around for similar works. Thus I came across "Quadrophenia" (which was originally recommended by Custard at FRC) and "Tommy" (which I have yet to see).
I was pleasantly surprised b this film, it was far more competently made than I had expected, it features some talented camera work, convincing performances (including small parts for Ray Winstone, Timothy Spall and Sting) and, of course, excellent music.
Tommy - 1975 directed by Ken Russel
This was a rock opera in the truest sense and also one of the very first to have ever been made. While Quadrophenia was based on an album it did feature much dialogue and did not rely on the music to tell the story, which is what Tommy does.
The film is mainly and visual and audio experience. The story is silly and at times slightly self indulgent, but it was filmed excellently and the imagery is wonderful and trippy. The music is excellent, sung by the performers but written and played by The Who. And speaking of the performers, there is an enormously varied and at times surprising cast on display here, Tina Turner, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Jack Nicholson all appear to name a few... Roger Daltry, the lead singer of The Who, is convincing in the lead role, but little thought seems to have been given to the coherence of the storyline, this he appears roughly the same age as his mother. Other inconsistencies abound but to be honest this film was so enjoyable that I didn't mind.
It isn't anything particularly deep and thought provoking, although it does have it's moments, but it is just so weird and enjoyable that I can't help but like it.
My Love Burns - 1949 directed by Kinji Mizoguchi
My first Mizoguchi film, even though I've had a couple of his more famous works sitting around in my collection for a while now. I'll definitely be watching them now after seeing this masterpiece.
This is a very little known film that can be very hard to find, it was recommended to me by Nathanael Hood and luckily he also posted the entire film on Youtube.
It generally takes me quite a while to get around to films that have been recommended to me, yet Nathanael's review was so convincing that I watched it as soon as possible, and I'm glad I did as it's a masterfully done film with a powerful message and some excellent acting, a film I'm not likely to forget for a long time.