Monthly Archives: September 2012

On the Road by Walter Salles (2012)

Adaptation of the cult book by Jack Kerouac. Many argued it was one of those books almost impossible to convey onto the big screen. The strongest two comparisons that overshadow the appreciation of the screening are obviously the famous novel and a recent biopic on Allen Ginsberg – Howl.

The film does carry the magic of the novel. The 137 min version I had the opportunity to watch pulls the audience in and as a result leaving the cinema feels like getting back from a very distant journey in time.

What I am never a fan of – especially  in case of book adaptations – is the voiceover intruding into the narrative. Films should not be told but shown as the old rule goes. However, this attempt at the impossible is breathtaking in its realism, in the effort of set design, number of locations, richness of costumes, music and in how the relatively young actors cope with re-enacting characters of a certain baggage.

All in all – a great piece of cinema – surely not an educational tool as how to party for the teenagers but definitely a great shot at portraying the Beatniks.

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Shadow Dancer by James Marsh (2012)

This is yet another feature touching the sensitive theme of the Irish Troubles.

James Marsh – responsible for such documentaries as Man on Wire and Project Nim – managed to deliver a powerful drama, where nothing is certain and everything can be questioned on the level of the narrative.

It is set in 1993 London and Belfast with a short flashback to some 20 years back.

The fish eye camera leaves the edges of the picture blurred and the focus stays on the characters’ eyes. Close-ups let the audience into the world of a family involved in both political as well as internal conflicts.

It is an authentic look into the personal/internal war where loyalty has three sides and dramatic decisions lead to bad or worse consequences.

There are no good answers to any action that the main protagonist played by fantastic Andrea Riseborough needs to undertake. The fact that numerous men in her life demand obedience ‘for her own good’ does not mean she will be safe in any way. In the end Colette has to choose her friends among the enemies to find the best solution for her and her little son.

Amazing lighting, fantastic cinematography and well – I loved the metaphoric game of power depicted by colour representation.

This is undoubtedly one of the best films made recently. Let’s not forget the amazingly played calm role by Aidan Gillen, as well as persistent Domhnall Gleeson and let’s not forget about the tragically entrapped Clive Owen.

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