cinematographique

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Posts Tagged ‘Ridley Scott

The Counsellor

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The ingredients have fine provenance but is it going to be delicious or a disaster?

Written by James P. Campbell

18/08/2013 at 09:52

Robin Hood ***

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Who, for ten years, has prevented Ridley Scott from making decent films? I want their blood. Once the powerhouse behind some of the most incredibly nuanced, deep, insightful, worlded fiction on film, Scott has become slave to a formula regurgitated from Gladiator, stripped of all aesthetic originality or basic narrative intrigue, and projected at such high resolution you can hardly discern any substance at all. The images, often phenomenally beautiful, remain; the worlds of imagination are conspicuously absent.

From the opening minutes, Robin Hood asserts its fidelity (or at least, resemblance) to historical context: not a problem betwixt forgivable anachronisms aplenty; but a fatal blow considering its central thesis (that Robin of Hood be a proto-republican, sired by the first democratic revolutionary, in the most heavy-handed play at that venomous siren: contemporary relevance). True, Robin has always been a legendary folk hero, an indigenous myth; but how can Scott keep his audience credulous to this preposterous politicisation; or worse, the increasingly unlikely sequence of coincidences characteristic of such fables (integral to their incredible plots) after such an onslaught of medieval realism? Fables cannot be so brutally literal.

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Written by James P. Campbell

12/05/2010 at 19:27

News of the week

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The Lovely Bones

Aww. Sweet thin Peter Jackson has directed The Lovely Bones, adapted for the screen by his usual team of Walsh and Boyens. Gladly, they have brought the magical tapestry of their visual imaginations to bear on the work, but the material does come across quite sickly. Little miss Salmon’s in-between is an extraordinary creation, evoking various works of Dali-esque surrealism. Unfortunately, the trailer sandwiches this between the deeply moving opening act, in which every reaction shot acts as a signpost, a bleary-eyed upward glance or a grieving burial in hands, and the third act’s hackneyed murder-mystery cliché. The actors are also distractingly starry, but on the whole it looks to be promisingly well-directed. Will its strength prove to lie behind the camera (“in my own perfect world”)?

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Written by James P. Campbell

08/08/2009 at 22:22