BFI London Film Festival 2014 – Day Eight
Another thing I enjoy about film festivals is the detection of trends. Sometines, certainly not all the time but sometimes when you see a cluster of material some common manifesto can emerge, either through themes, through technology or sometimes a hybrid of both, across a number of movies. The presence and potential of such cultural readings of cinema caused a little storm in a tea-cup earlier in the year when a number of commentators began to read movies such as Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes as metaphors for Israeli & Palestine, or a concealed plea for gun control, a contention that the esteemed film scholar David Bordwell firmly dismissed here. I’m not going to get into that wider question here of cinema as reflection of wider society – not enough space, not enough time – but seeing another American mentor / mentee picture within 24 hrs of Whiplash with similarly powerful character driven performances obsessed with the pursuit of perfection, well, it does make you think;
What is strange about this film and which doesn’t penetrate through the trailer is just how exhausted it is, it’s an American mediation on class and privilege with a clear commentary on our wonderful era of austerity despite occurring twenty-five years ago, of the arrogance of the elite and how all the material and influence in the world can still leave you deeply and irrevocably fucked up. Steve Carrell will definitely get an Oscar nod and it is a fine performance, but I think Ruffalo and Tatum are equally as strong.
I’ll tell you what, as the lights dimmed on this one and the Annapurna corporate logo shuffled into view I knew we were in safe hands, as again they display that their hands-off, sign the cheques and let the creatives get on and make the film they want approach continues to pay artistic dividends, next up from their stable is the trifiling matter of
Inherent Vice...erm Sausage Party? So we’re coming to the end of my coverage now, I’ve got a little wrap up to construct over the weekend and that’ll be it for this year….