What a week of varied viewing I have just enjoyed!
First there was Tideland, which I found hard to watch. This is the latest in the string of challenging films I’ve been watching with Jane recently. I won’t spoil it for you by describing all the horrible things that happen, but suffice it to say that you’re supposed to experience them through the eyes of a child. I didn’t manage this – so I found it even harder.
Then there’s Children of Men. This is one I’d definitely recommend! Clive Owen stars in a dystopian action film that manages to be both magical and realistic. For me, it was the perfect twenty-first century Nativity story. Michael Caine plays a true hero – educated, principled, urbane, left-wing, and humourous.
If you don’t mind subtitles, I’d also recommend Herr Lehmann, a turning-30 movie set on the day the Berlin Wall came down. It has some good cinematography, a number of great scenes, and a fine 1990s soundtrack.
To top it all off, I saw twelve short films at the Electric Cinema, part of the Manhattan Short Film Festival. Several of them stood out, including the homo-erotic Mowing the Lawn, but the Israeli entry Offside stood head and shoulders above the rest. It is an insightful and well-judged piece that exposes the pointlessness of Israel’s stand-off with the Palestinians in the face of our common humanity.