Monday, September 23, 2013

New Releases (26/09/13)

In cinemas this week we have Tim Winton's The Turning, Stories We Tell, Runner Runner, Lovelace and Grown Ups 2 as well as the commencement of the 2013 Reel Anime Film Festival.

The Turning - Tim Winton is the latest Australian vehicle to be mined for multi-platform purposes. Recently we’ve had Patrick White brought to the big screen with The Eye of the Storm and around the same time, Christos Tsiolkas’ The Slap was broadcast as a mini-series. Winton’s material isn’t exactly virgin territory—Cloudstreet was adapted into a mini-series for cable in 2011. The winner of roughly a billion awards and Cloudstreet itself topping the 10 Aussie Books You Must Read Before You Die list, it made sense to dig further into the wealth of published material on offer. Excerpt and linked review by Nicholas Brodie, Graffiti With Punctuation.

Stories We Tell - In this inspired, genre-twisting new film, Oscar-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley discovers that the truth depends on who's telling it. Polley is both filmmaker and detective as she investigates the secrets kept by a family of storytellers. She playfully interviews and interrogates a cast of characters of varying reliability, eliciting refreshingly candid, yet mostly contradictory, answers to the same questions. As each relates their version of the family mythology, present-day recollections shift into nostalgia-tinged glimpses of their mother, who departed too soon, leaving a trail of unanswered questions. Polley unravels the paradoxes to reveal the essence of family: always complicated, warmly messy and fiercely loving. Stories We Tell explores the elusive nature of truth and memory, but at its core is a deeply personal film about how our narratives shape and define us as individuals and families, all interconnecting to paint a profound, funny and poignant picture of the larger human story. Linked review by Blake Howard, Graffiti With Punctuation.

Runner Runner - Richie, a Princeton college student who pays for school with on-line gambling, bottoms out and travels to Costa Rica to confront the on-line mastermind, Ivan, whom he believes has swindled him. Ivan sees a kindred spirit in Richie and brings the younger man into his operation. When the stakes get incredibly high and dangerous, and Richie comes to fully understand the deviousness of his new boss, he tries to turn the tables on him. Stars Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake.

Lovelace - In 1972- before the internet, before the porn explosion- Deep Throat was a phenomenon: the first scripted pornographic theatrical feature film, featuring a story, some jokes, and an unknown and unlikely star, Linda Lovelace. Escaping a strict religious family, Linda discovered freedom and the high life when she fell for and married charismatic hustler Chuck Traynor. As Linda Lovelace she became an international sensation - less centerfold fantasy than a charming girl-next-door with an impressive capacity for fellatio. Fully inhabiting her new identity, Linda became an enthusiastic spokesperson for sexual freedom and uninhibited hedonism. Six years later she presented another, utterly contradictory, narrative to the world and herself as the survivor of a far darker story. Linked review by Chris Elena, An Online Universe. 

Grown Ups 2 - This Rotten Tomatoes consensus analysis made me laugh - "while it's almost certainly the movie event of the year for film goers passionate about deer urine humor, Grown Ups 2 will bore, annoy, and disgust audiences of nearly every other persuasion." Grown Ups made a lot of money, so there's an audience for this, it seems.

Weekly Recommendation: I really want to watch the quite extraordinary Stories We Tell again, free of the festival fatigue. I am also looking forward to The Turning, programmed so far for a single week only. It will be great to see so much Australian talent in collaboration together. Throw support their way, I bet you won't regret it. What an ambitious project. 

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