Logan (2017 – James Mangold)
Probably the best superhero movie. Which isn’t saying much, given the tepid product that that genre produces. So it’s fine. And there’s nothing much more to say about it other than it becomes one of those films that you have to over-exaggerate your enjoyment of in order to appease people in polite conversation. But you can’t really stand at a photocopier and say “…well I liked it more than X-Men: Apocalypse, I suppose…” or “…it kind of made its point in the first five minutes, and then repeated it for two hours…”. Nobody wants to hear that.
A large screen at the Bluewater Showcase. Ticket cost £9, but half of that was covered by a voucher.
Elle (2016 – Paul Verhoeven)
Featuring the best movie cat since Nymphomaniac (2013 – Lars von Trier).
Somehow this film managed to be both a perfect depiction of how misogyny and rape are a part of the everyday for women, but also an apologetic for a cinematic fantasy of women ‘coping’ with trauma. I loved how uneasy it was. The film was brutal and funny and fierce and featured a deliriously good performance from Isabelle Huppert. Proper, serious filmmaking.
Screen three at the Odeon Covent Garden. A good screen, a good showing, a little ruined by the house lights not being completely switched-off. I am very close to becoming a person who complains about that. Ticket cost £10.95
Personal Shopper (2016 – Olivier Assayas)
I’m going to write about this film at length in the coming weeks, but suffice to say, I loved it. This film has crawled under my skin in a way that only the best films do.
Screen three at Curzon Soho – the screens other than screen one at that cinema are bullshit, but this screen isn’t too bad if you sit right at the front. Ticket cost fifteen-fucking-quid!
The Lost City of Z (2017 – James Gray)
At what point did Christian Bale turn down a part in this film? Because you can’t quite escape the feeling that watching a film with Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson in is a cheap knock-off of some potentially better film. They are actors who perpetually feel like your four or fifth choice for a part. James Gray makes a lot of very good films, but none that you love, and The Lost City of Z continues his proficient, if somewhat emotionally distant streak. It’s magnificently beautiful in places (and actually in cinemas, which is somewhat of a miracle given his past form), but frigid and unmemorable in others.
However, no one is able to match Gray for final shots. Here, it is extraordinary.
Screen one at the Greenwich Picturehouse. You can’t sit right at the front as you have to crane your head a little too much, but a few rows back is perfect. Ticket was free because of some promotional thing! I would have made a point of seeing it in 35mm when it is released, but you can’t argue with a free screening.
Get Out (2017 – Jordan Peele)
You can keep your perfect blend of horror movie tropes and racial politics, for me the most horrifying aspect of this movie was the Microsoft product placement. They use bing as a search engine! What nightmare are they living in!
It’s an extraordinary film that makes me feel like I’m committing cultural appropriation by even liking it. But the opening sequence and last few minutes (when the ‘police’ car turns up) were stunning moments of recasting the true horror of our modern world. It made me catch my breath. The eventual explanation of what is going on is truly inane, but it’s a terrifying, interesting and funny film. One we’re probably going to talk about for years to come
The studio cinema at the Bluewater Showcase. Good sized screen which used to be very chic, but now is looking a little shabby. Plenty of leg-room though, and it still feels like a treat. Ticket cost £9.