Festival Reviewer

Bookmas Series: 4th December 2016 A review by @the-perks-of-being-a-lotus

The Humans- Matt Haig

Rating: 9/10

“It’s not the length of life that matters. It’s the depth. But while burrowing, keep the sun above you.”

This book is centred on an extraterrestrial inhabiting a mathematical genius known as Professor Andrew Martin of Cambridge University. Martin has just unlocked the mysteries of the universe that will guarantee a giant technological leap for mankind. The alien species known as Vonnadorians feel that this overwhelming breakthrough simply cannot be entrusted to such volatile and backwards creatures that inhabit Earth- humans. So the alien is put in his body to erase any chance of this epiphany from being released.

The book really analyses the way in which humans interact from a superior and pretentious perspective. The alien does not understand the reasoning behind emotions nor the necessity to comply to societal norms. From the start of this book to the end it will take you on a strong emotional experience as the alien learns what it means to be a human.

It is the perfect mixture of comedy and romance with an unexpected interjection of science fiction and existential questioning. It explains that sorrow and pain is simply a necessary part of human experience.

For that reason I would recommend this book it is well worth the time and it’ll certainly make you laugh but in saying that it is not a book for the light-hearted.

Two versions of Richard III: breasts on one stage, a penis on the other
Very different takes on the same subject prove that what a Shakespeare production leaves out can be even more telling than what it chooses to expose
By Steph Harmon

A tale of two Richards: Bell Shakespeare’s Richard III and Schaubuhne Berlin’s Richard III - very different takes on the same subject prove that what a Shakespeare production leaves out can be even more telling than what it chooses to expose.

“The idea was to make a movie about friendship without it being a buddy movie. I think that the word “buddy” isn’t appealing, while “friend” is. We find shelter in a friend’s arms…In my movie, those friends are shelter for each other. Once in a while, you hear about movies that “fire you the will to live”. I think that’s what I wanted to do. Make a movie that gives you the will to live, and that makes you want to have friends. Buddy movies have too much of a “camaraderie” scheme, I think; something doesn’t add up. Between two men, it can also be really beautiful.”

—  Louis Garrel, on why he made Les Deux Amis

Speaking of the Oscars, though the direction and design are fabulous, I think the film’s biggest asset is Ms. Stone, who gives a performance of such natural intelligence and warmth that I’d have to imagine she’ll be a very strong awards contender this year. (She’s got the musical/comedy Golden Globe already in the bag at this point.) But besides that cynical odds forecasting, this is simply a huge performance for Stone, who has always had an abundance of appeal but has had trouble of late finding a role, and a film, worthy of her ability. She’s certainly found it in Chazelle’s film, giving a star turn of the highest magnitude—while singing (convincingly) and dancing, even. It feels like she’s arrived all over again. Gosling is certainly good too, but his performance is a bit more familiar, and his singing is not up to Stone’s level. Still, he and his glowing co-star once again have a witty, winning chemistry.

Bookmas Series: 16th December 2016
A review by Jack Rowe

The Waste Land – T. S. Eliot (1923)

Rating: 9/10

The Waste Land is a sprawling epic, a free verse poem consisting of various perspectives and voices in a tumultuous post-WWI London, with so many allusions to classical works of literature and switches in language that it’s easy to get lost while reading. When I was assigned to read the text in my first term at university, I struggled to understand it on my first reading…and my second…and my third…

​Despite this, once I started to see meaning in Eliot’s poem I found something incredible. What seems incoherent becomes meticulously crafted upon closer inspection, Eliot’s fragmented and isolated poetic form reflecting the way in which society had changed after the so-called Great War and become, in Eliot’s eyes, a ‘Waste Land’.

​Describing the plot of the Waste Land is near impossible as there is no coherent plot in a traditional sense; the narrative is told in sections, the impact of WWI being shown on various characters, some named, some not, all being held together by the theme of war and loss.

​The Waste Land is an analyst’s dream. The work is made to feel bigger than itself with the constant references to other works in the literary canon, from Dante to Shakespeare to Ovid, setting the text on a grand scale – however, for a reader looking for a poem to read with a meaning that doesn’t require hours of research and analysis to discern, this may not be the work for you.

The Waste Land is a meticulous and fascinating work to study, but is much harder to appreciate with a quick peruse than most – added to this, not one to read this holiday if you’re aiming for Christmas cheer – Walking in a Winter Waste Land just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

2015 year in review

- shitty school
-drew all over my room
-covered my wall with photos
-got my first boyfriend and first date
-didn’t last very long
Became obsessedwith rock bands Shinedown, guns n roses, metalica,black stone cherry,halestorm,highly suspect, radiohead list goes on
-attending download festival in June
-turned 16
-got one A in exams
-gave up on life
-realised theirs stuff to live for
-then became an inspirational little shit

The Neon Demon

Nicholas Winding Refn’s most recent project is the definition of “not for everyone”. At my screening (the red carpet premiere at Cannes), there were walkouts, gasps of disgust, and a whole lot of laughter. There was also a ten minute standing ovation, delivered by a crowd that would spill out onto the Croisette, tripping on their formalwear and ready to talk shit.

Neon Demon is the film I wanted Only God Forgives to be. I’m biased, of course. I love fashion, I love the cast, I love movies with a teenage female protagonist discovering something about herself. This film doesn’t have the strong arc of Drive, but it has the stylistic approach of Only God Forgives in a setting that I find fascinating. Add to that a sense of uncomfortable humour and indulgent delight that constantly makes you ask, “am I allowed to laugh at that?” pulled from Black Swan, and you’ve got Neon Demon.

This whole film is an indulgent romp through the fashion industry, pulling very real tropes and placing them in surreal version of Los Angeles. It’s a neon nightmare. I woke up the next day with the strange sensation of having a bad dream that involved Keanu Reeves and a cougar.

The cast does an amazing job. Elle Fanning is sugary sweet with unfathomable skin, and Jena Malone shines in a way I’ve never seen her before. Bella Heathcoate has some amazing deadpan comedic timing. The soundtrack moves perfectly with every image, punctuated by an amazing “Waving Goodbye” by Sia that I plan on listening to every day for the rest of the summer. And then Keanu Reeves shows up for a minute and confuses the hell out of everyone in the room with a cameo that (as much as I adore that man) is not truly successful.

Is it a good film? I don’t know. I heard a friend criticize it by calling it empty and vacuous, but so what? Very rarely do I get to sit in a theatre and think, “hey, a movie made for me!”. It’s disgusting, uncomfortable, and so much fun. Go see it! You might hate it but at least you’ll have an informed opinion.

Colin and Livia Firth at Cannes Film Festival 2016 : Colin looked nice in a classic gray suit with open collar white shirt and matte shoes. Not many people are a fan of those specs but they work perfectly for me! As for Livia, she looked lovely in a coral dress that was passed down from her mom. Metallic shoes and simple hair-makeup completed her look. Love this couple!




This is in no way meant as a full accounting of Eddie’s amazing year, but a look at some of his professional and personal highlights, with links to bring back happy memories. First:


1. Barely two weeks after their private winter wedding in the English countryside, Eddie and Hannah Bagshawe walked their first red carpet as husband and wife. The occasion was the Palm Springs (Calif.) Film Festival, where Eddie was given the top honor, the Desert Palm Achievement Award, for his body of work, including The Theory of Everything.

2. The first major awards ceremony of the season saw Eddie walking away with a Golden Globe from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, as the best actor in a dramatic role. e!News’ Marc Malkin caught this touching moment, which he picked as one of his favorites of the evening: “Eddie Redmayne in tears after this Theory of Everything star won his first Golden Globe. ‘He was crying so hard, and his wife Hannah – she was giving him little kisses.’” With predictions mounting for an Oscars showdown between Eddie and Michael Keaton for his lead in Birdman, nothing was resolved by the Globes, which divides acting into two categories. In fact, interest was heightened as Keaton was awarded the trophy for comedic acting.

3. The Screen Actors Guild award carries special significance as a peer honor – and Eddie won this prestigious trophy to wrap up a stunning start to the New Year. But 2015 was only beginning…

Cannes 2015 Special : Fan Bingbing

This Chinese superstar is undoubtedly one of the most prettiest ladies of this world. Walking the red carpet since 2010 representing L‘oreal, Fan has always made us fall in love with her. With her fabulous sense of style, she can never disappoint anyone!

Here’s a look to of journey at the Cannes Film Festival…

2010 : 

Debuting that year and pulling off 6 looks, Fan looked phenomenal. Her first look showed a bit of Chinese culture. Beautiful!

Her second look was a white net gown and I loved it!

Her third look was a black Armani Prive gown.

Fourth one was a one-shoulder printed flowing gown with a gorgeous hairstyle.

And the last two for the photo calls consisted of a Alberta Ferretti dress and a light pink dress.

2011 : 

The next year too she didn’t disappointed, in fact, looked even more amazing wearing purple shaded Atelier Versace gown, Elie Saab Couture, a chinese design and Oscar de la Renta. Loved every look!

2012 : 

Fan happened to take Cannes very seriously and stood up to everyone’s expectations the next year too wearing Elie Saab, Valentino Couture, a chinese design and Elie Saab Couture.

2013 : 

And her last walk at the red carpet left us all wanting for more… She didn’t walk in 2014 (don’t know the reason). The first look was beautiful yellow Elie Saab Couture gown with orange lips.

The second look was a strapless Louis Vuitton gown in which she left her hair down.

And her last look was a gorgeous Ulyana Sergeenko Couture gown. Very classy!

I’m desperately waiting as for what she’s going to wear this year… Can’t wait!

High-Rise review: 'the height of decadence'
Toronto: Ben Wheatley's shiny, luxuriously appointed JG Ballard adaptation serves up orgiastic mayhem on a silver platter. 4 stars out of 5

There’s almost nothing Ben Wheatley gets wrong in High-Rise, his coolly immaculate film of the JG Ballard science-fiction classic. In 1975, Ballard began with one of the great first lines in the genre: “Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr. Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months.”

The tone survives – unlike the poor mutt, one of whose paws we see glazed and slowly turning on a spit-roast in the opening minutes.

The sick laugh inevitably delivered by this shot is Wheatley’s stock-in-trade, a kind of devilish grindhouse glee, and it’s just one of the things that makes him an ideal choice for serving up Ballard. Anyone who knows the book, and just wants its downward slide into building-wide mayhem heaved up on screen in all its anarchic glory, gets it delivered to them on a silver platter – the lid whisked off with a flourish.

Wheatley, previously a low-budget cult hero after the likes of Down Terrace and Kill List, has upped his craft and ambition, here, too: thanks to the guiding hand of producer Jeremy Thomas, who previously helped David Cronenberg get his Ballard film, Crash, before the cameras, this has lip-smackingly lavish production values and looks the absolute business.

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