Friday, 30 November 2012

La Haine

The film focuses on the suburbs rural areas of Paris following a group of three boys.  Each of them represents the individual that wants to; escape the suburbs and have a better life, one that is in captivated and openingly glorifies the gangster lifestyle and the last that is somewhat in a stalemate between the two friends. Each friend rubbing off on the friend that at one point seems to want to choose a life of crime and the other somewhat is convincing him to do better. Even though La Haine main subject matter is about a racially diverse group of young people trapped in the underclass of sociality in the rural forgotten areas of France. La Haine is was shot in entirely in in black and white that represents the colourless of the world. In that moment of history Paris was seen futureless, dull and that having no colour shows no racial or ethnic difference being that everyone is the same colour.
Through the cinematography and editing we are subjected to how the group feels in their surrounding environment. By comparing their; ethically mixed, suburban, lower class home, to the middle white class areas of Paris. For the group to feel more at home and familiar with their surroundings the cinematography shows a great deal of; wide, spacious areas however empty which represents how these boys really have nothing and that the area they live in is a representation of their life; ill manners came from being ill-treated, never being able to escape the area even when on the roofs of the apartment buildings. It is seen as a threat to be so high above the police physically and psychologically. This can be seen as a metaphor for being above the law or trying to look beyond the suburbs. Each shot used has a long duration and the scenes are not rushed. When the boys are in Paris they truly are out of place. Both physically and emotionally they do not fit in. This is shown mostly through the quick fast pace cuts and how they a framed in the cinematography; wandering around maze life streets of Paris, constantly being overwhelmed by the tall buildings surrounding them and the busy fast pace city life, being lost and wandering the unfamiliar streets of Paris. When they miss their last train back home, right away we are subjected to feeling what the boys are feeling; left behind, lost and forgotten.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Woodsman

Kevin Bacon stars in what I would honestly say is one of the most powerful and yet daring films I’d ever seen. Playing the role as Walter, an ex-convict child molester who just finished serving a 12 year sentence and is returning to his own town. Trying to start over and working in a lumber/wood yard. Everyone he knows has turned their back on him apart from his brother in law Carlos (Benjamin Bratt). Trying to live a normal life Walter sparks a relationship with fellow co-worker Vickie (Kyra Sedgwick). Constantly on edge Walter has to also endure horrible visits from detective and parole officer Lucas (Mos Def) who is keep a close eye on Walter hoping he will slip up and throw him back in jail. With his past and the constant temptations of his day to day life, and a detective on his case Walter has to endure his dark obsession and try to live a normal life but his obsession slowly taking hold of him. Walter is conflicted with the question “Will I ever be normal?". The Woodsman is a brilliantly orchestrated and yet thrilling story of a Walter trying to go straight.  The film explores into a very touchy and dangerous territory but the execution of the film is both creepily beautiful and yet disturbing.

Kevin Bacon’s performance as a convicted paedophile trying to go straight was no easy task. But with his performance as Walter you can see both physically and psychologically we are introduced to this man contempt by his own guilt, now having to endure an emotional battle within. The scene when we see Walter gaze into nothing shows a great deal of emotional and psychological trauma that Bacon does such an incredible job showing.  Watching the Woodsman we can’t help but feel sorry for Walter but at the same time disgusted with him. This theme of “Will I ever be normal?” runs throughout the drama and we see our protagonist repentant for what he has done. However at the same time we see him delve back into his dark obsession playing with fire once again. Throughout the Woodsman there’s a constant feeling of self-contempt and torn for the crime he did but tries to comfort himself “I molested little girls. But I never hurt them,”
What’s so fascinating about watching The Woodsman is the relationship between Walter and the other characters in the film; His parole officer who itching to throw him back to prison, the love interest that discovers Walters past and the only family member that talks to him his brother in law.  One of the tensest scenes is when we are first introduced to detective Lucas. His hostile attitude and disgusted feelings to Walter makes his visits so gut wrenching to watch when Lucas tells Walter stories of previous crimes of mutilated child victims “Have you ever seen a seven year old, sodomized in half?” Having to watch Walter suffer almost what seems to be a psychological police brutality. It’s a captivating scene of which side we should be on?   

Thursday, 15 November 2012


Tyson is a fascinating self discovery story who reflects on his earlier years both his private and publicly viewed life. Reflecting on his childhood years growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn New York to becoming the youngest ever Heavyweight World Champion. Dealt with bad hand in life Tyson explains growing up in troubled household and a crime ridden area lead him to a life of crime. When Tyson discovered boxing a trainer called Cus D'Amato took him under his wing. Taken from such a deprived area into a Victorian mansion in the country, D’Amato not only psychically trained Tyson but psychologically mesmerized him into being the best. Being bullied all his childhood life, D’Amato taught Tyson discipline and self-respect. Till this day it still brings Tyson to tears. Building his confidence and guiding him to a better path. D’Amato became more than a trainer or mentor but a father figure to Tyson.  James Toback’s Tyson is a captivating and emotional journey of the stages of Tyson life as; Kid Dynamite, Iron Mike and The baddest Man on the Planet. Who better to explain the life one of the most controversial boxing icons that brings a sympathetic and objective light to the story then the man himself.    
Exploring his upbringings we realise that Tyson’s childhood was a very unforgiving cruel world. As D’Amato took Tyson and looked after him as he was his own. We see that D’Amato had a very profound effect on Tyson both emotionally and psychologically. We realize that D’Amato wasn’t only training Tyson to become a boxing champion but given Tyson a reason to live, change his life from crime and drugs. Through boxing Tyson became a better person, with countless hours of intense training. D’Amato began breaking Tyson down and rebuilding him. It wasn’t just Tyson’s incredible speed and his physical perfection. D’Amato mastered the art of the emotional and psychological elements into boxing and that the key success to being a champion wasn’t physical but psychological. Tyson would become what was known as the “Spiritual Warrior” way of fighting.  By installing fear into the opponents, already before they enter the ring Tyson had already psychological beaten them. With this psychological win the opponent emotionally now has lost the will to win.
When Tyson become the youngest and undisputed World Boxing Champion, his young age and rise to stardom become both a blessing and cures for the champion. Having achieved so much at such little time his personal issues began to intervene with his personal life also. Being so young and immature lead him to his downfall in life. Going to prison had a very psychological effect on Tyson. Again back to a cruel life but instead of Brownsville, Brooklyn New York it was prison. Having only himself to keep him company, he became his own best friend and began talking to himself. When released Tyson didn’t know how to handle the media or anyone which always lead to furious outburst of rage. It always seemed that Tyson was always surrounded by people constantly using him for their own gain. It seemed that everyone wanted to be his friend all for the wrong reasons. After D’Amato died he signed with what he referrers to as “Slave Masters” taking a third of his wages. He then signed a contract with Don King who stole from Tyson also. Constantly being used he lost all faith in life. Becoming; bitter and sacred it’s almost as if he never left the streets of Brownsville.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Silent Hill


Now I'm not going to say that Silent Hill is one of the most terrifying films I've seen but I can honestly say it’s one of the best film adaptations of a game. It seems like every film that is an adaptation of a game does so badly at the box office, but how can this be? The films they pick already have a great plot, fantastic characters to work on and a basic structure to help write a great script. So it seems that half the paperwork and effort is already laid out in front of them. However film adaptations of games are always a massive flop. In my personal opinion the only film adaptation of a game that really does do the game justice is Christophe Gans 2006 Silent Hill. If you’re a Silent Hill fan like me, you’ll understand that Christophe does an incredible job capturing the; creepy, foggy and quite town of Silent Hill. Just like in the game Christophe visually and emotionally captures the essences of what makes Silent Hill and he really does grasp the Psychological horror with the atmosphere. The constant feeling of being watched, having no weapons, those creepy terrifying creatures chasing you and the bogeyman that’s always stalking you “Pyramid Head”. The film adaptation is a perfect survival horror that takes elements from the game series; Silent Hill 1, 2, 3 and Silent Hill 4: The room.

The atmosphere in Christophe’s Silent Hill perfectly captures Psychological horror that Rose (Radha Mitchell) has to endeavour into. This voyage into the unknown history of her adopted daughter Sharon (Jodelle Ferland) leads them to Silent Hill. A Town with a long history of burning witches to fuel their cult beliefs. Silent Hill is almost as if it’s stuck between limbo and that the cult town’s people of Silent Hill have to endure the nightmare of the demon they created “Alessa”. A young girl born without a father was believed to be a witch and was ritually burned alive. Surviving the ritual the pain and rage the cult has caused her pulls the town into a dark dreamlike world. Representing the bodily injuries they inflicted on her. What made Christophe’s Silent Hill so fascinating to watch were the two worlds he created; a world with the living and a world with the dammed.

When the church siren rings “The Darkness” comes and the foggy silent town transforms into living nightmare. Silent Hill now becomes a symbolic meaning of Alessa. What the cult has done to her she inflicts the demonic pain on them. Silent Hill visually becomes a manifesto of Alessa’s pain. The creatures that Alessa summons look as if they are her victims of the towns people, dammed to be her demon forever. They seem to be as if they are monster but actually they are a mockery of human beings. Christophe wants the audience to realise at the end that the cultist town’s people are real the monsters. What I admire most of Christophe Silent Hill is how visually he sets the atmosphere between both worlds of Silent Hill and how beautifully he captures the soul of the game into a film. In one Silent Hill we see a foggy, soulless town with the towns people looking like ghosts but when siren rings and darkness befalls the town. The citizens of Silent Hill are destined to be dammed and made into a unholy demonic mockery.