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Archive for September, 2013

LAS BRUJAS DE ZUGARRAMURDI – Joan Valent

September 27, 2013 Leave a comment

lasbrujasdezugarramurdiOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi – known in English as “Witching and Bitching” – is a bawdy horror-comedy directed by Álex de la Iglesia about two bumbling bank robbers (Mario Casas and Hugo Silva) who, after their latest botched crime, find themselves fleeing from both the police and their respective wives in the woods near the town of Zugarramurdi in northern Spain. However, unknown to the robbers, Zugarramurdi was the setting of the infamous Basque witch trials in the seventeenth century, and the sexy but cannibalistic descendants of those original witches still reside in the nearby “cuevas de las brujas”, hungry for human flesh… Read more…

CLOSED CIRCUIT – Joby Talbot

September 19, 2013 Leave a comment

closedcircuitOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Closed Circuit is a British political thriller about domestic terrorism. Directed by John Crowley and written by Steven Knight, the film stars Eric Bana as Martin Rose, a lawyer who, after his predecessor is found dead, is hired to defend Farroukh Erdogan, a Turkish native accused of masterminding a successful terrorism attack on a busy London market several months previously. Due to the sensitive nature of the case, and peculiarities in British judicial law, a second lawyer is also hired to defend Erdogan, but unlike Martin, she is allowed to have access to classified and potentially damaging secret evidence that can only be aired in a closed court. The problem is that the second lawyer is Claudia Simmons-Howe (Rebecca Lowe), Martin’s secret former lover. However, as Martin and Claudia build their respective cases, evidence comes to light of a much bigger and more wide-spread case of corruption and underhandedness which could spread all the way into MI5, Britain’s secret service agency. The film features a plethora of heavyweight British character actors in supporting roles, including Jim Broadbent and Ciarán Hinds, as well as Julia Stiles in an extended cameo as an American journalist. Read more…

JIMMY P. – Howard Shore

September 13, 2013 Leave a comment

jimmypOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Jimmy P., Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian, is a French drama directed by Arnaud Desplechin. Based on the autobiography by Georges Devereux, an early French psychotherapist, it stars Mathieu Almaric as a doctor who specializes in ethnology and psychoanalysis, who is asked to treat Jimmy Picard (Benicio Del Toro), a Blackfoot Indian who has returned from World War II with debilitating symptoms that seem to indicate post-traumatic stress and possible schizophrenia. Although the movie sounds very talky and intellectual, the movie actually deals with very human emotions, as well as the development of ethnographic psychoanalysis as a legitimate field, and was critically lauded at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Read more…

COLETTE – Atli Örvarsson

September 13, 2013 Leave a comment

coletteOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Colette is a Czech film, directed by Milan Cieslar and based on the celebrated, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “A Girl from Antwerp” by Arnost Lustig. The film reveals the author’s personal experiences in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, his own recollections of several escape attempts from the hell that was Auschwitz, but most unexpectedly the romantic attraction and love he developed for a female fellow inmate. The film stars Jirí Mádl and Clémence Thioly, and opened in theaters in Europe in September 2013 to general acclaim.

It’s always interesting to me how different certain composers sound when they write music independently, away from the oversight of the Remote Control organization. Icelandic composer Atli Örvarsson, who has worked with Hans Zimmer for years, wrote the score for Colette, and it’s a beauty. Read more…

JOBS – John Debney

September 12, 2013 1 comment

jobsOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Steve Jobs, who died of cancer in 2011 at the age of 56, has been called by some the greatest American inventor since Thomas Edison. As the head of the Apple corporation, Jobs and his team of genius engineers gave the world not only the Apple Macintosh computer, which helped kick start the personal computer, but by the early 2000s has begun the personal entertainment revolution through his series of “I” devices, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad, as well as the various retail outlets designed to facilitate the peripheral software and hardware for use on his devices. It’s safe to say that over the last decade or so Jobs and Apple – alongside the likes of Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin – literally changed the way the entire world connects with each other and stores its information; it will be interesting to see how future generations view their contribution to humanity, and whether they are seen as equals with other such communication pioneers as Johannes Gutenberg, William Caxton, Guglielmo Marconi, John Logie Baird and Alexander Graham Bell. Read more…

RUSH – Hans Zimmer

September 10, 2013 2 comments

rushOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

I’ve been a fan of Formula One motor racing for over twenty years; my grandfather, who was also a big fan, introduced me to it in the late 1980s, and since then I’ve followed every season, cheering on a succession of great British drivers – Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Jenson Button – and getting caught up in the intrigue, drama, excitement, adrenaline and masterful engineering each new season brings. It takes a certain kind of personality to hurtle down a straight towards a blind hairpin bend at 200mph with a machine as powerful as an F1 car under your right foot – the very next corner could, literally, be their last – and so the drivers who do this for a living tend to be larger-than-life themselves, prone to a certain sense of eccentricity and egotism. When I first started watching the sport, the biggest rivalry was between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, but a decade previously the two dominant personalities were the flamboyant and brilliant Englishman James Hunt, and the equally mercurial but slightly taciturn Austrian Niki Lauda. Read more…

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ISABEL – Federico Jusid

September 9, 2013 1 comment

isabelOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Isabel is an epic Spanish-language TV series broadcast on the Televisión Española network about the life of Queen Isabella I of Castille. One of the most beloved and revered figures of Spanish history, in the 1450s she was instrumental in unifying various warring kingdoms under one crown – essentially creating the modern country of Spain – and funded the voyages of Christopher Columbus, leading to the discovery of the New World and the foundation of America. The show, which has just completed its second season, stars Michelle Jenner as Isabel, co-stars Ramon Madaula, Rodolfo Sancho and Ainhoa Santamaria, and boasts an astonishing score by the young Argentine composer Federico Jusid. Read more…