Cinema Roundup April 25th

James Dean

Killed in a car crash at 24, James Dean is credited, along with Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift, with inventing modern screen acting, bringing a subtle and naturalistic approach to the craft, in contrast to the theatrical style that had held over form the silent era.

Dean only starred in three movies, and you can catch them all this week at the Irish Film Institute. While East of Eden and Giant are very much the overblown epics of their time, Rebel Without a Cause is a movie for the ages, as fresh today as it was in 1955. Though Dean wins the plaudits, it’s actually the performance of his co-star, a young Sal Mineo, that most impresses today. Mineo lived a troubled and doomed life, and he channels this into his role here.
Sadly, it’s a mediocre week for new releases. The best of a poor lot is Exhibition, which examines the breakdown of an artistic couple’s relationship in the weeks leading to the sale of their London townhouse. Director Joanna Hogg uses her camera effectively, placing the viewer in the uncomfortable role of voyeur, but the amateur performances aren’t quite strong enough to carry the film.
Transcendence is a nonsensical slice of sci-fi in which Johnny Depp’s consciousness is transferred to a computer network. The movie is so dull you’ll wish your own consciousness could be transferred out of the cinema.
Tracks is based on the true story of a young woman who traversed the Australian outback with just a dog and four camels for company. As you’d expect, the scenery looks great, but the film runs out of ideas in the final act and awkwardly attempts to shoehorn in a message about the need for human company.

By Eric Hillis

Pictured: Movie of the Week: Rebel Without a Cause