Based on the life of British explorer Percy Fawcett, The Lost City of Z is an elegant piece of classical filmmaking that could fool you into believing it was made by David Lean five decades ago. Shot on 35mm film in the jungles of Colombia, it’s a visual feast that provides plenty of food for thought too. As someone who breaks out in hives when I leave the smog of Dublin, even I was won over by its spirit of adventure. A contender for movie of the year!
One of the highlights of February’s Dublin Film Festival was cult curio The Love Witch. While it hasn’t received an official Irish release, The Lighthouse is giving it two late night screenings this Friday and Saturday. A gloriously witty and colourful love letter to technicolor Hollywood and ’70s horror, it’s a must see for cinephiles.
Life is a sci-fi thriller that owes much to the classic b-movies of the ’50s and more than a little to Ridley Scott’s Alien. In terms of plot, there’s not much new on display, but it’s nicely mounted with impressive FX, solid characterisation and some stunning cinematography from Seamus McGarvey. Plenty to keep sci-fi buffs entertained.
One of the year’s best performances comes from Sonia Braga in Brazilian drama Aquarius. She plays an aging writer and cancer survivor who digs her heels in for a battle with a construction company determined to buy her apartment. I’m not sure I warmed to the character quite as much as the film would like, but for the most part it’s a gripping experience.
The Eyes of My Mother is an exceptionally grim and stark black and white horror movie that follows a deranged young woman living on an isolated farm. It owes much to Hitchcock’s Psycho, but never generates anywhere near enough suspense or thrills to make it anything other than a bleak and dour watch.
Jim Sheridan has had a few duds over the last decade, and his poor run continues with The Secret Scripture. The setting is fascinating – neutral Ireland during WWII – but it’s a hokey drama that all too often veers into cheesiness, and Rooney Mara is miscast in a role that seems tailor made for Saoirse Ronan.
While this week gives us some of the year’s highlights, CHiPs is one of the lowlights. A spoof of the popular ’70s TV show, this is a laugh free stinker that relies far too heavily on misogyny, body-shaming and gay panic gags for its non-laughs.
By Eric Hillis of themoviewaffler.com