Our Last Tango (2017)

 OUR LAST TANGO will be released in UK cinemas on 22nd September www.ourlasttangofilm.co.uk #OurLastTangoFilm

 

Director: German Kral

Writer: German Kral, Daniel Speck (Screenplay)

 

Plot: The life and love story of Argentina’s famous tango dancers Maria Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes, who met as teenagers and danced together for nearly fifty years until a painful separation tore them apart.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Dance Documentary

 

Story: Our Last Tango starts with our 80-year-old dancers Maria Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes telling their story of how they met as teenagers and how their styles just clicked, we learn how they were just the perfect match when it came to stage and dancing for 50 years.

We learn how the two did have their difference on and off the stage but did take Tango to a new level for a new audience, we see how their own personal lives affects life decisions which eventually led to the break-up of the dancing partnership.

 

Thoughts on Our Last Tango

 

StoryThe film here shows us the way tango evolved to keep up with more popular or modern dance trends from the 1950s right up to the modern-day times, we learn how the two most iconic dancers from the field went from small venues to bring invited around the world to show off the tango. We do learn the personal effects of the long-term dance partnership on the two stars, we do get to follow this story like the students and journalists interviewing the two icons which helps us relate to the learning process too.

Documentary/MusicWhen you watch a documentary you want to learn about the subject matter, that happens here, while you don’t learn how to tango, that will require lessons, you will learn how it became popular in the modern culture.

Final ThoughtsTango will always be a dance people will talk about, not many can master and this will give you the lessons about the two icons of the dance that helped bring it into the modern world even after their own personal differences.

 

Overall: This is a good watch for documentary fans.

Rating

 

Argentina, Germany 2015
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Runtime: 85 minutes

 

OUR LAST TANGO premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2015 and also screened at Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Japan and the Berlin International Film Festival.

Director German Kral was born in 1968 in Argentina and moved to Germany in 1991 to study film at the Munich Film School. A former pupil of Wim Wenders, between 1993 and 1996 he worked with Wenders on the feature film A Trick of the Light. His film Música Cubana (2004), executive produced by Wim Wenders, had its international premiere at the Venice Film Festival and has been sold all over the world.

 

OUR LAST TANGO Key Production Credits

 

Production Companies: Lailaps Pictures, Horres Film & TV, German Kral Filmproduktion

Screenwriter / Director: German Kral

Producers: Nils Dünker, Dieter Horres, German Kral

Co-producers: Birgit Rothörl, Josef Brandmaier

Executive Producers: Wim Wenders, Rodrigo Furth, Jakob Abrahamsson

Director of Photography: Jo Heim BVK, Félix Monti ADF

Costumes designer: Giselle Peisojovich, Cecilia Belsito

Production designer: Matías Martínez

Sound: Celeste Palma

Sound designer: Jörg Elsner

Music composer: Luis Borda, Sexteto Mayor

Editor: Ulrike Tortora

Cast: María Nieves Rego, Juan Carlos Copes

 

 

About Celluloid Circus and the Argentine Film Festival

 

Celluloid Circus is a film events and promotions company championing the most exciting films from around the world including outstanding Spanish-language films such as Ciro Guerra’s Oscar-nominated Embrace of the Serpent and Damián Szifron’s BAFTA Best Foreign Film winner Wild Tales.

 

In 2012 Celluloid Circus launched London’s first Argentine Film Festival to provide a showcase for the best contemporary films from and about Argentina, and in 2016 celebrated their fifth festival with Argentine director Pablo Trapero in attendance at special summer edition across Curzon and Picturehouse Cinemas in London’s West End.

 

2017 will see Celluloid Circus take a new direction with this, it’s first theatrical release of a Spanish-language title into UK cinemas.

 

 

 

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Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: Nicholas Martin (Screenplay)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson, Nina Arianda, Stanley Townsend, Allan Corduner

 

Plot: The story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Believe Your Dreams

 

Story: Florence Foster Jenkins starts in 1944 as Florence (Streep) performs alongside her husband St Clair Bayfield (Grant) with the theatrical performance for the people of New York City. After Florence falls out with her current pianist the couple must find a new one, Cosme McMoon (Helberg) fills the void perfectly as her new venture into opera.

There is one big problem with this dream, Florence simply can’t sing and even with her vocal coach Carlo Edwards (Haig) any stage performance is a distant dream. Once the first show happens the elite of the friends all love the show for the wrong reasons, and to make matter worse St Clair has been having an affair with Kathleen (Ferguson).

Once Florence’s song make the radio she continues wanting to support the soldiers returning from war even with St Clair wanting to hold her back from the embarrassment she could cause herself.

 

Thoughts on Florence Foster Jenkins

 

Characters/PerformanceFlorence is a woman that has been shielded from the world for her whole life, she has only been respected by her power in society. When she wants to sing her own style of opera she does become a laughing stock but on a level where the everyday man can enjoy her attempts. St Clair is the supportive husband who also hasn’t lived his dreams but living off the money Florence is giving him, he happily cheats on her but knows the funds will end if he gets caught. Mr McMoon is the brilliant pianist who is grateful for the chance to play alongside the high society but questions where his career could go after working with Florence.

Performance wise, Meryl Streep was fantastic as always in the leading role with Hugh Grant giving us one of his best performances in years. Simon Helberg steps up from television to give us a performance we all know he is capable off and never looks out of place next to the bigger names.

StoryThe story shows us what it is like to follow your dreams even if you don’t have the talent, while this does focus a lot more on the idea of being protected by the lack of talent it is the similar style you would treat your own child who enjoys something they are not going to succeed at. I do feel the story shows the divide we once had between the rich and powerful to the everyday person which is clear to see with how the music is received.

Biography/Comedy/MusicFlorence is an incredible brave lady who showed if you want to try something at any age you can try, even if you are not the best. The comedy in this film is light hearted throughout which I did enjoy with the music adding to the comedy going on through the film.

SettingsThe settings created show us the time period the film is set in perfectly with New York being the main location.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable movie that people can get a laugh out of without being stuck wondering what is going on or not admiring Florence.

 

Overall: One to be watched and enjoyed.

Rating

 

 

Straight Outta Compton (2015)

straightDirector: F Gary Gray

Writer: Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff (Screenplay) S Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus, Andrea Beroff (Story)

Starring: O’Shea Jackson Jr, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr, Aldis Hodge, Marlon Yates Jr, R Marcos Taylor, Carra Patterson, Alexandra Shipp, Paul Giamatti

 

Plot: The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Important but Long Bio-Pic

 

Story: Straight Outta Compton starts by introducing us to all our five main players and where they are at their life early on Ice Cube (Jackson Jr), Eazy-E (Mitchell), DJ Yella (Brown Jr) and MC Ren (Hodge), each one of these dreams of being more and they all have talent but the neighbourhood they are in makes this difficult for them. Dr Dre (Hawkins) is the well-respected popular rapper from the neighbourhood who continues to live around looking for new music.

When Eazy-E meets Jerry Heller (Giamatti) he offers to take a chance on the NWA promising to take them to the main stream. With NWA taking the world by storm we see the early divides within the group as they all look to make something for themselves but Gangster Rap becomes the biggest thing in America.

The rivalries between the crew becomes clear when Ice Cube goes solo and the rest of the NWA learns that not everything is as clear as they believe it to be as they all want to become the main attraction in the industries which will lead to devastating consequences.

Straight Outta Compton is a film that surrounded the Oscars as one of the missed opportunity to be diverse but watching it I found myself thinking it didn’t deserve to be in the Oscar contention. This doesn’t help that I am not a big fan of the style of music or the attitude this can give show people from the neighbourhood to be. The other use of the ‘N’ word throughout the film gives us what can be seen as the problem with a racial divide. The story off the rise of a small-time rap group is interesting and seeing how they got divided but remain respectful but are the only ones who know what they need to do to get out of the trouble making neighbourhood.

The acting is all top notch from what is nearly all an unknown cast at the time in the NWA roles even with the heavyweight performance from Giamatti ones again. I will say this film is too long because we spend well over an hour just dealing with the parties but the interesting side of the story comes from the divide and consequences between these now icons of music.

 

Overall: Great look into the world even if it is over glamorising certain points of the careers.

Ratingcard

 

 

Double Feature Weekend – Shock Treatment (1981)

Director: Jim Sharman

Writer: Jim Sharman, Richard O’Brien (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica Harper, Cliff De Young, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray, Ruby Wax, Nell Campbell, Rik Mayall

 

Plot: Janet and Brad become contestants on a game show… but wind up as captives instead.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Way Before It’s Time

 

Story: Shock Treatment starts as Brad (de Young) and Janet (Harper) are part of a marriage television show where Brad gets taken away for treatment through Dr Cosmo (O’Brien) and Dr Nation (Quinn).

With each day becoming a new day on the show Janet leaves Brad in the hands of the doctors while she considers her options.

When Brad finds, himself becoming the face of a fast food franchise Janet learns that they have become trapped in this twisted world with no escape as her star power continues to grow.

 

Thoughts on Shock Treatment

 

Characters/PerformanceReturning us to Janet and Brad is an interesting idea but they both seem very different people, Janet gets drawn to the idea of becoming a big star leaving people behind to do this, Brad spends most of the film tied up which doesn’t give him a lot of time to do anything. The Doctors are good without being anything special which is what could be said for the rest of the characters too.

Performance wise, Jessica Harper is great in the leading role but it would be fair to say none of the other stars really stand out on the level she reaches through this film.

StoryThe story is in places complicated, but it does poke fun at reality television which for the time was something unknown, watching it now and seeing how people look at success we do get to see a huge difference in what people think. On the other hand, this is so far away from the Rocky Picture Show we don’t need to use the same characters.

Comedy/MusicalThis doesn’t reach that many levels of comedy but I do think the musical numbers are an improvement from the Rocky Horror.

SettingsThe whole film is set inside a studio showing us just how Janet rose and fell from celebrity status which feels like the television show we are watching.

Special EffectsWe don’t have many special effects here once again but when needed they are good.

Final ThoughtsThis does take the characters in a direction you wouldn’t expect and has fun poking fun at television shows but otherwise it isn’t anything special.

 

Overall: Strange sequel with little connection.

Rating

 

 

Double Feature Weekend – The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Director: Jim Sharman

Writer: Jim Sharman, Richard O’Brien (Screenplay) Richard O’Brien (Original Musical)

Starring: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Jonathan Adams

 

Plot: A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cult Classic

 

Story: The Rocky Horror Picture Show starts as Brad Majors (Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Sarandon) get engaged as they were heading home they get trapped in a storm. Seeking refuge the couple find themselves in a mysterious castle full and strange and colourful characters hosted by Dr Frank-N-Furter (Curry).

Tonight, is a special night for the Doctor as he is about to bring his Creation to life in full Frankenstein style. The longer Brad and Janet spend in the castle the stranger the night becomes but one they will never forget.

 

Thoughts on The Rocky Horror Picture Show

 

Characters/PerformanceDr Frank-N-Furter is bar far one of the most iconic characters in musical and film, leading the transsexual movement in the main stream, he is another version of Dr Frankenstein but one with extreme sexual motivations. Brad is the newly engaged man who feels out of place in the party but grows to respect the choice. Janet is Brad’s new fiancé who enjoys the sexually driven party more than Brad. The rest of the characters all add to the style of the film.

Performance wise, Tim Curry does steal the show with his eccentric performance that you can see he fully commits to, Sarandon and Bostwick are great as the new engaged couple put in the awkward situation with the rest of the cast all giving us the performance we need to see.

StoryThe story is easy to follow like you would imagine with musical and with the narration does make certain things easy. The idea of staying at a strange castle where you could end up involved in a mad party hosted by a crazy scientist. This is a unique story that does have moments from the Frankenstein story involved.

Comedy/MusicalThe comedy is used to make this story come off fun with the musical numbers throughout.

SettingsThe castle makes for a wonderful setting full of the gothic style and the scientific laboratory used to make the creation.

Special EffectsThe special effects are few are far between but all come off when they are needed.

Final ThoughtsI knew this was a cult movie for years but never got around to see it, I found this exactly what I was expecting, unique, crazy and a stand-alone special event.

 

Overall: This is a true cult classic film.

Rating