Speaker: Jim's Festival
Just got back from Particle Fever, a documentary about the Large Hadron Collider and the discovery of the Higgs boson.
It was great to see behind the scenes of a story that got me so excited while it was playing out in real life. The movie doesn't dwell too much on the details of the physics, and concentrates instead on a number of physicists at CERN or doing research connected to the Higgs boson. It was very interesting to see the vast scale of the LHC and CERN and the number and variety of people involved in it.
When it does deal with the science and its meaning, it quite nicely demonstrates it with snatches of animated diagrams – just enough to show that what the people are saying make sense and for you to draw your own conclusions of its significance (I had brief sense of vertigo when I started to consider the possibility that our universe, which we are each an insignificant speck in, might be just a point, a speck, on a continuum of universes of varying cosmological constant, or a number of continuums ... whoa).
Anyone else seen 'Hard to be a god'? What did you think?
"They finally let you see Scarlett Johansson naked and they make it creepy."
Sounds like a pretty accurate precis of Under The Skin, and I loved every glacially elegant frame it. Take a vegan you can't stand, and enjoy the show.
I guess that Boyhood is going into general release as it is not in the just-released Hamilton programme. Saw it in London 1o days ago and it is more than excellent. Nevertheless, I think it could have been better titled 'Childhood' as it is as much about girlhood.
Matthew Littlewood, in reply to
I guess that Boyhood is going into general release as it is not in the just-released Hamilton programme. Saw it in London 1o days ago and it is more than excellent. Nevertheless, I think it could have been better titled ‘Childhood’ as it is as much about girlhood.
The screening at the Civic was sold out. Quite an experience.
I think “Life Itself” would have been an appropriate title, if Roger Ebert hadn’t already used it for his memoirs.
It’s as much about the family as it is about the boy. Patricia Arquette’s character, and the choices she makes (good, bad and otherwise) are central to the film, as is the development of Ethan Hawke’s character from callow “absent” father to a fully-fledged mature “adult”.
The film’s hook is what initially draws the viewer- and indeed it’s fascinating watching people literally age slowly before your eyes- but if anything, the film isn’t too different in approach from Linklater’s other work. Films like Slacker, Dazed & Confused, the “Before Trilogy”, Waking Life and yes, even School of Rock (to a degree)- they’re all concerned with how people talk and how they just take stuff in. He’s not one to overstate things, and I guess the takeaway from Boyhood is that life truly does happen while you’re making other plans. It’s a wonderfully human film. He clearly loves and knows people.
I also love the accidental details which show what’s changed- like Ethan Hawke’s rants about US politics, or just the way the characters move through various forms of technology to express themselves. It’s also a love letter to Austin, TX. Some of the shots of the landscape were beautiful. It really made me want to visit and explore it.
I’ve seen a number of great films at this festival, which I might write about later- We Are the Best, The Armstrong Lie, Frank, Leviathan, Maps to the Stars, Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter and the Reunion)– and only one outright stinker (the infuriatingly soulless It Follows, which is too concerned with being a project than an actual horror film). But Boyhood is on another level. Linklater is one of cinema’s great conversationalists.
Karen White, in reply to
I saw Hard to be a God. 3 hours of beautifully shot black & white film of poos, snot & squelchy things. Was over it about an hour in…
Geoff Lealand, in reply to
A very astute commentary, Matthew. One cultural reference I particularly recall is the midnight release of Harry Potter,
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