“You Are Not My Mother” – An unholy marriage of Irish folklore and familial dysfunction

Film review: Impressive debut blurs line between friction, bipolar disorder and the supernatural

By Tara Brady

Kate Dolan’s promising debut feature opens with an indelible sequence in which a baby in a buggy is parked in the middle of a suburban Dublin street. A woman walks from her house and pushes the infant into nearby woods only to assemble and light a strange, ritualistic fire around the crying child.

Thus begins an unholy marriage of Irish folklore and familial dysfunction. At its best, You Are Not My Mother’s intergenerational portrait of women and strange goings-on recalls the slow-burning Alzheimer’s horror of Natalie Erika James’s Relic.

Hazel Doupe (Float like a Butterfly) stars as a reticent, bullied teenager named Char, who lives with her depressed mum Angela (Carolyn Bracken) and increasingly odd grandmother Rita (Ingrid Craigie). As the film opens, Angela, a mere husk of a woman, is scarcely able to perform such basic maternal responsibilities as grocery shopping, driving her daughter to school, or getting out of bed.

When Angela’s car is found abandoned, with the doors flung wide open, Char and her uncle Aaron (Paul Reid) are inclined to assume the worst, even if it is indicated that this is not an isolated incident.

Angela returns, however, in weirdly irrepressible form, cooking and performing unhinged dancing around the kitchen. Granny keeps pace with her daughter’s strangeness, muttering and fashioning strange amulets.

For much of its impressive duration, Dolan’s film blurs the line between family friction, bipolar disorder and the supernatural. Mother’s lithium dose doubles as a magical sleeping elixir and as a poison. Mysterious mutterings among neighbours mark the family out as outsiders without any particular substance.

Meanwhile, away from Char’s drab home, malevolent peers await. As Halloween approaches, their tricks turn nastier. Thin spaces may await. Die Hexen’s score adds to the post-Carpenter seasonal menace, as does Narayan Van Maele’s lurking camera.

Dolan skilfully escalates her heroine’s predicament even if the final muddled mythological explanation concerning doppelgangers and changelings and fire punctures the effect during the final act. There’s enough here, however, to mark Dolan out as a film-maker.

Source: You Are Not My Mother: An unholy marriage of Irish folklore and familial dysfunction

Enticing Brits Back To The Cinema With Classics Like ‘Trainspotting’

Trainspotting

Film4 is partnering with film distributor Park Circus on a campaign to entice Brits back to the cinema. Under the deal, the duo will offer UK cinemas a season of six classic features from the Film4 library, including Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting and Jonathan Glazer’s Sexy Beast.

The films will initially screen in Picturehouse, Everyman, Odeon, Vue, and Showcase theaters across the country from the start of July, with other venues joining the initiative in the coming weeks. It follows cinemas reopening in the UK on May 17 after the most recent coronavirus lockdown.

The four other films in the Film4 season are Mark Herman’s Brassed Off, Stephen Frears’ rom-com My Beautiful Launderette, Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero, and Bhaji on the Beach, from director Gurinder Chadha.

Film4’s parent Channel 4 will support the season with an advertising campaign across its TV channels, as well as online. The ads will be created by in-house creative agency 4Creative.

Film4 director Daniel Battsek said: “Film4 have a long history of producing films for theatrical exhibition. We felt we should do something to help the sector’s recovery from the pandemic and remind audiences that cinemas remain the best places to experience movies.”

Park Circus CEO Mark Hirzberger-Taylor added: “We’re incredibly proud of our long-standing partnership with Film4, and are delighted to be collaborating with them on this special programme this summer, comprising six of their very best classic films, back on the big screen for audiences to enjoy.”

It is not the first time iconic titles have been brought back to the big screen in the UK to tempt audiences. Disney re-released the likes of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back when restrictions lifted on theaters last year.

Source: Film4 Teams With Park Circus To Entice Brits Back To The Cinema With Classics Like ‘Trainspotting’

Film Review: “Creation Stories”

Nick Moran’s biopic of Alan McGee, the infamous head of Creation Records, takes a fairly conventional narrative approach to this highly unconventional man. It’s a rags-to-riches tale, tracing his journey from a drab and dreamless life in Glasgow all the way to the very centre of the UK music industry.

The film takes most of its stylistic cues from the holy text of narcotic-infused Scottish stories, Trainspotting (perhaps not surprisingly so: Irvine Welsh is on script duty). McGee’s drug-addled adventures are brought to life with the same bag of distorted lens, haphazard angles and scenes of weird hallucination. In an attempt to match the frenetic pace of his life and mind, it moves at a rapid clip, letting the audio spill from one scene to another, stitching the whole thing together with a lot of oddly matched shots and strange transitions. The resulting effect is often disorientating and not always in a particularly effective or purposeful way.

The quest to cram in as many needle drops, smash cuts and cute voiceover gags makes the whole thing feel a little manic, and its frantic energy often means that the big emotional beats get lost in the noise. Still, even if it’s playing a lot of other people’s songs and relying more on volume than skill, Creation Stories is anchored by a magnetic lead performance from Ewen Bremner and an overriding love for its subject, making for a hugely enjoyable jam even if it likely won’t become a classic.


Creative Stories has its world premiere at Glasgow Film Festival, screening 24-27 Feb
Released 20 Mar on Sky Cinema

No monsters under the bed in ‘Saint Maud,” but many in trenches the of her own mind

The pious British poet and artist William Blake once famously referred to organized religion as an “ugly distortion of a true spiritual life.” The more humankind attempts to put measures, limits, and analogues on the divine, the farther we got away from the undistilled truth of the unknowable.

by Piers Marchant 

The pious British poet and artist William Blake once famously referred to organized religion as an “ugly distortion of a true spiritual life.” The more humankind attempts to put measures, limits, and analogues on the divine, the farther we got away from the undistilled truth of the unknowable.

We are humans, we don’t so much like to truck with feelings alone, they are too intangible, resistant to description and predictability. It makes us uncomfortable to float in that pool of undefined spirituality, so we work feverishly hard to write scriptures and edicts of God’s word, and make symbols out of all the things we can’t possibly touch.

Blake’s courageous brand of self-attenuated spirituality seeps in throughout “Saint Maud,” Rose Glass’ commanding feature debut, about a young woman who believes she has found her divine path after a lifetime of feeling lost, and couldn’t be farther off the mark.

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‘The Dig’ and five other culture recommendations if you love ancient discoveries

If you are endlessly fascinated by ancient history, Netflix’s new movie “The Dig,” starring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes, should pique your interest.

Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

Caches of unopened sarcophagi found in Egypt. Eight miles of Ice Age rock paintings discovered in the Amazon rainforest. An intricate Roman mosaic floor excavated in northern Italy. These are just some of the major archaeological finds of the past year.
If you are endlessly fascinated by these discoveries, Netflix’s new movie “The Dig,” a historical drama starring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes, should pique your interest.
Based on a true story, “The Dig” retells the story of how a widow and a self-taught archaeologist unearthed an Anglo-Saxon burial ship on a private plot of land in Suffolk, UK, in 1939. The incredible find, which occurred as the specter of World War II loomed over Europe, became one of country’s most important treasures and helped dispel the notion that the British Isles were culturally and economically siloed during the Dark Ages.

Ralph Fiennes as Basil Brown, the self-taught archaelogist who uncovered Britain's greatest treasure.

Ralph Fiennes as Basil Brown, the self-taught archaelogist who uncovered Britain’s greatest treasure. Credit: Larry Horricks/Netflix
“The film is about time and the fragility of our existence,” said screenwriter Moira Buffini, who adapted the script from John Preston’s book of the same name, in a video interview. “It’s about the brevity of life and what endures — what we leave behind us.”

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