As opposed to taking the risk of starting my university projects this weekend I opted instead to relax and do very little of anything. In fact, I simply had a film festival in my chair. I've seen more films in the last 3 days than I have in the last 2 months.
First of all, why did I ever leave it so long before seeing District 9? When I heard that it got a nomination for Best Motion Picture of the Year I was surprised and I won't lie to you, I scoffed. A science fiction film, with aliens, shot in a documentary style? Did they put it in as some kind of cruel joke for the serious candidates? I'd heard a thousand times over how good it was but I wasn't expecting an Oscar nomination.
My biggest regret about having seen the film was simply that I never saw it at the cinema. An hour in and you realise you're no longer routing for Wikus, but for his alien companion. Rarely in cinema are you given the opportunity to humanise the invading aliens, or to consider them as beings. The exception that comes to mind for everyone when you think this is ET, but we all know (even if it's really deep down) that the film was shite and ET wouldn't be allowed to put his outstretched, glowing finger anywhere near a child in this day and age. I also loved the fact that for once the aliens opted not to land in America which saves me the "America Fuck-Yeah" film where they save the day by killing all the aliens single handedly, thus saving the entire world. But I digress.
I have also managed to see The Hurt Locker, 9, and Seven Pounds. Admittedly I am behind the times in seeing Seven Pounds but once again, an astounding film, well acted and I especially liked the sign: DO NOT TOUCH THE JELLYFISH.
9 was an interesting film, you can see Burtons scarred mind involved there somewhere with it being far darker than other animated films. One of the first shots you see is a dead man on the floor covered in paper and shortly after this a particularly poignant shot of a mother with her dead child clutched against her, both immobile and decaying. Dark stuff. But the animation is wonderful (of course not a pixar level), it's visually interesting and has more death in it than you're ever likely to find in any Disney film.
The Hurt Locker was good, for my money it's not an Oscar winner, but it definitely deserved the nomination. I've not seen it yet, but from what I know, I'd be pleased if Precious won. Ultimately Avatar will wipe the floors with almost every other film and I've got to say that if Up in the Air wins Best Film I'm hanging myself because I don't want to live in a world that rewards something as terrible as that.
The highlight of my weekend came at the cinema though, when after weeks of waiting, The Showcase finally got their grubby little hands on A Single Man. Having missed out on it on several days already I was more than a little excited to finally have the opportunity to go see it. A beautiful and melancholy film; it deals with the loss of a lover. Only Tom Ford, in his directorial debut, could make Colin Firth look so God-damn dapper. I'd be pleased if I could look like that. But you wouldn't think that Ford was new to the industry at all. His film, as I suppose you would expect from him, is visually magnificent. The subtle changes in lighting, illuminating the different aspects of George's life. His bursts of second life, elated me and Firth plays him so well from the word go that I found myself mistrustful of every person he came into contact with, simply for the suspicious notion that they might do something to hurt him. It was a cinematic masterpiece and more than a little affecting.
I also saw Couples Retreat this weekend. Suffice to say I'd rather pretend it never happened.