Edinburgh Cinema

Edinburgh’s cinemas have their own, different feel. When I visit them, I’ll be writing about both the film and the place, giving you the organic experience. Film critics on the big scale can’t really cater for this, so I hope my reviews bring something extra in this respect.

01.05.17 Mad Max: Fury Road


Mad Max: Fury Road (Black and Chrome special release)

The Cameo's large Screen 1 auditorium was near packed, for a 2015 film now regarded as a classic. It has been altered to the colours of black and chrome, arguably to give it a grainier, more nightmarish quality.

I thought it was fine. It's a road movie in a desert world, the characters have the monotone depth of figures from sci-fi or fantasy: Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron are charismatic, in a two-dimensional way. There are occasional flashes to an unseen backstory, while of the future there is even less to consider. A film about loners in a wasteland, conditioned by their surroundings not to care too much, it's up there with Ghost in the Shell (1995), the anime version, of a dehumanized world and the people who belong to it.

I always find such worlds unnerving. Violence and might rule these post-apocalyptic places, torture and rape just a scene away from seeming a fait accompli. The men are warriors, the women there for child-bearing and sex. In Fury Road we have a grotesque patriarch and a dwarf whom I think was his son. At the film's outset, we see a lizard and realize it has two heads, before Hardy's protagonist stamps on it, then picks it up and eats it raw. Prepare for a world of ugliness and freaks, it warns us.

It did make me think, that this could have been the film the sci-fi Dune (1984) was meant to look like, the one originally planned in the 1970s with the drawings of HG Giger and the weird ideas of Chilean director and surrealist Alejandro Jodorowski. Fury Road is a better, more brutal film than David Lynch's bad mistake with the 1984 version. I wouldn't feel the need for a repeat viewing of Fury Road, having said that. I don't want to imagine humanity reduced to this, but for those who do, this is an aesthetically stunning vision of hell.
The Handmaiden
26.04.17 Neruda


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