7:30 PM, 3rd October, 2014
John May (Marsan) works for the local council, tasked with finding the next of kin of those who have seemingly died alone. He likes to go above and beyond his duties, even organising funerals for the deceased where he is the only person present. One day a new case hits him personally, as it happens to be in a flat directly opposite his own apartment. Given that he is told he will be made redundant and that this will be his last case, May is forced to look at the emptiness of his own existence.
There have been many films made about the loneliness of the maladjusted male, ranging from the intense and violent (Taxi Driver, One Hour Photo, Drive) to the meek and resigned (Adaptation, Ghost World, Punch-Drunk Love). The most successful draw you in to their strange and solitary world and elicit compassion from you as they show a yearning for human connection and a moment in the sun.
Still Life is such a film. It’s quiet, it has a few darkly comic moments, but first and foremost it’s poignant. It also has one of the most satisfying final scenes in recent cinema, both beautiful and meaningful. Marsan is almost Chaplinesque in his portrayal of the sad sack, and is given solid support from the likes of “Downton Abbey’s” Froggatt. Comparable to the films of Mike Leigh, Still Life is a gem.
9:12 PM, 3rd October, 2014
Based on the title, if you are expecting an action film filled with gory bloody scenes, I am afraid you will be terribly disappointed. I’m sure the saying ‘Don’t judge a film by its title’ exists, and if not, well, it does now.
Una pistola en cada mano is a film that centres around eight men in their forties, each with their own set of problems. Beautifully scripted, some men can relate to the problems, and women will be able to finally have a sneak peek into what men talk about when they get together (not just about sports, it seems).
Director Cesc Gay strings together these mini stories, each playing out in real time. None of the men have actual names (we are only told the first characters of their names). I read somewhere that this was to show that the story could relate to the everyman – I can see how that would be it.
The men talk about their current situation, mostly about their relationships. You can tell some of them are trying to come to terms with where they are in their lives, and others wondering how they got there. In short, it’s a movie about men having mid-life crises and, having no women in their lives to talk to, turn to each other.
Come along and enjoy this light-hearted film with some mates, or bring some girlfriends. Either way, it will be a fun night out for all. ¡Muy bien!
Xin Yi Tan