Works from Andrew Haigh, Michel Hazanavicius and Angelina Jolieby / April 14, 2018 / Leave a comment
Published in May 2018 issue of Prospect Magazine
Lean on Pete
Released on 4th May
Andrew Haigh’s last film, 45 Years, was a study of marital endurance in the Norfolk Broads. Now he’s taken that compassionate naturalism out on the road, from Oregon to the spectacular vistas of Wyoming. Charlie Plummer plays a young boy forced to leave home in search of a relative; on the way he acquires an ageing racehorse as companion. Their roadside encounters, also state of the nation snapshots, might have proved clunky or sentimental. Instead, this film holds its firepower, commanding our attention until the extraordinary final scenes. Steve Buscemi and Chloë Sevigny appear in minor supporting roles.
Released on 11th May
French director Michel Hazanavicius proved a dab hand at pastiche with his Oscar-winning The Artist. Here his playful study is more esoteric: the love and work of Jean-Luc Godard (excellent Louis Garrel) and his then muse and wife, Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin) during the turbulent politics of 1967-8. It adds to the fun to know which camera moves and New Wave tropes the director is spoofing as the action moves from demonstrations in Paris to the beaches of the Cote d’Azur; there’s little doubt that this tribute to Godard is as barbed as it is charming.
Released on 25th May
Kabul, 2001: Parvana is an 11-year-old girl whose father has been imprisoned by the Taliban. This animation shows her attempts to earn for the family, often by passing as a boy. The Kilkenny-based studio Cartoon Saloon, which made the Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells, here brings the same attention to Afghan history that it did to Celtic mythology. The result is by turns beautiful and graphically dramatic.