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Archive for October, 2014

The Runners (2013)

October 19, 2014 Leave a comment

I run, not particularly long runs and not all year round, mostly in winter when riding the bike isn’t so tempting.  I tend to listen to audiobooks or podcasts when I run, just to break the monotony of it all, because moving forward and raising one leg then the other can be rather dull, though at least when done out doors the scenery moves unlike when practiced on a treadmill.  Running isn’t as romantic a sport as boxing seems to be at least for cinema, I can only really recall Run Fatboy Run (2007) ft Simon Pegg as a film where running is the central plot, that is fine though as it leaves it as relatively untouched area for short and independent films.

The Runners (2013) is a short film that interviews runners, while they run.  By asking the questions and getting the answers while the stars are in motion we are given rather candid answers to some nice open questions which give a small insight into the psyche of those who don the lycra and take to pounding the streets.  There isn’t a judgement made by the film makers to the answers which allows for the audience to make up their own mind and how they would answer the question.

The premise is demonstrated at the beginning of the film when they ask if they can film the runner and ask some questions, we then cut to various runners in different times of the year being asked various questions, though the actual question isn’t heard by the audience, the response from the runner allows that to be inferred.

The film is broken up with establishing shots of Victoria Park and of runners.  The minimalist design of the film is nice and clean which helps make a connection between the runner and you.  Without adding in information like the name of the runner, the date of the run there is nothing to distract you from the answers being given and prevent you from bonding with each person who is talked to.

For a film about ten minutes long I don’t know if there would be any reason to not recommend watching this, while you may not agree with all the answers, you are not asked to.  As the whole thing is available on YouTube to watch I’ll provide a link and allow you to watch it, it’s better than watching another “Fail Compilation Video 2k14”.

 

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Snowpiercer (2013)

October 5, 2014 1 comment

snowpiercer-international-posterEarth has frozen, everyone is dead and the world is a white barren place, well almost.  There is a small number of people left aboard a perpetual motion train that circles the globe.  This train has a class system, closer to the back the lower the Caste System, with the more affluent passengers riding closer to the front of the train where the inventor of the train Wilford (Ed Harris) has been raised to the status of a living deity.  The plot of the film focuses around the revolution that the tail passengers start in an effort to gain control over the locomotion engine.

—Possible Spoilers Below—

The film has a vibe of Terry Gilliam in some of the characters who contrast heavily with the main cast.  The tail passengers (those at the end of the train) all have a very grubby and grunge aesthetic with comparisons to the Matrix characters once they’ve jacked out of the machine being apt.  The antagonists however are wearing bright livery with a design that seems to borrow heavily from 1950’s high fashion with long coats and fur.  This clash of cultures works to show how different the living conditions are for those at either end of the train.

Once the revolution starts it works it way through the train and we are treated to some brisk action scenes that remind me of the raid in that the action is brutal but doesn’t seem to revel in itself the way something like hostel does, its utilitarianism in the damage doing enough to convey the destruction and primal energy but stopping short of becoming indulgent or pornographic.  The camera work varies through several unusual shots for the film including a first person sequence which acts as a pleasant palate cleanser.

The film does at points seem to be heavy with its message but that doesn’t prevent the film from being enjoyable and there are sufficient hooks in the plot to keep you asking what is happening and just how far down does the rabbit hole go in the film.  Once your shown the squalor that those in the tail live in you are then shown a rather unpleasant representative or two of the head of the train and from that point you know exactly who you’re rooting for.

The film is enjoyable, it keeps the main plot moving and throws enough surprises in to keep you from becoming bored but the run time does seem excessive and near the end the film does seem to slow before the climax but these are forgivable in a surprising film that for me at least came from nowhere.  If you get the chance to see it I’d tell you to take that opportunity.

Categories: Films, Geekery Tags: , ,