On Camera #9: Serena / Bjork: Biophilia Live / Godzilla / Marvel Phase 3 / Babylon

on Saturday, November 01, 2014
Words: Saam Das

In Cinemas: 'Serena' (2014) + 'Björk: Biophilia Live' (2014)

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence follow their appearances together in 'Silver Linings Playbook' and 'American Hustle' in atmospheric drama, 'Serena' (★★★). Adapted from Ron Rash's 2008 Depression-era novel, the film follows the rise of George Pemberton's (played by Cooper) North Carolina timber empire, and his turbulent relationship with Lawrence's Serena.

Lauren FG caught the UK premiere of 'Serena' at the BFI London Film Festival recently, particularly appreciating the excellence of the cast - with notable British actors Rhys Ifans, Sean Harris, and Toby Jones on display- and director Susanne Bier's succesful depiction of a grubby world of greed. Unfortunately, 'Serena' fails to match the quality of its actors, with Lauren noting the relative lack of narrative finesse.

2011's 'Biophilia' was more than simply Björk's eighth studio album. Instead, it was a project that encompassed a nature-based concept record, released alongside a series of apps, culminating in a spectacular world tour - of which the final gig at London's Alexandra Palace is showcased here, in the audiovisually stimulating concert film 'Björk: Biophilia Live' (★★★★).

Co-directed by Nick Fenton (editor on everything from 'Nathan Barley' to 'Arctic Monkeys At The Apollo') and Peter Strickland ('Berberian Sound Studio'), the duo capture Björk's dazzling vision - a series of mesmerising scientific images combined with experimental electronica performed on a series of unique instruments, with a unique performer at its heart. The delightfully hyperactive choir on show also offers a strong sense of theatricality, and these individual elements melt into one vivid (albeit repetitive) whole. Out in selected cinemas now, and on DVD/Blu-ray on November 24th.

At Home: 'Godzilla' (2014) + 'Glue' + 'Workaholics'

We covered the cinema release of 'Godzilla' back in the very first On Camera column, while Maxamillian FG also took us on a whirlwind adventure through the history of Godzilla. The film is now out on DVD, and arguably worth a look for its excellent in-depth opening credits sequence alone - although unfortunately 'Godzilla' is rather devoid of significant tension or drama after its initial scenes.

Jordan FG's latest Telly Text column took in E4 drama 'Glue', as well as Comedy Central's 'Workaholics'. The latter is entering series three in the UK but Jordan gives us an introduction to the characters that will allow you to pick up the show without previous knowledge, while 'Glue' is finishing off its first series this coming Monday - giving you just enough time for a murder mystery TV binge.

TV & Movie News

Marvel have absolutely battered fans this week with a string of announcements - from the scheduled dates of their Phase 3 films (all the way to 2019!) to the first glimpse of the 'Agent Carter' TV series. Perhaps most excitingly however, we saw the first trailer for 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron', featuring a rather creepy-sounding James Spader voicing the latest Marvel supervillain, Ultron.

From exciting first looks to not-so-exciting first looks, with the absurdly named 'Terminator Genisys'. The latest film in the franchise unveiled its first official promo shots this week and quite frankly, they looked awful (n.b beware spoilers for the premise). Admittedly, they are from a magazine shoot so we're optimistic that future offerings will be more interesting, although the twisty reboot story also sounds a bit shaky.

We're pretty excited about the new film from writer-turned-director Alex Garland, who collaborated with Danny Boyle on 'The Beach' and the vastly underrated 'Sunshine'. Much like the latter, Garland again turns his gaze toward sci-fi with 'Ex-Machina' painting itself as a thriller with Domnhnall Gleeson as a coder who finds himself in an unusual artificial intelligence experiment. Watch the trailer here, but we suggest quitting around the two minute mark to save you from a potentially big spoiler.

Speaking of Danny Boyle, his police-based TV series 'Babylon' (which piloted back in February on Channel 4) was granted a full series and now kicks off in the UK later this month. Written by 'Peep Show' scribes Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, the comedy drama features Brit Marling as a PR brought in to improve the reputation of London's police force. Watch the trailer above.

Read previous On Camera columns here. Drop us a line at film(at)fadedglamour.co.uk if you have something you think might be worth featuring in a future column.

msn spaces tracker