In Cinemas: 'It Follows' (2014)
A big thank you must go to film mag Little White Lies for providing me with a semi-appropriate Valentine's Day activity, with a special screening of 'It Follows' (★★★½). This suitably named US teen horror offers plenty of opportunity for hand holding - or rather, desperately gripping the nearest human being, in search of reassurance. The film centres around Jay (Maika Monroe) who suffers unusual symptoms after a troubling sexual encounter, as she is plagued by a constant and seemingly inescapable source of dread.
'It Follows' channels the relentless nature of some of John Carpenter's finest films, with Disasterpeace's ominous electronic-heavy soundtrack a particularly strong homage. Writer-director David Robert Mitchell also captures Carpenter's atmospheric and immersive approach to horror, perhaps best seen in 1978's 'Halloween'. While there are some mis-steps - the nudity is more of a distraction rather than an emboldening of the horror, and the final scenes feel almost out of tune with the rest of the film - the unsettling 'It Follows' succeeds in its primary goals.
Comment: 87th Academy Awards (22 February 2015)
The pesky Oscars returned for their annual extravaganza, with 2015's ceremony hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and laden with performances from the likes of Lady Gaga and Maroon 5. Alejandro Iñárritu's ambitious 'Birdman' came out on top, capturing both Best Picture and Best Director from the clutches of naturalistic drama 'Boyhood'. Richard Linklater should count himself unlucky. Perhaps surprisingly, the four wins for 'Birdman' was matched by Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel', which took away several of the design-related awards.
Elsewhere, the odd snub of 'The LEGO Movie' in the Best Animated Feature category was somewhat addressed as 'Everything Is Awesome' was given a live performance slot, while 'Big Hero 6' was a deserved winner in the aforementioned category. Most pleasingly for me, the film's preceding dog-based short 'Feast' also won the Best Animated Short, making it a double Disney whammy. Find all the nominees and winners at oscar.go.com.
At Home: 'Serena' (2014) + 2015 TV Shows To Look Forward To
Out on DVD and Blu-ray this week, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper continue their effective combination in Susanne Bier's atmospheric adaptation of Ron Rash's Depression-era novel. 'Serena' follows the flourishing timber empire of Cooper's George Pemberton, and his turbulent relationship with Lawrence's Serena. Lauren FG particularly appreciated the film's cast (with notable Brits Rhys Ifans and Toby Jones on offer) when she caught the film at the London Film Festival, but felt the script hampered proceedings.
Jordan FG highlighted eight of his most anticipated TV shows to come in 2015, in his latest Telly Text column. His list included big hitters like 'Orange Is The New Black' and 'Game Of Thrones' but also smaller scale efforts, like British political drama 'Coalition'. Read his full list of TV shows here.
TV & Movie News
In potentially huge news, at least for us over in the UK, the BBC license fee may well be abolished in the next few years - as discussed by a committee made up of MPs.
Prolific (and rather excellent) music video director Joseph Kahn and 'Dredd' producer Adi Shankar put out a dark re-imagining of 'Power Rangers'. Watch below before the seemingly inevitable/misguided takedown:
Learn a bit more about indie film distribution, from film-blogger-turned-producer David Chen and film-blogger-turned-director Charlie Lyne.
Empire has the latest images from he new Bond film, featuring Dave Bautista and Lea Seydoux.
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.