So-called Classics #1 – Scent of a Woman

| o | - Tits ! Ho-ahh!

Welcome to our new and hopefully regular feature “So-called Classics”. All connoisseurs of film have those few pictures they should have seen and may even go to great lengths to pretend they have; Citizen Kane, Battleship Potemkin, Manhattan, Flash Gordon – the list is endless. As Mark Twain said on “classic” books…

Something that everyone wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

So here at Spooool we’ve taken it upon ourselves to knuckle down and conquer the classics. No longer will we look at our shoes when The Big Lebowski is brought up in conversation or slyly change the subject when someone mentions how superior Infernal Affairs is to The Departed. These won’t be straight forward reviews but more-so examining what makes the film a “classic” and if it’s warranted. From time to time there may be spoilers so don’t say we didn’t warn you, but we’ll try our best not to mention what Rosebud was.

Read More

Wilde Salome // JDIFF 2012

Wilde Salome / The Picture of Oscar Wilde - ★★★ / Al Pacino

The Picture of Oscar Wilde - ★★★

When the president of the country is in attendance you know something special is afoot. Michael D Higgins beamed and you could tell he felt incredibly privileged to present a Volta award to the septuagenarian Al Pacino. The Volta Award acknowledges outstanding people who have made significant contributions to film. It is named after Ireland’s first cinema, the Volta Picture Theatre on Mary Street in Dublin.

Pacino was genuinely chuffed to receive the award and a warm welcome from the people of “the south Bronx”. Before proceedings got under way he gave a few short words by way of an introduction. He summed it up by saying the film was completed, not finished and he hoped we could follow the many layers and jumps. It sounded like a “I know this is a bit of a mess but enjoy” type of speech.

Having seen the trailer and now having heard Al’s speech to say my expectations were low is putting it mildly. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised. The film is really a documentary following Pacino as he tries to stage Salome in L.A. whilst making a film of the production and it also is a mini bio on the life of Wilde. The play not being filmed is a read through directed by Estelle Parsons and is to be performed to the “doctors and dentists of L.A.” while over 5 days he aims to film the play which causes most of the conflict in the film as time is so short as he struggles to balance his time between actor and director.

| o | - A star is born

The piece is full of hilarious Pacino moments where he comes across as some Col. Kurtz lost in the jungle, see desert camel scene and “can I get some napkins” moment. Many of the scenes seem orchestrated which isn’t surprising as Pacino isn’t that stupid and can tell what will be good for the film, he pretty much confirmed this in the Q&A afterwards.

The weak points are the self indulgent pontifications by Al sprinkled throughout the film and when Bono, yes Bono, comes on screen to give his two cents it was hilarious to hear a rather audible groan from the audience. U2′s Salome, thankfully rarely heard since it’s release in ’92 playing over the credits is one of the more odd moments.

Jessica Chastain is outstanding and it’s easy to see how she has and will continue to excel towards stardom. This was the first film completed by her and gives us an insight into the tedious nature of getting a film to the screen seeing she has managed to amass about 5 pictures since finishing Salome. She also gives Naomi Watts a run for her money in a certain area, I shall say no more.

The film could have been a rather boring affair if it was just a straight filming of a play which never works. We get instead a haywire portrayal of the complications of staging any piece of work, never mind in three different forms. A thoroughly enjoyable insight in to the mind of a genius. Oh and Oscar Wilde too.

USA  /  Al Pacino  /  Al Pacino  /  Starring: Al Pacino, Jessica Chastain, Kevin Anderson  /  95mins  /  Drama

Potential highlights from the 10th annual Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

10th annual Jameson Dublin International FIlm Festival

Congratulations to the Lighthouse Cinema on their launch of the 10th JDIFF last night. The cinema was packed to the rafters with Dublin cinephiles.

The guest of honour Stellan Skarsgård was in flying form and got us all into festival mood, with the complementary whiskey helping as well.

The programme certainly doesn’t disappoint and for a full look at what’s coming up, check out the JDIFF site or use the embedded program at the bottom of this post.

But to make things that little bit easier when going through the program I have picked a few highlights.

Read More