Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The week in film...

This week has again been pretty hectic, affording me minimal time of on screen entertainment, I was away through the weekend and I've just gone and started one of the longest novels in the English language which I am thoroughly engrossed in.

I did, however, manage to fit in a film that S has been dying to see since she first hear about it:

Up (2009) - Pete Docter & Bob Peterson

I'm a big fan of Pixar - one of the great things about films like the Incredibles and Ratatouille is that they stand up perfectly well for adults. It's rather an obvious things to say that they're written to appeal on many different levels, many cartoons try to achieve this, but it is very rare for them to succeed to the extent that those two films do in particular, especially for them to stand up to repeated viewings by an adult audience. In fact I think there must be many many parts of the Incredibles that would go straight over a child's head and that is one of the charms and failures of Up.

is not a happy film, in fact after about 20 minutes you had all six of who went to see it with tears streaming down our faces. I honestly think that after seeing it I probably wouldn't take a child under 10 to see this film because it approaches life an death in such a brutally honest way that I couldn't stand the questioning that it would undoubtedly inspire. After seeing the film I spoke to a colleague of mine who had taken his children to see the film and he said he wanted to strangle the writers for putting him through that.

After the remarkably grim opening the film gently slides into your typical fantasy fare, travels and discoveries, friends are made, lost and remade and there's a bit with some talking dogs which caused my second round of tears, this time from laughter. Yet throughout this you can't shake the true meaning of the journey that is made and the viewer is constantly reminded of its importance, something which as an adult viewer I felt to be fundamental to the film and which I think would be lost to most children.

It could be that I'm underestimating them, even patronising children, but I actually think that understanding the kind of message that this film carries would actually change a child's outlook. People talk now with something of nostalgia about watching Bambi's mother die but in those scenes you lose a bit of innocence. Not that that is a bad thing but at least parents should go warned.

From this quasi-adult fare I move onto something which is definitely for adults only. S and I caved, we gave up on Mad Men, it is a little bit rubbish, and have moved onto a series that I have been wanting to watch for a long long time:

Shameless (2004-present) - Paul Abbott

It's pretty hard to describe Shameless because you're left with the feeling that 'comedy-drama' doesn't really do the show justice. It comes from a long history of British television (and some people argue that this is the success of it) that derives the comedy from a brutal realism and the drama from the tragi-comic.

Shameless is the story of a council estate in Manchester (a form of socialised housing service whereby the poor are provided with cheap and affordable houses and which often result in areas of deprivation and high crime rates) and those people who live in it. It provides so many familar scenes to those who acquainted with Britain and for me it brought back a lot of memories - even though I didn't live in a council house I spent much of my childhood running around areas like the Chatsworth estate, in fact my dad was from the area where this series is filmed. There's also a special twist as the series shows a particularly Northern view of life which I really relate to.

S and I are both looking forward to continuing this series and thankfully we've got a lot left to see, there are six series already made and I think by the time we've got through it the seventh will be out.

No comments:

Post a Comment