Thursday, 31 March 2011

Review: Film

Limitless: Odeon

Dir Neil Burger; Bradley Cooper, Robert de Niro; Screenplay Leslie Dixon; Cinematography Jo Willems

Stylish thriller based on the novel The Dark Fields written by Alan Glynn. Eddie Murra has writer’s block until he is introduced to NZT. He writes his book in four days learns French, Italian and Mandarin; and deals the stock exchange. But the highs come with a price: memory loss and the implication in a women’s murder. At base level the film’s real hook is that Eddie Murra uses the knowledge and experience that he already has in order to access all intellectual and sensory experience; this is a very seductive premise. We inhabit Eddie’s world as he experiences it, making us complicit in everything he does. Throw in some Russian thugs, De Niro as foil, New York’s Soho and Xray-shots of those neon streets and you have a thriller as efficacious as the best quick fix  

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Review: Theatre

The Red Shoes: Kneehigh, Battersea Arts Centre

Wow! If you can’t get tickets for Kneehigh’s The         Umbrellas of Cherbourg because of prohibitive prices then go and see their The Red Shoes at The Battersea Arts Centre. A drag queen perched above the compact stage steers the narrative through the tale of a girl, a pair of red shoes, a shoe-maker, an old women, a soldier and a butcher in this Hans Christian Andersen tale of obsession. It’s fast, edgy and wonderfully chilling. Simplicity has never been more inventive: cases for headstones, stairways that connect heaven to earth, an illuminated cross; escapology, levitation and the ubiquitous red shoes.  The performers’ skills are breath-taking: they clown, dance, play musical instruments and propel the story on in a beguiling mix of tension and languidity. Kneehigh re-define theatrical story-telling every time: The Red Shoes is an absolute treat full of invention and wit......

Monday, 28 March 2011

Review: Dance

The Kingdom
The Most Incredible Thing: Sadler's Wells; Pet Shop Boys and Javier de Frutos

Wild. In order to create the most incredible thing, you need to create an incredible thing and this production does just that. Inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story of the same name the choreography is inventive, with some balletic trace prints of Balanchine’s Apollo and Nijinska's, Les Noces. The ensemble sequences in the kingdom with mirrors, see-through gauzes, cut-out pieces and profiles is particularly fine and expressive; showing a cohesion between choreography and design. The second act acid-trip is less successful as the dancers appear diminutive against the filmed sequences in Leo's incredible clock invention. But there's wit and chill aplenty as in all good fairy-tales. A visual feast: bold, extravagant driven by an hypnotic, pulsing Pet Shop Boys score..... 

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