Fortean Films

GNC

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That newest Tomb Raider movie, did it have any fortean elements?
It had the curious power to bore its audiences to death - stay away! But there was also a bit of ancient archaeology, Indiana Jones rip-off business, nothing major.
 

ramonmercado

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It had the curious power to bore its audiences to death - stay away! But there was also a bit of ancient archaeology, Indiana Jones rip-off business, nothing major.
How could Alicia Vikander bore anyone?

Tomb Raider: A creation myth film for Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), her father Richard (Dominic West) has been missing for seven years and Lara is reluctant to sign papers confirming hiss death and thereby claim her inheritance. She works as a bike courier confirming all of our prejudices about their dangerous behaviour on the roads and footpaths, she is also a kickboxer, not always winning. Her former guardian (Kristin Scott-Thomas) finally persuades her to sign but in her solicitor's (Derek Jacobi) office, she comes across a clue which sends her back to the family crypt without signing.

In the crypt she discovers her father's secret workshop and a video of her dad which lets her know that he has gone in search of the island tomb of an ancient Japanese Queen whose touch resulted in death. In Hong Kong Lara locates the son (Daniel Wu) of the skipper who brought Richard to the secret island. Shipwrecked on the island they are captured by the villainous Vogel (Walter Goggins) who is working on behalf of the evil cabal Trinity (probably the Provost and fellows of Trinity College, Dublin) to locate the Queen's tomb and give them control over supernatural forces.

Alicia Vikander's slim athletic build is just right for the character she portrays: an ultra-fit young woman who is a skilled archer but not a super-hero. She swings through the air on hooks, lianas, escapes from a rusty wrecked plane with a parachute. After killing her first baddie and initial shock, she suffers no more qualms about letting those arrows sink home into human flesh. Daniel Wu is a sidekick but has his own agenda to avenge his fathers death. Goggins is as evil as an SS camp guard as he shoots a slave-worker who is too ill to work.

There are underground passages, traps, puzzles to solve, collapsing floors, gasp to be bridged or jumped over. Even some original death dealing devices guard the inner reaches of the Queen's Tomb. This reboot of Lara Croft is based on the 2013 game and is a success. My only caveat is that it is unsophisticated in parts and this may have been due to desire to appeal to a young gamer audience. Still, welcome back Lara Croft. 8/10.
 

GNC

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I was waiting for that! Alicia in A Royal Affair - yay! Alicia in Tomb Raider - snooze.
 

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This one looks like it has warm Fortean chuckles ..

 

GNC

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Very good news from the BFI:

"We kick off our autumn slate with the 39th release in the long-standing BFI Flipside strand. Combining two ‘far out’ British films – exploitation director Derek Ford’s Secret Rites and Malcolm Leigh’s Legend of the Witches – the release sees both titles available on Blu-ray for the first time ever. The final set will also feature to-be-announced artwork by renowned illustrator Graham Humphreys, and be launched at a special Halloween event at BFI Southbank."

BFI site

I've seen Legend of the Witches, they're part of that curious "witchcraft in suburbia" craze from the late 1960s/early 1970s, which was basically an excuse for wife swapping and adultery in the minds of the general public, and also the makers of films like those. Fascinating relics!
 

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Very good news from the BFI:

"We kick off our autumn slate with the 39th release in the long-standing BFI Flipside strand. Combining two ‘far out’ British films – exploitation director Derek Ford’s Secret Rites and Malcolm Leigh’s Legend of the Witches – the release sees both titles available on Blu-ray for the first time ever. The final set will also feature to-be-announced artwork by renowned illustrator Graham Humphreys, and be launched at a special Halloween event at BFI Southbank."

BFI site

I've seen Legend of the Witches, they're part of that curious "witchcraft in suburbia" craze from the late 1960s/early 1970s, which was basically an excuse for wife swapping and adultery in the minds of the general public, and also the makers of films like those. Fascinating relics!
Ooh .. Graham Humphreys did the original Palace Pictures poster for The Evil Dead .. I phoned him a few years back to try and commission some art that's too log winded to explain here for a mate for a surprise only for him to reply that I was out of the loop and my mate had already done it anyway.
 

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Buster's Mal Heart: Buster (Rami Malek) is a mountain man, living off the land in Summer, breaking into isolated holiday cabins in Montana during Winter. Or maybe he's lost at sea, adrift in a small boat. Could be both. There's a cusp point in the film where he may have split in two or it could just be the Multiverse. The mountain man parts are the more entertaining as he uses the cabin owners phones to ring horoscope lines and TV Psychics, usually giving them advice. There are flashbacks to Buster's earlier life when he was Jonah and had a wife and child, stressed out by constant night shifts as a hotel concierge. He meets a weird character who is obsessed with Y2K and this sets him on the road to his lonely mountainside existence or maybe a maritime disaster.

The influence on Malek's later role in Mr Robot is quite obvious, look on this film as an apprenticeship. A weird mystery film directed/written by Sarah Adina Smith. Well worth watching. 8/10. On Netflix.
 

GNC

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Not one laugh in this new Addams Family trailer:

They had an open goal and appear to have missed it. Even Hotel Transylvania (presumably the reason this was made) looks better.
 

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Not one laugh in this new Addams Family trailer:

They had an open goal and appear to have missed it. Even Hotel Transylvania (presumably the reason this was made) looks better.
Agreed although I liked the Frankenstein bit with Wednesday and the frog in the classroom .. but not her classmates ..
 

GNC

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Agreed although I liked the Frankenstein bit with Wednesday and the frog in the classroom .. but not her classmates ..
Even that's ripped off from E.T. The Extraterrestrial…
 

JamesWhitehead

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"After a cringing song, we are introduced to "The Mud People" getting high on some foliage. This is our cast of characters, in black-and-white, and more unrecognizable than their names in the opening credits. They wander semi-nude in a collection of mop heads, jock straps, and animal gear. Some wear head masks resembling bags and buckets . . . From somewhere (possibly the future), a croquet ball interrupts their rituals . . . The croquet ball eventually leads the cast to an abandoned mansion, where they assumed the identities of displaced inhabitants gathering for a dinner party. The switch from primitive to civilized brings color and conversation to the tribe . . ."

Intended as a reply-picture to Buñuel's Exterminating Angel, which producer-director pair were unexpectedly responsible for this 1972 film?













If you said Merchant-Ivory, you already knew it! :p
 

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Not one laugh in this new Addams Family trailer:

They had an open goal and appear to have missed it. Even Hotel Transylvania (presumably the reason this was made) looks better.
Oh, it's not too bad especially if you think of this as mainly a film for children.

The Addams Family: The animated Addams doesn't compare to the 1989 version but it's still good fun if you consider it as a kids film. Gomez and Morticia are being married in "the old country" when the wedding is disrupted by a torch and pitchfork wielding mob of villagers. Fleeing they decide to move to somewhere corrupt and horrible so they move to New Jersey, finding a nice haunted castle above a NJ swamp. They clasg with a developer who has built a new town on the drained swamp. Plenty of horror film and other cultural references which do generate a few laughs with a nice sending up of the Woke in song lyrics : "It's nice to be all the same when you have no choice!" sung in the new town Assimilation . Don't over-analyse the film, just enjoy it. 7/10.
 

GNC

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But Charles Addams was such a genius that it saddens me to see his name associated with mediocrity like this. Even more that most people going to see it will never have read one of his cartoons.
 

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Not sure where to put this review, if a Mod can find a better home for it then please teleport it.

Jojo Rabbit: How to describe this film? A serious comedy infused with elements of fantasy? It will have you laughing but the chuckles will die in your throat as you observe the final weeks of the Third Reich in a German town. Pensioners and children are armed with panzerfausts and rifles, "traitors" are hanged, the Gestapo hunt Jews until the very end. These could be scenes from Downfall.

Ten year old Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is an ardent member of the Hitler Youth who has an imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi). This comical Hitler hangs out with Jojo, encourages him in his efforts, comforts him when he is bullied at the Hitler Youth weekend camp. The camp is run by invalided Captain Klenzdorf (Sam Rockwell) along with his shell-shocked assistant Sub-Officer Finkel (Alfie Allen) and the crazed Fraulein Rahm (Rebel Wilson) who has borne 18 Aryan babies for the Reich, a great comic trio. The bullying is by teenage HY members though and Jojo suffers injuries from a premature grenade explosion.

Jojo's mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) appears to be a model Nazi but she is hiding a Jewish teenager, Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie), and engaging in resistance activities. Jojo discovers Elsa's hiding place and at first his simple nazi ideology is to the fore but they gradually develop a tentative relationship. Elsa showing that she is no victim but someone whose people wrestled with angels and killed giants. Truly great performances by McKenzie and Davis.

The humour ranges from a Tommy Cooper style skit where Rosie plays two parts to Mel Brookes type humour: (i) his slapstick mode where
the imaginary Hitler is hamming, recoiling from a wall in case Jews are hiding in it, (ii) the serious comedy of To Be Or Not To Be when Jojo must fool the Gestapo. But these comparisons don't take away from the genius of Waititi's script, timing and direction.

Writer/Director/Actor Taika Waititi has delivered a comic triumph which literally and metaphorically deposits the nazis in the dustbin of history. 9/10.
 
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The Lighthouse is the latest motion picture by The Witch director, Robert Eggers. Robert Pattinson and Willem, Defoe play a pair of lighthouse keepers doing a month's duty on a desolate rock off the American NE coast in the 1890s. The geographic isolation, mind-numbing routine and close personal proximity they experience quickly tests their mettle, which is where the film exposes its deep psychological themes.

The director has chosen 1.19:1 as his framing ratio which closes us in nicely on the all-impostant focus detail and gives the story an old-world atmosphere - like an old photograph. Eggers also uses black and white old school Kodak filmstock and antique lenses to create a timeless quality reminiscent of German expressionist cinema and it works beautifully for what is a very Gothic tale and setting. The photography is exquisite. Awards on the way for the DP for sure.

I haven't placed this review in the horror thread because it doesn't adhere to that genre. The Fortean elements are prominent - bits of Lovecraft's underwater mythos, Psycho, Felini and all sorts of his own grotesque imaginings make their way to the surface throughout. You may find yourself averting your eyes from time to time. I struggled to suppress my own interpretative voice early and won that battle to muffle the internal monologue, which I recommend as the viewing subverts everything I thought it was about. I enjoy it when I'm caught out. I kinda knew Eggers would be way ahead of me, but old habits die hard. He has made something unique. I didn't love it at first sight, but I think I'm going to after viewing 4 or so. Can't wait to dive back in.

One thing I haven't heard from reviewers is how Hitchcock this film looks. Eggers sure knows how to frame: Boy oh boy. The sound is exceptional. The casting is right. The editing is bold and crafty. Script - top shelf. Soundtrack (above) - Stravinskiesque, chilling, other-wordly.

Bottom line, I didn't understand it much on first view. It's so dense with mythic, visual and psychological elements that the film stands outside of the current cinematic vernacular. I think we might have something completely new here folks. I look forward to reading the impressions and interpretations of other members. RM?

unrated/5
 
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Mythopoeika

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Funnily enough, I saw a clip of that last night. Willem Dafoe can certainly act, I'll say that.
Don't think I'll be watching that film unless it ends up on TV.
 

Mythopoeika

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Quite possibly the best format for viewing it. An old TV from the 1980s would be ideal. It's a box.
I have a 4k TV. My 80s TVs have long since gone.
 

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Burning

Interesting multilayered S.Korean film. The antithesis of most films in that it doesn't spell anything out & you're left with many unanswered questions at the end. Also quite slow in places.

Some of the themes - sex, rejection, jealousy, class, urban/rural life, paranoia, arson, a disappearance, a cat. It's a slow burner with enough ambiguity to qualify as fortean rather than mainstream.
 

GNC

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Yes, Burning is very strange, heavy with mystery. Wasn't sure I enjoyed it (or completely understood it), but there's a lot to get out of it.
 

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Tarkovsky's Solaris is currently on the All 4 player.
 

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What a classy film that is.
 

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Horse Girl: Sarah (Alison Brie) is a troubled young woman, introverted, lonely, her mother committed suicide a year ago. Strange things start to happen to her, time loss, dreams in which she sees strangers only later to see them in real life. She seems to know what people will say before they utter the words. She becomes convinced that she is being abducted by aliens and is a clone of her grandmother. She asks her boyfriend to help her exhume her grandmothers corpse so she can do a DNA test. Brie vividly portrays someone who is undergoing a mental breakdown, even if she was an abductee her behaviour is seriously irrational. A film which touches on the intersection of Psychiatric Illness and other Fortean phenomena involving timeslips as well as alien experimentation on humans. The narrative is a bit clunky in places though. Co-written by Alison Brie and Jeff Baena who also directs. 7/10. On Netflix.
 

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I've just remembered how much I loved the weird film 'Being John Malkovitch' ..

John Cusack's character is a frustrated puppeteer in a loveless relationship. He goes for a job interview on the seventh and a half floor .. "low overheads my boy" .. geddit? .. and gets the job. Moving one of his office cabinets one day, he finds a tunnel in the wall, crawls down it and enters the body and soul of actor John Malkovitch, other people join in on this journey .. much surreal hilarity ensues ..

 

Swifty

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FREAKED .. if you can get over the fact that it's a surreal comedy, Randy 'Star Whackers' Quaid plays the insane owner of a remote swamp land freak show, Keanu Reeves plays the dog faced boy, Alex Winters plays a hideously deformed captive, Mr T (yes, the Mr T) plays the bearded lady .. even Brooke Shields is in it and that's just scratching the surface of how 'Fortean' odd this film is.

If you fancy a crude laugh today, fill your boots. This film is magnificent .. strap yourselves in and enjoy

 
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