On this week’s show we have the unfortunate pleasure of honouring the deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman, both of whom succumbed to cancer this week aged 69. After that we take a look at the freshly announced Oscar Nominations before I review the week’s big new release, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs.
It has been a very long time since I have seen this, but was definitely a highlight when it first arrived back in 1995. An incredible debut from Danny Boyle, and the first film from Ewan McGregor too. I remember at the time all the buzz was about Christopher Eccleston becoming the next big thing, but I was convinced that it was the loud-mouthed ginger who would capitalise most from this excellent comic thriller. A British Coen Bros was a common compliment back then, and it more than holds up (both the film and the comparison) close to 20 years on.
After the critical success of Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours, followed by his triumphant work on the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, director Danny Boyle makes a complete volte face for his next film. Trance is on the one hand a flashy crime caper, but also a trashy erotic thriller, filmed with plenty of style and verve, but without taking itself very seriously at all. James McAvoy schemes with Vincent Cassel to steal a priceless painting from a London auction house, but when he suffers a blow to the head and forgets where he’s hidden it, McAvoy goes to Rosario Dawson’s Harley Street psychotherapist for help. Things quickly escalate into a heated love triangle between the three principles as they battle to outsmart each other in time to get their hands on the elusive work of art.
This week James leads us off with a review of The Host. Adapted from the novel by Stephenie Meyer of Twilight fame, this teen-angst driven Sci-Fi feature is directed by Andrew Niccol, best known for Gattaca, Lord of War and In Time, as well as for writing The Truman Show.
Then we take a longer look at Danny Boyle’s new, highly entertaining (if somewhat noir-ish) thriller, Trance. While it’s easy to agree this stylishly made film is worth viewing, it was harder to agree which film it most resembles and our choices for Trance‘s kindred cinematic cousins might surprise.
Finally, Fernando takes us to sleepy Port Adelaide to explore a fascinating retail start-up, Film Buff Central, run by three hardcore cinephiles, with the aim of sharing their passion for arthouse cinema in a way that is refreshingly new and old, at the same time.
Memories are tricky things. The more we try to remember our experiences the easier it is for our ideas, about beauty, morality and life to overlay themselves on our recollections, to the point where we can become unsure exactly what happened or how things came to be. Quite rightly, we retain a fascination with the way our minds work, with the process of forgetting and remembering and with what to do with the memories we would rather never revisit.
Danny Boyle’s latest film, Trance, starring James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson is a stylish exploration of memory, deciet and human motivation. Part high concept crime caper, part dark and sultry noir-ish thriller, this film shifts effortlessly through each scene, twist and revelation in a way few genre-bending stories can manage.
Surprising, haunting, original and expertly crafted, Trance is highly recommended viewing and easily one of the best films I’ve seen this year.