In a wild change of pace, Hong Kong director Johnnie To delivers an all-singing, occasionally-dancing adaptation of Sylvia Chang’s successful stage play, Design for Living. While the script has undergone numerous changes along the way, and boasts brand new musical numbers from Dayo Lu and Lin Xi, Office still charts the in-house dealings of billion-dollar company Jones & Sunn as they prepare to go public on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis. To covered similar territory previously – and better – in 2011’s Life Without Principle, but his film does display a keen understanding of Hong Kong’s workplace environment and rituals.
This week, three big directors have new films out. I talk to Phil about Ridley Scott’s adaptation of The Martian, starring Matt Damon, Woody Allen’s Irrational Man with Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone, and finally I say a few words about Johnnie To’s new musical, Office.
This week we cast our eye over three recent female-led films, starting off with Elizabeth Banks’ directorial debut, Pitch Perfect 2, then the bold new take on the much-loved musical Annie followed by the Melissa McCarthy action comedy Spy.
00:00 – Theme Music
00:46 – Introduction
01:10 – Pitch Perfect 2
19:05 – Annie
32:02 – Spy
44:12 – End Notes and Outro Music
Vidyut Jamwal stands to take the martial arts world by storm after a dynamic breakout performance here as the titular one man army in Dilip Ghosh’s ridiculously entertaining action movie – which is also a pretty decent musical.
Chilean surrealist Alejandro Jodorowsky returns to filmmaking for the first time in more than 20 years, and the results are every bit as bizarre and beautiful as we could have hoped for. Loosely depicting his own childhood in Chile, Jodorowsky’s own son, Brontis, plays the director’s father as a strict disciplinarian enamoured with Stalin, while his mother is a typically plus-sized beacon of unconditional love, whose every line is sung in opera. The film’s imagery, however, is the real star, with sequences of young boys masturbating with large wooden phalluses, young Alejandro scolding the ocean until it rains fish, his mother urinating on his father’s face and chasing the young boy around the house naked. The list goes on and can do nothing to capture the magic and mystery on display. The results are unlikely to win Jodorowsky any new fans, but those already in love with classics like El Topo and The Holy Mountain will find the last two decades have done little to dull the blade of his uncompromising artistic zeal.