The sensually provocative images of internationally acclaimed photographer David Hamilton again move and breathe in Laura. A delicate journey through innocence, beauty and sensuality involving a 16 year old ballet dancer who falls in love with her mother’s former lover, a 40 year old sculptor. A classic cinematic treatment of mother-daughter competition and the first stirrings of sexuality. With utmost taste and talent, Hamilton presents the gratification of budding womanhood.
1979 – Certificate: 18 – French Film
5.0 out of 10
For reasons that mostly baffle me but probably point to a severe breakdown in the decision-making process somewhere, I’m trusted with the management of nine people at work, plus another two or three that are ‘incoming’. I’ve never received much in the way of training to accomplish this, but I do my best. I try to work them all to within an inch of their lives, make them feel worthless and in awe of me, blame them when something goes wrong and take the credit when something goes well. I provide them with impossible deadlines and grass them up to more senior people when they fail to meet them. I invent or overcomplicate existing procedures, to make their lives as difficult as possible. My managerial catch-phrase is, “if you don’t like it you can leave”. In fact the only book on management I’ve ever read is “The Art of Demotivation”. I’d heartily recommend this to anyone who manages staff. I keep my well-thumbed copy by my desk at all times. Despite my obvious lack of emotional intelligence, in a strange way I consider these ‘resource units’ as my family. (In that sense I care for them deeply, in the same way that Captain Janeway on the Starship Voyager cared for her crew, but still managed to nearly get them killed most weeks.) Consequently, I get very distressed when any of them decide to fly the nest or take maternity leave. (Mainly because of the extra hassle it’s going to cause me.) In the next couple of months I have to recruit three or four new members of staff. From experience, I’m pretty sure that interviewing is about as close as a man can get to giving birth. The only difference is that we interview during office hours to a sensible timetable that minimises the disruption it causes. It is however a painful experience, in which you deal with things as best you can, when all you really want to do is scream and moan about how long it’s all taking, as you wait for the candidate(s) to come into the room so to speak. And my top tips for interviewing? Always have the interview panel with the light behind its back. I find it helps to put interviewees at ease if you silhouette yourselves. I also find that starting off interviews with the question, “what’s the worst question we could ask you today?” often helps to put candidates at ease too. If I don’t see tears by the end, I know I’m facing a tough son-of-a-bitch, who might one day challenge my Alpha Male status, an attribute that at work we call Wow; strangely, these people always score really poorly and consequently never get appointed. There’s nothing Wow about this film either.
David Hamilton made a few films like this and they’re all crap. This is probably because I know nothing about art and can never relate to anything or anyone in them. And I hate the ‘soft focus’ (i.e. out of focus) photography that always seems to get used too, so it’s not just the people, plots and places I don’t get. I guess if I was cultured enough I’d think this movie was a cinegraphic masterpiece that “presents the gratification of budding womanhood” and unrequited love, rather than some child porn dressed up as art. But what do I know? I’m probably just an ignorant, Mail-reading Brit, who thinks anything foreign is rubbish (unless it’s American or curry). I guess if I go out and kill someone on purpose, as long as I do it tastefully it’s art, not murder. Having said that, there is a story of sorts (a somewhat pervy love triangle) and a bit of action when something catches fire. There’s also some ‘fun’ with weed-killer too. (It’s a good example of what happens when you don’t store and use chemicals correctly.) I guess if you can work around all its technical and plot foibles, then you could get something positive out of it. (It’s not unlike a trashy B-movie in that respect.)
The soundtrack is mainly plinky-plonky ‘emotional’ piano or dated prog rock. It’s not something I’d miss if it was somehow erased for existence by time-travelling, intergalactic film critics.
Trailer. Well if there is one I couldn’t find it. Yes, the Internet has let me down. The best I managed to locate were some clips, so I’ve picked out an especially action-packed one for here.
Recommended for sculptors, dancers and anyone with a very open mind.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? I guess it’s another reason for me to be sent to Hell, but Paul (40) manages to get off with Laura (15). It’s not that I approve or would want to be in his place; it’s just that he could, which makes it badass, although mostly just bad. What’s he got that I haven’t? Other than he’s good looking, French, talented, sexy and (in these post-Saville times) “a sinister pervert who used his fame to get close to young women and girls”. No wait, that’s Rolf Harris.
Choices… to choose between right or wrong is simple, but what defines one’s life is the decision between the greater of two goods or the lesser of two evils. This is the advice that Zooni Ali Beg (Kajol) receives from her father just as she is about to venture out into the world on her own for the very first time. Little does she know that these very words will shape her life. Zooni, a blind Kashmiri girl, meets Rehan Qadri (Aamir Khan), a local tour guide and an incorrigible flirt. Her friends warn her against this good-for-nothing roadside Romeo, but she chooses to ignore them. It is now her time to discover life, and love. Is this really the right choice? Rehan is fascinated by Zooni and wants her to see life as it should be seen, in its many colours. He promises her that the time spent with him will be the most precious in all her life. Zooni sees Delhi, life and love like she never has before, because of Rehan. What Zooni doesn’t know is that Rehan has another side of his life that he has kept from her – something that can not only change her life, but can also destroy it. Fanaa… destroyed in love…
2006 – Certificate: 12 – Indian Film
7.5 out of 10
I’ve had enough. By this I mean I’ve had enough of Google, that clever little search engine that used to be run by a few fun people somewhere in California; a gang of outsiders, rebels fighting the ‘corporate system’ and using ‘new media’ to make their point. However, Google now IS that corporate system and I’ve decided I hate it. It’s officially become the first Spawn of the Devil of 2014. From this point forward I won’t use its search engine, I won’t use it’s mapping system, I won’t Google anything, I won’t engage with any of its other, stupid ‘toys’ and I will never, ever, buy or use a smartphone or any other hardware that runs on Android, or anything else it invents in the future. I despise everything it stands for. Now, at this point you might be wondering, why? Well, much to my disgust and with no notice whatsoever, it’s closed my YouTube account. Even worse, its crap customer service is about as much use as a Ferrari 458 Speciale (and what a pretentious name that is) in the Somerset Levels right now. If I get one more cheerful, automated e-mail telling me the good news that my account is fine and I just need to change my password if I can’t log in (and that’s not the problem you mindless cretins, as I’ve told you more than once), I will personally kill every cute, small puppy I come across with a version of Android’s Operating System. I’ll become known as the Stupidly Named Food Themed Operating System Serial Puppy Killer. Fucking Google can fucking fuck off and die, painfully. The sooner Satya Nadella crushes this aggravating little upstart, the better. Then we can go back to a world of Microsoft vs Apple and not worry about the slimy, data stealing evil empire that thinks giving us a few stupid pictures of our own street is payment for all its underhand and nefarious activities; which is somewhat ironically more than it pays in taxes. It knows more about you than you do. But don’t take my word for it, just Google (bollocks, it’s hard to get out of the habit) search for “Why Google Is Evil” on Bing. I imagine my 600 YouTube subscribers are at this very moment planning the sort of campaign of civil disobedience that will make the Arab Spring seem like a bad day in Springfield. I’m sorry if my rant has crashed Google’s share price but you know what? I’m glad. Anyone who’s invested in this dictatorship deserves what they get.
A power spike wrecked the PSU on my computer last Friday, so I’ve had to go and buy a new one and fit it, (a Corsair CX750M if anyone is interested). It’s the 4th one my current computer’s had. I was so distressed that I had to go sit down and watch nearly 3 hours of Bollywood style action-romance to recover. I must confess that I’m getting to like Indian films. The plot is nearly always sort of the same, random over-the-top song and dance routines break up whatever’s going on and bizarre bits of action suddenly populate the girl-meets-boy-loses-boy-meets-boy-again stuff. But really, they’re a lot of fun and these days are well made technically. Anyone that’s not watched a few really ought to try some. In the same way that some things only become funny with repetition, films like this become entertaining once you’ve watched a few. Probably best taken with alcohol.
The trailer’s not bad. Watch out for those weedy power chords that start 33 seconds in. Reminds me of The Undertones 4th album.
The music is exactly what you’d expect. Not saying it’s bad or anything, just that there’s nothing especially interesting about it either. The silly ‘kid’s song’ “Chanda Chamke” is kind of sweet though.
Recommended for anyone with a visual disability, terrorists, tour guides and dancers.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? It’s a huge spoiler, but shooting and killing your husband and the father of your child that you’re totally besotted with, in the back, because he’s a terrorist and going to set off a nuclear bomb and kill millions of people, is about as badass as it gets.
And okay, I know I’ve posted a YouTube link below. I’m just so fickle.