Posts tagged “Hospital

Breaking the Waves / God for a Day


Breaking the Waves  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK ReleaseIn the early 1970s a naïve young girl, Bess (Emily Watson – 1996 Academy Award Nominee – Best Actress), living in a small community on the north-west coast of Scotland, falls in love with oil-rig worker and man-of-the-world Jan.  Despite local opposition they marry and live out a brief but intense love life.  Jan returns to the rig, whilst Bess counts the days to his homecoming sure that their love is made in heaven.  When an accident renders Jan paralysed he is worried that Bess will cut herself off from a normal life. Realising that he will be bedridden, he convinces her that she will aid his recovery by taking a lover and relating to him their sexual acts.  “Breaking the Waves” with its electronic seventies soundtrack (featuring Deep Purple, T-Rex and Elton John) is a truly astonishing film, adored by critics and audiences alike.

1996  –  Certificate: 18  –  Danish Film
Rating Details:  Language: occasional, strong.  Sex/Nudity: occasional, strong. Violence: once, moderate. Other: drama, religion, marriage.
8.5 out of 10

I had a good day today.  To start with I woke up bright and early and reasonably ‘with it’ from the get go.  Then I walked into work and did a load of stuff that needed me to actually give it some thought; (complicated grown-up things, you know what I mean).  Sometimes I go to work and I wonder whether I’ve tarnished my god-like status in any way, especially when I find myself cutting the stamps off envelopes to (ironically) give to charity, straightening the leaflets in their dispensers for the sake of it, or laminating things just because it’s fun to laminate.  (And yes, I really did do all these things today too.)  However, any doubts as to my usefulness were swept away by my fundraising prowess, as I got a letter telling me I’d manage to get a grant of £8,891 from the Big Lottery Fund.  Like a lion hunting prey to feed its hungry family, (or perhaps more appropriately a scruffy yappy dog with a bone it won’t give up), I didn’t allow myself to be put off by my two previous attempt to get money for the same project from the same funder.  This was third time lucky.  Like Captain Kirk, I don’t believe in the No Win Scenario; however I do believe in flogging a dead horse, however unvegan that might appear.  The people of Eastleigh, Hampshire, will soon be worshiping my very footsteps, as the money transports them to a whole new plain of existence, enabling them to finally escape the trauma of Chris Hume tying to get himself a presenter’s job on “Top Gear”.  I wonder where they’ll erect my statue?  In complete contrast, this film is crushingly depressing.

Over two and a half hours long, this is a drama about love, belief and God. “Dude, Where’s My Car?” it isn’t.  A nihilistic nightmare, it features the slow destruction of a young woman (who appears to have some sort of undisclosed mental illness), trapped between her love for her husband and her love for God.  Set in the Highlands of Scotland, one of the most beautiful places in the world, it manages though a combination of miserable weather, a washed-out, grainy picture and an overbearingly dismal atmosphere, to make it feel like the bleakest place on Earth; even the happier scenes feel like they’re caught in a membrane of gloom.  Emily Watson puts in a stunning performance as Bess.  It’s well worth watching the whole film for her performance alone, before you go off and slash your wrists. Talking of the ending, it’s somewhat bizarre.  A great film and essential viewing.

Set in the first half of the 70s, this film includes some curiously long chapter interludes that feature music from the period.  It tries hard to pick some good stuff out, but it can’t hide the fact that pop music at the time was pretty dire.  However, when inserted into this film, it really does help to set the scene and drag you down to its level.

Recommended for religious zealots, Scots, God, doctors, nurses and people who work on oil and gas rigs.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  At Bess’s wedding reception, a somewhat drunk Terry (one of ‘the lads’) crushes an empty beer can.  Not to be outdone, her grandfather squeezes and breaks a glass in his hand, cutting himself.  Considering this is a deeply religious guy who appeared to live in the last century, not have a sense of humour and was lukewarm at best with respect to the wedding, this did seem rather bizarre thing to do.  Why?  I’ve no idea if it was a joke, a threat, or what?  However, confounding people’s expectations is badass.

Breaking the Waves at IMDB (7.8 / 10)

Breaking the Waves at Wikipedia


Occupation / Inapproprate Advertising


Occupation  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK ReleaseThis powerful, compelling drama traces the fraught interwoven journeys of three British soldiers who take part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, return to Manchester, but are then inspired to revisit the chaos of Basra.  Danny, Mike and Hibbs, friends in the same army regiment, have their own very different reasons to return.  Danny (Stephen Graham) sees rich financial pickings in private security work, in a land awash with billions of dollars of reconstruction money.  Mike (James Nesbitt) has fallen in love with Iraqi doctor Aliyah.  Hibbs (Warren Brown) goes back because he believes in the mission to rebuild the country and help the Iraqi people.  Life in the new Iraq however is unpredictable, chaotic and dangerous.  Over the course of five years, the friendship of the three men comes under fierce pressure, as they pursue their dreams against the backdrop of growing fundamentalism, sectarian violence, and corruption in the world of privatised security.  Occupation is a darkly humorous and emotionally involving story, which slowly builds to a gripping and moving finale, as their conflicting ambitions come to define not just their own lives, but the war and the occupation of Basra itself.

2009  –  Certificate:15  –  British Film
Rating Details:  Strong language, injury detail and violence
9.5 out of 10

I went to see Bad Religion last Tuesday at Camden Koko. Whilst standing in the queue waiting to go in, (no thanks to the Tube, which thought it would be funny to have no trains in either direction running to Mornington Crescent), someone was handing out flyers for other gigs.  After having one of these shoved into my hand, I took a brief look at it.  FFS!  What do I see on the front but concerts by Barry Gibb, Rick Wakeman, Peter Gabriel and Wet Wet Wet.  I’m a baby-eating punk skinhead monster, standing in a queue waiting to see one of the best American punk bands ever and what do I get given?  A flyer for two very old prog rockers, a guy who sounds like he hasn’t got any balls and the extremely well named Wet Wet Wet.  If anyone at the Bad Religion gig decided to go to any of those concerts, he or she should be shot for treason.  If would be more appropriate to give out money-off coupons for Bernard Matthews turkey drumsticks at the Vegan Society AGM. To say I was incandescent with fury would be to rather understate the feeling.  However, I somehow managed to control my rage.  Bad Religion was great.  The support band Arcane Roots didn’t really do anything for me musically, but their sound was the nearest I ever want to get to being shot.  Koko probably has the most powerful bass system of any venue for its size in London and they had the kick drum totally maxed out.  Everything in the place just shook.  I’ve never experienced that intensity of bass before, so thumbs up to the band for such an unpleasant experience!  This film has some seriously intense stuff and people being shot in it too.

I always find it difficult to assess what I think of films when they’re based on true events, especially when the events weren’t very long ago; the drama and history remain so interconnected and the effects of the latter so raw and often still evolving, that it’s difficult to be objective.  This is one such example.  This film was originally a three-part BBC miniseries and it’s awesome.  A totally absorbing and sometimes uncomfortable watch, it manages to give a real sense of the chaos, suspicion and differing world views of and in Iraq, during and after the American-led invasion, as it chops back and forward between Iraq and Manchester.  It also manages to effectively explore the effects of this mess on some of the people caught up in it.  It has a number of genuinely powerful scenes, the sort you just think “wow” after.  It looks very authentic, the acting’s excellent and the script very nuanced.  What a shocking nightmare it all was, and still is in many ways too.  As an entertaining drama and as a reflection of what went on, it’s essential viewing.

There is very little music in this film.  It’s there and adds nicely to the scenes when it’s used, but no one’s going to watch this movie for that reason.

No cats or chainsaws.  There may or may not be a decapitation, but I don’t want to spoil what’s one of the most intense scenes in the film, so you’ll just have to watch it to find out.

Recommended for politicians and anyone who has any decision-making role relating to Syria.

Top badass moment?  In a movie full of very flawed heroes, there’re plenty of would-be badass moments.  But being a Brit and this being a drama rather than a documentary, I’ve had to pick out Mike (James Nesbitt) and his mercy dash with the young girl who got blown up by a hand-grenade.  The hospital was a frightening example of what happens when you try to pour a gallon into a pint glass.  James Nesbitt is the Undertones number one celebrity fan too!

Occupation at IMDB (7.5 / 10)

Occupation at Wikipedia