The name’s Smith, Kevin Smith. Licence to project. And I’m just going to activate some sleeper agents by using codewords cunningly disguised as a film blog. The message begins thusly:
This month, Glasgow is hosting the UN’s Climate Change Summit (COP26) and with that, curator and director Emily Munro has delved deep into the National Library of Scotland’s archive footage and created an interesting documentary – ‘Living Proof’ – that guides the viewer through Scotland’s part in the debate around climate change, and the monumental effects that industrialisation, energy production and consumerism has had on the local environment.
‘Living Proof’ knits together historical film extracts from the 1940s to the 1980s and hopes that by looking at our recent past we can see where humanity’s hubris has been a major catalyst in the environmental damage that is causing disasters on a global scale. But what may not be so well known is that the footage used highlights that the environment has been captured changing throughout all this time, our outlook may have changed throughout these times, but the questions remain: are we capable of the change that it required?
On a completely different note, but also using old media as a thematic storytelling device, is Wes Anderson’s new film ‘The French Dispatch’.
The elegant direction of Mr Anderson is a style choice that makes every one of his films stand out from the crowd. With ‘The French Dispatch’ he uses the basis of a short story anthology to weave throughout the creation of the final issue of a magazine, the journalists, and stories reported therein. Within this he can delve into multi-layered comedic vignettes, not always with a happy ending though.
Wes Anderson has created quite a repertory of acting talent throughout his films, and ‘The French Dispatch’ could be seen as the culmination of this. Almost everyone on screen has been in at least one of his films before. Most noticeably Bill Murray as the stern editor Mr Howitzer, who fires a copy boy just because he told him the print deadline is approaching.
One of the cast members of ‘The French Dispatch’, Léa Seydoux, also stars in another film we’re screening this month. You may have heard of it: ‘No Time To Die’.
She reprises her role as Madeleine from ‘Spectre’, where upon James Bond must deal with his relationship with her, along with coming out of retirement to help his old CIA friend Felix Leiter find a kidnapped MI6 scientist.
I don’t want to get too much into ‘spoiler’ territory with this but suffice to say that there are quite a few twists and turns, action packed stunts, and more than one familiar face returns in Daniel Craig’s last outing as the suave British agent.
We also have another heart-throb, Tom Hardy, in the sequel ‘Venom: Let There be Carnage’. Directed by Andy Serkis, this film continued the adventures of Eddy Brock and the alien anti-hero Venom. When Eddy discovers that he isn’t the only person attached to an alien symbiote ‘Carnage’, but not only that, it’s attached to a deranged serial killer Cletus Kasady (played with relish by Woody Harrleson), it will take all of Eddy’s and Venom’s smarts to defeat the monster. Co-written by Tom Hardy, it continues to have the dry humour of the first film but ups the action scenes too.
But if an alien symbiote fighting bad guys isn’t far-fetched enough for you, how about talking babies saving the world from an evil genius? Yes, Alec Baldwin is back as Ted, the titular Boss Baby in ‘Boss Baby 2: Family Business’. If your kids loved the first film, or the Netflix series, they’ll love this one too. It has baby ninjas in it! Also, if you’re a parent of a young child you’re sure to laugh at the sly references to the strange habits that all babies seem to have.
Disney also have a new film out: ‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’. It’s about a young boy who gets a new robot best-friend or ‘B-Bot’, but as the title suggests, things don’t go quite according to plan. Described as a mix of ‘Big Hero 6’ meets ‘Wall-E’, the film is written by the same person who wrote ‘Arthur Christmas’ and ‘Hotel Transylvania’ (and ‘Borat’, but since that’s not a kids’ film, I thought it best to leave it out!)
So, with ‘No Time To Die’ finally released after being postponed from pre-pandemic, it looks like it’s opened the flood gates and we’re getting a larger choice of movies again to be shown every week. I would advise getting tickets now, as the signs are that there’s going to be quite a few sell-outs at An Lanntair!
Of course, I’d like to hear what you think about the movies, so please comment on our Facebook page, tell our box office staff, or click here to complete the feedback survey. All feedback is gratefully received and will help me discover what you would like to see in the future at An Lanntair.
‘Till next time, Kev.
- Kevin Smith, An Lanntair Cinema Programmer