Monday, March 31, 2014

Film Review- Noah

Starting with a prologue of the events of a young Noah's right of passage from a boy to a man the viewer is introduced to a world that humans have taken only 10 generations after Adam and Eve to destroy.  The human race are sinful, constantly breaking the commandments and fully embracing the 7 deadly sins.  The Creator does not see any hope for humanity and comes to Noah in a dream foreshadowing a great flood that will cleans the earth in order to start again.  Noah is given the task to gather all of the animals and along with his family build a vessel in order to survive the storm while the misguided, impure and wretched all perish in the food.

Director Darren Aronofsky keeps the story pretty close to the subject matter. The piece does add a few characters for dramatic effect but the overall story is true to the source material. Aranofsky and co writer Ari Handel use informative short vignettes to cover the main events from In the Beginning right up to the activities of Cain's descendants.

The visual effects department work stands out in the piece. The segment that launches the path to building the Arc is breathtaking. The screen fills with rich blues and lush greens followed seamlessly with a brilliant transition centred on Noah's kids to show quickly show the passage of time during the construction of the Arc.

The other senses filling scene is the section where Noah heads to the camp of his rival Tubal-Cain (Ray Winstone) The camp is full of the worst of society attacking each other for food, sacrificing their young for animal flesh and performing horrific acts of violence upon each other.  It's at that point that Noah decides that there is no future for humanity and his mission his is to save the animals and his youngest son Japheth ( Leo McHugh Carroll) will be the last man standing.

Noah is a tour of human nature that the writers aim to show has implications today. The baseness of society. The lust after animal flesh among other things for nourishment and to get stronger. The destruction of the environment and the earth itself by Man's ongoing industrial activities and pursuits.   Is Society worth saving or should it be cleansed to start over or to wipe out mankind and let the animals reclaim the earth?

** 1/2 Out of 4.

Noah | Darren Aronofsky | U.S.A. |2014| 138 Minutes.

Tags: Bible, Old Testament, Flood, Good vs Evil, The Earth, The Creator, Prophecy, Miracle, Sin, rebirth, Starting over.

Film Review - Finding Vivian Maier

John Maloof attended an auction looking for some content and bought a box of negatives in a box for $380.00 When Maloof finally got around to revising the negatives he began to realize the quality of the photos.  He returned to the auction to track down and purchase other boxes from different buyers from that day then began to purchases all the items that he could find from the Maier storage locker.

Director's John Maloof and Charlie Siskel weave an intricate suspenseful tale to uncover the story of Maeir. The narrative look at the negatives and photos along with receipts and films in both 8 and 16 millimetre to gain an insight into the photographer.

The documentary uses first person accounts from former employers and children from Maier's nanny days dating back to the 50's and 60's in the Chicagoland area.

Two of the best sequences are the review of receipts with all the different spellings of the protagonist name.  The other is the debate on her origins. Is she from Central Europe, does she have a French background or is she American.

Maier's photographic genre is Street Photography. The majority of her shots are candid photos of the lower ends of the citizenship in the Chicago area. She did the majority of her work out on strolls/adventures with the entrusted kids in toe. Her camera, a Rolleiflex added to her endeavour. the box camera was constantly around her neck and due to the style Maier had to look down into the camera to focus and shoot. Since she did not have to raise the camera to her eye her subjects were often caught off guard and unaware that they were being shot.

*** 1/2 Out of 4.

Finding Vivian Maier | John Maloof & Charlie Siskel |U.S.A. | 2013 | 83 Minutes.

Tags: Chicago, Recluse, Horder, Storage locker, Auction, Street Photography, Exhibition, Discovery.