Your Editor on Summer 2013 At The Movies

So, finally, we can put a name to a face, here I am, telling you, The Rabbit Film Section’s devoted readers, what to look forward to this Summer.

The video was recorded by the FDA Association, many thanks!

Naomi Jeffreys, Film Editor

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The Dark Knight Rises

Words by Andy Caley

Christopher Nolan completes ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy with an action-packed, yet emotionally satisfying blockbuster that is ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.

Eight years on, having been branded as an enemy to Gotham, Batman must rise again to protect the city dearest to his heart, from the terrorist leader, Bane, who has dominated the metropolis.

From the minute the film begins,  you can pretty much take it that this film was never going to live up to the extraordinary standards set by 2008’s chaotic ‘The Dark Knight’. But, that’s not to say you’re going to be disappointed. Very much the opposite.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ has a genuine sense of threat and pain, a much stronger sense than there has been in the previous two films, where you really fear for the characters and worry that not everyone, even the significant characters, who we have come to know and love, are going to make it.

What makes this apparent is watching Batman/Bruce Wayne rebuild himself from psychological fragility to arse-kicking vigilante, though in this film, it realistically takes its time, with large and painful obstacles for Bruce to overcome.

The villain, Bane (Tom Hardy) is much darker than previous Batman villains – someone who’s views on making the world a better place are severely distorted, much like Rah’s Al Ghul in ‘Batman Begins’, but more of a monster, both inside and out.

However, when it comes to comparing Bane to Heath Ledger’s The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’, The Joker wins hands down, every time. His dark, manic and chaotic humour makes him enticing and more enjoyable to watch (in a peculiar way), whereas with Bane, you just want to hide or run away from him.

Many audiences have complained about the difficulty of understanding what Tom Hardy is saying, however, we cannot see his mouth, and therefore do not have lip reading to aid us.

While the entire cast play their role to perfection, the two standouts are Michael Caine as Bruce’s lovable butler, Alfred and Gary Oldman as the trustworthy Commissioner Gordon. Alfred, once again is Bruce’s Jiminy Cricket, the voice of reason, who, whenever he is onscreen, your heart goes out to him, which, in this film, can often create a lump in your throat. Whereas Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon is someone who has to rise up and rebuild from beneath the ashes of their past, which Oldman brilliantly plays with such integrity and morality.

Wally Pfister’s cinematography is mind-blowing. Having worked on previous Nolan features, including the preceding ‘Dark Knight’ films, ‘Inception’ and ‘The Prestige’, he makes the action and the city of Gotham look like a piece of artwork.

The thing to be praised about this film is the ending, the most important aspect for Nolan. Like ‘Inception’, the ending can be interpreted in a number of ways, allowing audiences to decide for themselves, showing that Nolan treats his audiences with respect and intelligence.

It’ll leave you in awe, along with a whimper, but above all, you will be able to heave a sigh of relief in the knowledge that this is the ‘Batman’ film we have all been waiting for and that Christopher Nolan has bought this tremendous art-house blockbuster series to a spectacular close.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is out on DVD  December 3rd.2013

Spirited Away: An Experience

Words by Oliver Morris

So I have this friend who’s kinda pretentious. He reads multiple translations of Nietzsche, he has aphorisms that he’s yet to write the book for, and he’s a hare’s breadth from wearing an ascot unironically. One day he sent me a picture of a t-shirt which in turn had an image of a strange masked man, or perhaps a strange masked shadow, offering me nuggets of gold.

I had no idea what I was looking at. He explained that it was from ‘Spirited Away’, I said ‘What’s ‘Spirited Away’? to which he promptly organised an afternoon for us to watch it. He sat me down on his beaten up couch, handed me a weird orange flavoured beer, and set put on the original dub with English subtitles.

This was three months ago.

I find it very difficult to explain the stuff that happened in between Chihiro clutching dying flowers to her chest and the moment I was re-awoken by the DVD title screen. Something… happened in the middle. I’ve never been able to place it. I wasn’t just watching Chihiro, I was her in a sense. Everytime Chihiro was fearful, tearful, greatful or brave, I was too.

Everytime she held her breath or held her own, I did too.  And as one, we were thrust into this adventure, overwelmed by this adventure and accepted this adventure. There are moments where I was not in a godforsaken hole in East Hill, drinking warm beer and being subject to derisive analysis by the less insightful guest, and I was there. I was  in the tunnel, on the bridge, in the baths, on the platform or the train. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t animated, or didn’t speak the language. I was there.

I highly recommend anyone who’s never watched ‘Spirited Away’ to turn off their internet, their phone, find a quiet place and just experience it. When the credits finally came to a close, I was catatonic.I had nothing to say, to express because it was all too real, all too quick, and all too much. All I could do was turn to my friend, who had offered me this couch, this beer and this whole different world and say ‘Thank You’.