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  • Feature Film: Frances Ha
    trust fund artists they ll surely fall in love with Frances herself Tall gauche and filled with such giddy joie de vivre that she dusts herself off from every knock back Frances shines through the hipster drivel that surrounds her Much has been written about Baumbach and Grewig s off screen relationship and it s hard to know where Grewig ends and Frances begins But this ambiguity only heightens Frances appeal There s a brilliant scene that sees her dancing down the street to a Bowie soundtrack with a huge grin on her face another shows her saying goodbye to her parents played by Grewig s actual parents after Christmas at home her face aching with sadness It is this mix of melancholy and joy that makes Frances Ha feel weightier than its 85 minute running time Its soft grey tones echo the strange in between land of your mid twenties and tinge Frances story of a crumbling friendship and a failing career with sadness But it is precisely this sense of sadness that will irritate many people What does a privileged young girl who lives in New York really have to complain about Even I completely smitten by Frances felt a twinge of annoyance when she flew to Paris for an impromptu weekend on a through the post credit card a twinge that was quickly dispelled by a brilliantly tongue in cheek homage to French New Wave that sees Frances all alone in Paris a short story on screen And as many people who are bewitched by Frances dizzying smile and unfailingly positive outlook many others will find her naiveté and self absorption an infuriating and pretentious combination I am not one of them I adored Frances Ha For all its narrow New York focus its hipster facade and its self aware pretentions to nostalgic cinema this is a touching charming film that grapples with female friendships growing up and the difficulties of life when every one around you seems to be moving on Whatever it is you re doing Frances just keep doing it About Bella Whittington reads and reviews a bit of everything but is particularly interested in literary fiction translations and short stories After living in Spain for a year she now works as an assistant editor for Transworld Publishers in London She has also contributed to Thresholds the University of Chichester s international short story forum and the Harker Mail More Posts 18 Comments comments Prev Feature Film We Steal Secrets The Story of WikiLeaks Next Punchdrunk Love The Drowned Man A Hollywood Fable at Temple Studios Related Posts Litro 134 Augmented Reality Frieze Art Fair 2014 Day Three Past Claim of Meaningful Existence The Defeated Individual in Beckett s Act Without Words I Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/07/feature-film-frances-ha/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Richard Lemmer, Author at Litro Magazine
    editor litro co uk All Online Editorial online litro co uk Book Reviews Author Interviews reviews litro co uk Film Arts Editorial arts litro co uk Litro Lab Podcast litrolab litro co uk LitroTV litrotv litro co uk Litro Listings listings litro co uk Subscribe Stockists Submissions Advertising Our Team About Litro Litro Magazine is a free short stories and creative arts magazine in print and online Providing a place for readers writers and the broader creative community to discuss various aspects of literature arts and culture through features reviews non themed fiction interviews columns and more Perfect reading for those with busy lives When the first issue of Litro was published in April 2005 the main free paper for commuters and city dwellers was the morning Metro Since then many tabloid style free sheets have joined the field like the Metro these can be skim read and quickly discarded Litro is different our central aim has always been to provide commuters and city dwellers with an inspiring thought provoking alternative that takes you places you don t normally think about when travelling around the city We believe literary magazines should not just be targeted at writers themselves or even

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/author/richard-lemmer/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Feature Film: The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
    of Herzog s account is almost certainly a trigger for his adaptation Released in 1974 the film appeared in German cinemas whilst terrorist attacks struck German cities and aimed at German citizens from sources of marginalised communities predominantly Palestinian liberation groups and Marxist Leninist armed urban guerrillas and appeared in cinemas worldwide as the farce of the Vietnam war rolled continuously on Herzog never shy to criticise German and Western culture uses the story of Kaspar Hauser as a symbol for what he saw as the unaccepting intolerant and bullish nature of the West self assured and convinced of its Alpha Plus status in the world More so in Herzog s rendition of the Kaspar Hauser legend than any other is the imperative for society to look within itself and see where it has gone wrong Herzog s Kaspar invites the audience to ponder its existential isolation Kaspar is not only an outsider but an aspect of us all he is a riddle that defies logicians preachers and teachers and represents Herzog s attempts to demystify the unknown malaise that afflicted his contemporaries and can still be applied today in what is arguably a more self interested world more disengaged with nature than it was then And wrapped up in Kaspar s character is a hint of the image of Christ appearing immaculately with unknown origins to question the civilised world and purify its ills Herzog released The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser shortly after the 1972 Extremist Act Radikalenerlass was passed in Germany it prevented radicals with questionable political persuasions from being hired in public sector jobs It smacks of the oppression of liberty today of extradition detainment without charge extraordinary rendition and burqa bans Re released in London this month the film still speaks powerfully to audiences It appears as Germany has reestablished itself as the European super power and is perceived to be cocksure of itself bullying smaller members of the EU to adhere to rules crafted because of the general acceptance of German dominance and superiority The film appears at a time when the West is ever more fearful of outsiders terrorist threats and emerging political unknowns The British Film Institute will be showing a month of Werner Herzog s films throughout July The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser is on a limited re release nationwide and is currently showing at the BFI About Christo Hall Christo is Film and Media Editor at Litro Online co editor of culture and politics magazine The New Wolf and freelance journalist He recently co edited New Cartography the winning brief for arts charity IdeasTap s Anthology magazine Mail Web More Posts 5 Comments comments Prev Podcast Tatort a German Pop Culture Phenomenon Next Exhibition The Spirit of Utopia at Whitechapel Gallery Related Posts The Twilight of Kakania Facing the Modern The Portrait in Vienna 1900 at the National Gallery This Sporting Life The Ultimate Short Term Activity Litro Book Club Dust amp Desire Discussion Page Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/07/feature-film-the-enigma-of-kaspar-hauser/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Film Review: Pedro Almodovar's I'm So Excited
    As it is though I m So Excited is a mildly amusing but ultimately flimsy screwball comedy The problem is nothing really happens here Yes there s high jinks and more double entendres than you can actually entendre yes the characters bond and chat and generally get things off their chest pun intended and yes the story comes to a coherent conclusion and everybody had some fun along the way But the plot is so basic that at times it feels as if you re watching a ninety minute long music video Bizarrely too only one of the character s stories is developed outside the plane the others are not granted these coveted on ground shots In a film that is nearly exclusively set on board a plane a sub plot needs to be very special to warrant those extra on ground moments These moments may be sumptuously shot and full of rich colour but they add very little to the film Noticeable too is the lack of female characters in a film by a director known for his strong portrayal of women Why must the stewardesses slumber in economy class for the entire flight giving the three stewards and two pilots centre stage And of the three female characters in first class one is a society dominatrix one a virgin and the other is asleep It is not just the women who are half drawn versions of clumsy stereotypes the rest of the cast barely function outside their categories camp stewards mysterious Mexican swindling banker womanizing actor party mad newly wed Nonetheless Almodovar fans will still find plenty to like here His recurring themes of sexual identity transgression family life and desire all feature even if they are not developed much beyond easy laughs and the hedonistic farcical style is infectiously charming you can t help but laugh at the ridiculously camp rendition of I m So Excited by the Pointer Sisters Bright over the top and outrageous this is entertainment at its silliest and it s certainly fun enough But that s all I m So Excited can be The sparse plot stock characters and underexploited satire clip the wings of this light hearted comedy and prevent it from ever really taking off About Bella Whittington reads and reviews a bit of everything but is particularly interested in literary fiction translations and short stories After living in Spain for a year she now works as an assistant editor for Transworld Publishers in London She has also contributed to Thresholds the University of Chichester s international short story forum and the Harker Mail More Posts 18 Comments comments Prev Theatre Review Staving off Shivers With The Weir at the Donmar Warehouse Next Podcast Tatort a German Pop Culture Phenomenon http twitter com BellaWhit status 340193850079457280 BellaWhit Me in LitroMagazine on why Almodovar s I m So Excited isn t as clever as it sounds but is still pretty fun http t co MgHU5aLsZi Related Posts Feature Film We Steal

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/05/feature-film-im-so-excited/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Feature Film: Iron Man 3
    without the suit This neatly side steps the main pitfall of Iron Man 3 and other films like it namely that invulnerable superheroes with no weaknesses do not make for good stories That they win through in the end should come as no surprise but it should at least look like a struggle Downey portrays Stark with weaknesses aplenty anxiety attacks recklessness obsessive behaviour to name just a few The man has issues He covers for it with a fine line in banter even if he s not quite the hip and droll person he was in the first two movies This is still a great performance something we come to expect from Robert Downey Jr how could it be anything else The supporting cast including Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes and Rebecca Hall as Stark s old flame Maya Hansen are reliable even if they don t get a great deal to do I can t say too much about Ben Kingsley for fear of giving away the plot but suffice to say he s quite brilliant The special effects are predictably superb which isn t necessarily a good thing Director Shane Black seems a little too fond of explosions which threaten to overwhelm the story especially when viewed in 3D It s a trap the previous films managed to avoid There are sections where the film gets simply overwhelmed by the special effect wizardry with way too many scarily enhanced henchmen and Iron Man suits of armour I could quite understand Pepper s exasperation As for the action sequences they range from edge of the seat breathless the attack on Stark s house to cheerfully preposterous the mid air rescue but they all go on a little too long giving the film a bloated feeling and leaving me with a seen one explosion you ve seen them all kind of reaction A bit of judicious cutting to an explosion here a punch there wouldn t have gone amiss All this being said however Iron Man 3 is a fun piece of escapist entertainment for a movie going audience with middling expectations Do remember to stay until the end of the credits though it s one of the best scenes in the movie Iron Man 3 is screening in cinemas across the UK About Paris Franz Paris Franz is a freelance writer based in London Her short stories and articles have been published in the United Kingdom Ireland and China She studied history and archaeology at the University of London and the arts of Asia at the Victoria and Albert Museum which greatly influenced her love of history travel and story telling She is the author of the travel collection Treading Lightly Mail Web More Posts 4 Comments comments Prev The Charisma of Things in Shakespeare s Restless World Neil MacGregor at the National Next Review The Great Gatsby Pop Up bar Harrods http twitter com Paris Franz status 335086641616154624 Paris Franz Feature Film Iron Man 3 remember

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/05/feature-film-iron-man-3/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Feature Film: Trance
    by the time we got back to the movie I had forgotten it The first time we watched it after we regrouped after the Olympics it was bizarre I didn t know what was coming next I didn t know that was possible This quote is revealing and goes a good way to explaining why Trance feels like a pastiche The twists and turns in the plot seem a bit of a desperate attempt to string a film together from the remains of others Not only is it difficult to make out what this film is about it s a challenge to maintain your interest enough to find out But for me this is not the film s worst crime Also in the LA Times Boyle mentions his interest in making a film with a female protagonist I have two daughters who are in their 20s now and I had never made a movie where the woman was the absolute engine of the movie Boyle said And I loved that challenge because I make boys movies really Subsequently as it eventually transpires Trance is a film about a woman who experiences domestic abuse but Boyle takes this deeply disturbing subject matter and turns it into a crass and overly simplistic revenge story providing as much subtlety and nuance as a sledgehammer would Even a somewhat reflective sequence on the depiction of the female form in painting turns out to be something of a convenient excuse to catch a glimpse at Rosario Dawson naked and shaved I remain unconvinced that this is anything other than just another boy movie from Boyle Not that subtlety and nuance are what we expect from Boyle but we might hope for a gripping narrative at least and there are mere moments of that here I came to think that there are a few good films in Trance trying to get out When the long awaited twist is finally revealed it is not just unconvincing and underwhelming but from the point of view of a woman even offensive No amount of car explosions and fast camerawork can rectify this Trance is currently showing in cinemas across the UK About Becky Ayre Becky is a writer editor and researcher of visual arts and the environment She lives in Oxford She works collaboratively with Inheritance Projects a small group of independent curators and researchers that organise exhibitions events new commissions publications and research projects She blogs at Atmospheres of Uncertainty Mail More Posts 17 Comments comments Prev Spreepark an abandoned amusement park in Berlin Next Untold Stories Hymn and Cocktail Sticks by Alan Bennett at the Duchess Theatre http twitter com LitroMagazine status 319756194904436736 Litro Magazine LitroMagazine Read the excellent film review of Danny Boyle s Trance by Becky Ayre writing for Litro http t co DT6MvS35Am Related Posts Your Possessions Will Possess You Generation Y at Work 4 What s Your Dream Job Feature Film The Third Man Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/04/feature-film-trance/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Feature Film: Cloud Atlas
    the masked madness but it isn t always clear to see We might look past each character s get up a white Jewish blonde Hallie Berry or Hugo Weaving in drag and through race time and gender to the eternally recurring soul beneath but Cloud Atlas s stunning visuals are more often than not too ambitious to support the conceptual and emotional needs of this complex narrative It is the lack of emotional connection that will bother most viewers While not devoid of feeling the fateful relationship between Robert and Sixsmith is heart wrenching and there is unbridled joy in the conclusion to Jim Broadbent s refreshingly farcical tale of escape the short amount of time lent to each story means that characters and relationships are not as fully realized as they might have been In the same way the Wachowskis and Tykwer are only ever able to hint at the concepts and ideas Mitchell s novel explored in depth The cuts between scenes happen so quickly that we are often left with a sense of incredible visual dexterity and complexity but little substance underneath One of the more experimental aspects of the novel is the dialectal language of the post apocalyptic Sloosha s Crossin it might be a minor sticking point but the mumbled pidgin English in the cinematic version is barely audible and much of the linguistic fun subsequently lost Similar clumsiness crops up in the over use of obvious phrases or lingering shots such as in the scene where Luisa Rey muses that she s trying to understand why we keep making the same mistakes over and over If there was ever a film to divide critical opinion then this is it Elaborate ambitious ridiculous beautiful clever intricate delirious comic tragic and excessive all at once Cloud Atlas has reached for the stars and very nearly made it And there s something to be said for that Cloud Atlas is still showing at selected cinemas across the UK About Bella Whittington reads and reviews a bit of everything but is particularly interested in literary fiction translations and short stories After living in Spain for a year she now works as an assistant editor for Transworld Publishers in London She has also contributed to Thresholds the University of Chichester s international short story forum and the Harker Mail More Posts 18 Comments comments Prev Come into my world The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at the Apollo Theatre Next Exhibiton From Death to Death and Other Small Tales Has Very good review I agree with so many of your points It s an epic undertaking like no other I have ever seen The biggest worry was wether the trio of directors could make sense of it all for all kinds of audiences Honestly it s none too hard to fathom the story line or its underlying theme beyond the muddled theology and morality propagate But from a universal perspective it s touching thought provoking

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2013/03/feature-film-cloud-atlas/ (2016-02-15)
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  • HER
    conversations that made them feel they were the only one in the room laughing loudly at jokes that weren t funny My stomach ached to be the woman by his side again She stood a little away from him fingering the top of her wine glass a small shy smile on her lips She let him shine made way for his star to burn out the rest of the sky When I approached he put his arm around her defensive We made small talk about the weather his job my holiday plans She remained silent always watching him carefully I wondered if she knew who I was if she had seen my face in other photographs of him if I might haunt her in the quiet hours of the night if she too might ponder how he could like her when he had liked me Nice to meet you she said softly as I walked away I noticed her mascara had clumped I could see a black bra strap under her cream dress But the victories were becoming less sweet It was exhausting finding endless faults in another woman when all I wanted was for him to need me again They continued their circuit around the room She was the nodding dog the cued laugh But she offered nothing of herself clinging onto his wrist her head leaning into his shoulder I stopped following them When I decided to leave I noticed him talking to another woman his body angled close to hers his laugh bubbling louder than usual And the girlfriend stood alone just to the side watching her green eyes glazed and resigned I gave her a snatched smile and she returned it Good night she said quietly as I brushed past her Our eyes held and in that moment I felt a thread of understanding of connection running between us I moved my lips to say something but no words formed I turned to leave sneaking one glance over my shoulder as I reached the door seeing the ogre of my fantasies reduced watching him never able to own him either no matter how many selfies made up the flipbook of their relationship She looked small and faded About Clare Kane Clare works in advertising in London Her writing has been published by numerous outlets including Jezebel Man Repeller 1000words Toasted Cheese and Luna Luna Clare s first novel set in 1930s Shanghai will be published later this year Mail Twitter More Posts 1 Comments comments Prev Missed Connections Limitations Next Litro 145 Missed Connections Related Posts New Writing Where The Shot Rabbits Lay at the White Bear Theatre I Heart Containers Longing For Something Yen at the Royal Court Theatre Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th February 2016 Litro 149 The

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/09/her/ (2016-02-15)
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