Home' LOTL : January 2007 Contents 34
Film Reviews By Belinda Hazelton
BORN IN FLAMES
Directed by Lizzie
10 years have passed
since the Second
created a new, male
dominant regime. A black
woman activist is found
dead in her jail cell after
being arrested for her role
in founding the Woman’s
Army. The authorities claim
suicide but her followers
insist she was murdered.
Tired of the subjugation
of minority groups, they
raise a call to all women
to mobilise and take on
the oppressors. Lizzie
Borden is a self-taught
filmmaker who originally
worked in New York as an
artist and film critic. She
completed the futuristic
Born in Flames, her first
full-length film, in 1983.
Made with a miniscule
budget, it was shot over
a period of five years,
using mostly non-actors
and unscripted material.
These factors may have
contributed to the film’s
disjointed feel, but it
retains historic interest.
Borden is a significant
figure in independent
feminist filmmaking, and
with her second feature,
Working Girls, she won a
Special Jury Prize at the
Sundance Film Festival.
Born in Flames
screens January 24
at The Dendy, King
Street Newtown 7pm.
Bookings 1300 306 776.
BREAKING AND ENTERING
Directed by Anthony Minghella
Director Minghella’s first original screenplay in 15
years is set in contemporary London. Business
partners, Will (Jude Law) and Sandy (Martin Freeman),
have just opened new premises in a section of the
city that is undergoing urban regeneration. Their
well-equipped offices are an attractive target for a
local gang of agile, young thieves, one of whom
Will pursues after catching him in the act. When he
meets the boy’s mother and discovers more about
the family, his punitive intentions change. What a
great start to a new year of film! This intelligent,
engrossing story held my attention through all of
its quite long running time. It has characters who
develop, ideas that challenge and provide food for
discussion afterwards, and superb performances all
round. Highly recommended!
Directed by Sofia Coppola
Aged 14, Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst), is
betrothed to the next French king, Louis XVI.
Removed from all she has known and thrown into
the Royal court at Versailles she flounders. Her
young husband is equally ill-equipped to cope
with his role, and largely ignores her, leaving their
marriage unconsummated for seven years. The
teenaged queen finds her feet, making the most
of the resources available to her. In the process
she alienates the people of France, who are living
in poverty and desperate for change. Coppola
had unprecedented access to the Palace of
Versailles when shooting this, her third film,
and for that reason alone it is worth seeing.
Marie Antoinette looks glorious with sumptuous
locations and costumes, but is essentially all
style and no substance. Attempting to put a
contemporary slant on events that took place almost 250
years ago is an exercise that only partially succeeds here.
Directed by Laurent Cantet
A group of European women in their 40s and 50s
travel to Haiti in the late 1970s to holiday at a beach
resort. One of the resort’s main appeals is the
presence of impoverished young local men who will
exchange sexual favours for gifts, meals and pocket
money. When Brenda (Karen Young) arrives, she
upsets the reign of the domineering Ellen (Charlotte
Rampling). When both compete for the attention of
the beautiful Legba (Menothy Cesar), it is clear the fall-
out will be disastrous for all. This film, adapted from
short stories by Dany Laferriere, is a non-judgmental
look at sexual tourism from a female perspective.
While examining issues of wealth, opportunities and
class in contemporary society, it is also a rare
portrayal of sexuality in women over 40. Although well
shot and convincingly acted, the film in its entirety felt
a little shallow. This is potentially interesting material,
worthy of greater exploration.
Links Archive December 2006 February 2007 Navigation Previous Page Next Page