Slow West

slow westElectric Palace Friday 17 July 2015
BR Rating ***

By Alfie Golding

Slow West is a Western no doubt but there were strong elements of comedy and romance so that it strayed from the genre. There was a nice balance of humour and tension through the first half, but towards the end there were less prominent boundaries between the two: scenes that were established as sad or serious were suddenly broken by a character cracking a joke or some other faux pas.

Some otherwise powerful moments were spoiled, which made one question the director’s judgement: was this just a failed attempt to reboot the western genre, or was it an intentional attempt to represent the wild and unlawful nature of 1800s America? Nevertheless, Slow West has many subtleties that were not obvious at first but which should become more evident in future viewings.

By |July 18th, 2015|Alfie Golding, Film|0 Comments

Blade Runner – The Final Cut

Blade-Runner2_2740831bElectric Palace 1 May 2015
BR Rating ****

By Alfie Golding

Ridley Scott’s classic is set on an Earth that is dark, mesmerizing and depressing.

Earth has become a backwash, where all the left-overs and rejects from the interstellar colonies eventually find themselves. Beautiful old buildings are left to rot whilst the industrial obelisks that rise high above the city skyline breathe fire into the ever-dark sky on a never-ending loop; a drastic contrast between the new and old.

A combination of the techno-style soundtrack that plays quietly throughout the film and the intensity of the constant stream of fantastical sights and streets – most coated in violent shades of neon – builds a sense of tension throughout the entire film.

The people who live in the cramped streets of Los Angeles seem understandably miserable, daily following the same path from their tiny, cramped cubicles and street vendor stalls to their tiny, cramped flats. Crime is rampant in the city patrolled by street gangs and a large police presence. We see the public completely unfazed as they watch people gunned down in the street.

Technology has created a workforce of replica humans designed for slave labour and our story follows Rick Decard, in his pursuit of a group of supposedly dangerous replicants who have made their way down to Earth.

The contrast between the people of Los Angeles and the replicants creates the idea that they are outstripping the people of Earth in their hunt for humanity. But the replicants have been designed to be as human as possible. They start developing their own emotions and personal relationships and begin to have an appreciation for their short lives and the universe they live in – an attitude not shared by the organic humans they live among.

These humanoid robots are made out from the start to be vicious killing machines which need to be destroyed for the good of society. But it becomes clear that they aren’t fighting for the sake of fighting or because of some bug in the system, but for the freedom to live: they just want to be treated like the people they are designed to be – humans.

As the story progresses, Deckard, convincingly played by Harrison Ford, is faced with many problems, from falling in love to coming face to face with the moral implications of his actions. And as it turns out, even this world, filled with the lowest of the low, is no place for the replicants.

Blade Runner is one of Sci-Fi’s most iconic films, influencing many other classics from Star Wars to The Fifth Element. The visual effects were not at all dated as they might have been for a film released in the early 1980s. Indeed, the spectacular sights projected onto the big screen, and the issues of equality, technology and humanity that it tackled, were triumphant and spectacular.

By |May 2nd, 2015|Alfie Golding, Film|0 Comments