The Film Club #3

Monday, April 18, 2016
Here's some films I've been loving lately, a recent release and other golden oldies...

The Lady In The Van

It's always good to go out for your comfort zone with movies - whether that be a different genre from your usual favourite, by a different director or with different actors, maybe some whom you've never heard of before. It's not like I was super excited to see this film, but I'd heard about it's several award nominations, and the fact it stars the iconic Maggie Smith - said to me, it would be worth the watch. The Lady In The Van tells the true story of Mary Sheperd, an elderly woman who lived in a van on Alan Bennett's driveway in London for 15 years. The film is an enjoyable watch, funny and quirky, showing the importance in being kind to strangers. It was not my favourite film of all, but nevertheless, Maggie Smith played her character so well and there was something new and refreshing in the film.

Léon the professional

I picked up this film on DVD at a car boot sale (bargain hunter, hello) and it has become a major favourite in my collection that I watch again and again. There are so many things to love in this film - the dialogue, the actors, the story, the cinematography and the setting in NYC's little Italy. Léon is about Mathilda, a 12 year old girl, played by an 11 year old Natalie Portman who is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her whole family is murdered, which she merely escapes. The thing so special about this film is the unusual yet loving relationship between Léon and Mathilda, as she becomes his protégée and learns the tricks of the assassin's trade. Despite the heavy violence throughout the film, seeing the relationship grow between Mathilda and her only guardian is deeply moving, and leaves me with a wee tear in my eye every time. Not to mention how impressive it is that Portman was at this level of acting at only 11! Also kudos to her style too, choker necklaces and black bobs = yass.

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club is the ultimate feel good 80's movie. In The Breakfast Club we meet five high school students from five different walks of life who have to endure a Saturday detention under the supervision of the nasty principal. All five students, including a rebel, a princess, an outcast, a geek and a jock, have to spend the whole Saturday together, which initially is a huge burden for them all, however, they finally have the chance to tell their story, changing the way they all think of each other, and dismantling the clichés and stereotypes they used to label each other with. Even though I never went to a high school in the US, the whole clique thing is definitely relatable. This film is so refreshing, seeing these 5 kids bond with each other by talking about their home life and problems. The Breakfast Club is my all time favourite movie - the 80's soundtrack and fashion are a bonus too.

Cléo de 5 à 7

It can be rare I study a film at university, and actually enjoy it...I always think how nice it would be if I could choose the film's I study, but as I said earlier, it's always good to watch films out of your comfort zone and Cléo was just that! Cléo de 5 à 7, by Agnès Varda, tells the story of the selfish pop singer Cléo, who has 2 hours until the results of her biopsy come back. Cléo is a self absorbed, fearful and anxious character who we see develop into a new woman towards the end of the film. We follow her during these two hours in Paris, starting with an ominous tarot card reading, then visiting friends who fail to give her the emotional support she needs by finally meeting a soldier who helps to put her at peace with her worries, and see her problem in a different perspective. The more we've analyzed this film in lectures, and the more I've researched it, the more I actually love the film - it's so interesting to analyse characters in movies and their intricate personalities - you'll love this if you're a fan of Jean Luc Godard or François Truffaut!