"Art is not a thing; it is a way."

Elbert Hubbard

Saturday, January 1, 2011


A Single Man is singularly a tour de force. It has its detractors who aim their criticism squarely at Tom Ford, however, for this viewer the film remains a sumptuously heartfelt homage to Isherwood's aesthetic and work. Colin Firth is in top form with a wonderful supporting cast of Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew Goode, Jon Kortajarena, Paulette Lamori, Ryan Simpkins, Ginnifer Goodwin and Teddy Sears. It's so beautifully realised it will go down as one of the best films released in 2010.

Shocking in its subject matter and unabashedly one-sided, this documentary about the mass slaughter of dolphins in Japan is a sad indictment of a world focused on money and human demand. Well made and featuring some truly painful and striking images, The Cove is a welcome addition to the growing canon of publicly-accepted documentaries.

Also insightful but delving into a wholly different world is the documentary, The September Issue. Following the day-to-day goings on within the Vogue house, the film focuses on two very different but strong women - Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington. Looking at the impact the running of Vogue has on Wintour and her family is interesting but it's Grace's striving for the perfect shot and shoot that really holds the viewer. This is an intriguing insight into the oft-thought vapid world of fashion. As a follow-up to the fictional The Devil Wears Prada, this is a worthy watch.

Far less quiet but no less insightful is the documentation of the last work of Michael Jackson. Looking at the creation of his tour piece, This Is It, the film is constructed incredibly well, using split screens and interviews seamlessly to piece the puzzle together that is the whole. Simply letting the film speak for itself does wonders for the work as the viewer is reliant on their own storytelling voice rather than that of an annoying narrator. Surprising in its depth and as grand as its protagonists claim Jackson to be, Michael Jackson's This Is It is a real film far from the money-grabbing vehicle it was initially suspected of being.

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