Cressida Bonas - Cressida Bonas chats with actor Daniel Bruhl and Director Mike Figgis outside The Rosemary Branch Theatre after appearing 'There's A Monster In The Lake' - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 17th July 2014
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas) continues to explore experimental styles of cinema (see Timecode or Hotel) with this playful in-joke about the act of artistic creation. It's an ambitious idea that never quite overcomes the indulgent approach, but the gimmicky touches and mysterious noir vibe hold our interest even if the characters are never very clearly developed.
At the centre is screenwriter Martin (Koch), who lectures at a London film school as his long-awaited new script is finally going into production. His daughter Sarah (Night) has landed a lead role in the film, and Martin celebrates this with her at her 25th birthday. He also becomes fascinated by her friend Angelique (Verbeek), who turns up dead in a canal the next morning, leaving him as the prime suspect. A police inspector (Cranham) is especially suspicious since Martin's wife (Fox in flashback) went missing 15 years ago. Then Angelique's twin Therese (also Verbeek) turns up to twist things further.
Figgis continually throws us out of the story by referring to the film within the film. For example, characters are continually picking up movie scripts that describe them picking up movie scripts. And Figgis further tweaks us with on-screen captions, split-screen angles and movie-set camera gags, plus of course the fact that a central character is an identical twin. But because of all of this self-referential trickery, we can never engage with the story or characters at all.
Continue reading: Suspension Of Disbelief Review
After their son is injured walking on the bustling streets of New York City, Cooper and Leah Tilson (Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone) inexplicably decide to move their family to the "safer" confines of the countryside (because danger certainly doesn't lurk out there). The house they buy is Cold Creek Manor, a massive property that is in complete disrepair and requires more work to fix than humanly possible. It's not exactly clear why they choose this shabby house; the only clue given is that Cooper, a documentary filmmaker, finds the photos and documents left behind as intriguing subject matter for his next low budget project.
Continue reading: Cold Creek Manor Review
It's a brilliant play, one which observes naturalistic behavior and flawed, complex characters without judgment. It's filled with beautifully written scenes of emotional conviction. Naturally, Figgis is so hell bent on his radical tinkering with form and content that the story becomes a muddle of sensual implications taken straight from fashion magazine perfume ads.
Continue reading: Miss Julie Review
Leaving Las Vegas tells the tragic story of Ben Sanderson (Nicolas Cage), a once-powerful movie executive who is fired from his job and ends up moving to Las Vegas. Ben is painfully and obviously an alcoholic; drinking, quite literally, consumes his life. We get a glimpse of the demons in Ben's past from time to time, but by the time the film begins, Ben is already too far gone to be remotely curable. Alcohol has become his reason for existence.
Continue reading: Leaving Las Vegas Review
The story -- as it exists -- concerns a troupe of British actors who descend on Venice to shoot a film version of the play The Duchess of Malfi. We follow the production with Figgis's all-seeing camera (courtesy of a documentarian following the production) -- which has a tendency to dip into slow-motion, cut the sound out, and shoot using an ultraviolet filter in the dark -- and bear witness to all manner of strange goings-on, the description of which I can't even begin to fathom putting on paper.
Continue reading: Hotel Review
Mike Figgis, the genius behind Leaving Las Vegas, has put together one dense piece of celluloid here, his first outing since One Night Stand tanked last year.
Continue reading: The Loss Of Sexual Innocence Review
Figgis, who earned a Best Director Oscar nomination for Leaving Las Vegas in 1996, appears to have gone a little funny in the head last year with his inexplicable and nearly dialogue-free The Loss of Sexual Innocence. Now he's fully gone off the deep end with what may be the most ambitious experiment ever: Time Code.
Continue reading: Time Code Review