Thursday, 27 November 2014


An exhilarating 
synthesis of motion and melody, Interstellar falls just shy of  greatness. Save for some far-fetched sequences, thinly developed characters and unnecessary sentimentality, Interstellar still manages to come through as an artful wonder. Powered by a phenomenal score, courtesy of musical mastermind Hans Zimmer, and the transcendent cinematography of Hoyte van Hoytema, the entertainment meets the typical Nolan standard. The feature boasts the innovation of Inception, the smooth confidence and grace of The Dark Knight series and the fascination of Memento. The film, however, still leaves much to be desired, its intellectual stamina drawn more from fantasy notions than science, its improbability and fanciful concepts distracting from its true potential and insight. It's sheer scale and ambition is to be admired, aesthetically the film reaches new heights and whilst some will view the Interstellar odyssey as one absurdly constructed, others will revel in its compelling nature.  

Interstellar tells of an unspecified future where the earth has deteriorated and innovation is at a standstill. NASA physicist, Professor Brand (Michael Caine), recruits a team, including his own daughter, Amelia (Anne Hathaway), and former pilot, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), in a mission to salvage the human race by locating a new inhabitable planet via a worm hole. It is Cooper who must determine whether to remain on earth with his family, including his young daughter Cooper (Mackenzie Foy), or to risk his life in hopes of keeping their future alive. 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Visual & Sound Diary: Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

Visual & Sound Diary is a weekly feature where I explore a chosen film of distinctive cinematography and musical composition via the score, soundtrack and stills. This is how it works: click play on the link supplied of the selected music and scroll through the images. Be reminded and inspired of the cinematic splendour. 
Note: the last shot is my pick for the best shot.

The twisted fantasy world of Pan's Labryinth is one widely admired: its darkness and complexity is portrayed as a haven against the horror and cold of the real world. Accompanied by startling imagery, original monsters of spectacular horror and an interesting premise, Pan's Labryinth is an icon of Spanish cinema. Director Guillermo del Toro, endeavoured to create a rich and compelling storyworld and in that he has succeeded. Set in rural Spain of 1944 during the civil war, the film tells the story of a young girl who is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a sadistic army captain. She escapes the violent and brutal reality and into a sinister, fantastical world co-existent with her own. There she meets an old faun who tells her of her origins as a lost princess but must prove her royalty by completing three challenges. 

Pan's Labryinth is the elaborate showcase of cinematographer Guillermo Navarro's formidable talent and is easily his best work. The film transcends a subtle, supernatural beauty and makes full use of its stunning art direction. The feature is a sublime collision of war story and fairytale, its diverse and strange fusion of characters is a awe-inspiring attraction of the feature. Rarely will you find fascist army captain, fairy and grotesque child-eating monster of one film. The original score crafted by notable film composer Javier Navarette is a worthy accompaniment of the stunning visuals. The chilling, classical Long, Long Time Ago is a potent lullaby, evoking the mystic quality so singular to Pan's Labyrinth.