Review: Following (1998) (Elementary Nolan!)

“I wasn’t following you”

Twenty years ago, Christopher Nolan put out his directorial debut: Following. Don’t get it confused with the TV show starring Kevin Bacon. Of course, Nolan is a massive name nowadays. He can direct what he wants, and people will go out in their masses to watch it. It’s strange, in a way, that in the same year a fellow auteur released his debut. Darren Aronofsky released Pi (click here for my review!), and the two have progressed in wildly different ways since 1998. However, both put out distinct films that have their own voice. And both debuted with rough and ready films, that whilst not quite masterpieces, showed oodles of potential (and the themes they’d follow for the duration of their careers). Continue reading

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HAMMY’S TOP 10…DIRECTORS

I follow @NextBestPicture on Twitter, and he’s recently started a discussion about people’s top ten favourite directors. Apparently, it was spurred on by Christopher Nolan’s claim that Stanley Kubrick is the greatest director of all time. In classic SATC fashion, it got me to thinking…who are my top ten directors? What does one base that decision on? Favourite films, overall filmography quality, influence in cinema history, innovation…the list could go on. I’ve tried to include all of these things in my reasoning. So here we go… Continue reading

Review: Pi (1998) (More Than The Sum Of Its Parts?)

“My mother told me not to stare into the sun…”

Twenty years ago (roughly), a young filmmaker released his first feature film: Pi. That man was Darren Aronofsky, and since then he’s directed a few of my favourite films. However, when I was first introduced to Requiem for a Dream, I didn’t quite know what to make of it. I knew I liked it. But I was overwhelmed by it. I needed more Aronofsky. His only other film was Pi…so I eventually found it. And again, I was overwhelmed by it. It’s rough and ready and not quite a masterpiece, but it was a sign of great things to come from Aronofksy. Continue reading

Review: mother! (2017) (Seeing Is Believing…)

(SPOILER FREE)

“You scared me”

mother! has courted a lot of controversy since it was first screened for the Venice Film Festival. It holds the crooked honour of an F Cinemascore, a score reserved only for the very awful films. It’s bombed at the box office after some questionable marketing. Paramount had to release a statement defending the release of the film! It’s not very often you see that happening. I saw a trailer for it that was laughable. However, nothing would stop me from seeing another Darren Aronofsky film. After missing Noah, I couldn’t let Aronofsky down! And what I witnessed was something I’ll never forget. Continue reading

HAMMY’S TOP 10…SURREAL FILMS

There are films that you can burn after watching, those that are disposable entertainment. There are those that are entertaining, yet have something to say. These leave you thinking. Then there are those films that defy definition. Hollywood used to be called the dream factory. Some directors take that name literally and offer us films that don’t adhere to straightforward narratives. These films aren’t for everybody. They are like sweet dreams…or beautiful nightmares. They are, in a word, surreal. Continue reading

Review: The Wrestler…Does It Lay The Smackdown?!?!?

the_wrestler_poster(SPOILERS AHEAD)

“I don’t hear as good as I used to, and I ain’t as pretty as I used to be”

Why am I reviewing an old film like ‘The Wrestler?’ Because Darren Aronofsky has a new movie out, called Mother! ‘The Wrestler’ was critically acclaimed when it appeared in the cinemas, especially for Mickey Rourke’s performance as Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson. He’s ‘a broken down piece of meat’, in his own words. He’s the typical has-been who wants one last shot at glory. A major reason for this acclaim was the niche (and much-maligned) subject of wrestling. Continue reading