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Non-Review Review: The Mummy (1932)

The Mummy is often unfairly dismissed as an inferior attempt to emulate the success of Dracula. It’s from the same writer, John L. Balderston, and the credits are even set to the same music – the powerful Swan Lake theme that opened that other iconic horror. I’d argue that the influence of Frankenstein can also be keenly felt on the picture, and not just in its leading actor. However, I think The Mummy is often unfairly overlooked when examining the Universal Monster Movies, playing more like a creepy existential romantic epic than a conventional creature feature horror film.

He needs his beauty sleep…

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Dance on Film at the IFI, 13th May 2012

The IFI are hosting a celebration of dance on film on Sunday 13th May 2012 as part of the annual Dublin Dance Festival. A ninety-minute selection of short dance films, including live action and animation, it promises quite an eclectic line-up:

Russell Maliphant’s Critical Mass filmed by David Hinton (director of several DV8 film masterpieces) features Maliphant himself and Jordi Cortes Molina. Antonia Franceschi, ex-New York City Ballet principal and ballerina in Fame, leads Mark Baldwin’s thriller Pointe Blank. Sultry figures glide through Prague streets in Topic II and dancing tableware appears in Paul Bush’s Furniture Poetry, while shuddering ballet dancers attempt the White Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake in his Pas de Deux de Deux. Philippe Decouflé’s films are entertainingly French, while Ashley Roland & Jamey Hampton’s Advance is snappily American.   One Thousand Steps drifts along urban pavements, distorting perspective and perception.  Spot James Thierrée and Ballet Boyz Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt  in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, narrated by Sir John Gielgud.  Fresh from the cutting room is the premiere of Jessica Kennedy’s Motion Sickness.  And the winner of our RTÉ Dance on the Box online poll is… WildFire Films and David Bolger’s  Deep End Dance.

The screening will take place at 4pm, and all twelve RTÉ Dance on the Box films will air on Network 2 as part of the festival, with scheduling to be confirmed. For more information on the IFI event, click here. For more information on the festival, click here. To view the rather impressive Dance on the Box competitors, click here. Here’s an example, below.

Non-Review Review: The Raid (Redemption)

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012.

I am not a fan of absolutes. They generally scare me, because they leave so little room for error. With that in mind, I have two things to say about Gareth Evans’ The Raid, the first film to pick up both the Dublin Film Critics’ Circle award for best film and the Jameson International Film Festival’s Audience Award. Put simply, The Raid is the best action movie I have seen in years. The second is that watching it in a cinema with hundreds of film fans feeling the exact same thing might be one of the best movie-going experiences of my life.

That’s a pretty big deal.

Everybody was kung-fu fighting...

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My Best of 2011: Black Swan & The Elevation of Schlock…

It’s that time of the year. To celebrate 2011, and the countdown to 2012, I’m going to count down my own twelve favourite films of the year, one a day until New Year’s Eve. I’m also going to talk a bit about how or why I chose them, and perhaps what makes this list “my” best of 2011, rather than any list claiming to be objective.

Black Swan is number six. Check out my original review here.

It’s interesting, how one can end up loving the same films, for very different reasons. I suspect that a great many critics and commentators lavish praise on Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan for its elegance and sophistication, which I appreciate and admire. There’s a lot to love about the film. However, my own appreciation of the movie seems to be for a very different reason. I think that what makes Black Swan so utterly compelling is the fact that it’s essentially a classic horror movie elevated to the status of fine art.

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Swan Lake at the Grand Canal Theatre

Yes, we occasionally do high-brow stuff here as well. I had the great joy of taking the better half to a performance of Swan Lake by the Russian State Ballet at the Grand Canal Theatre last night. It’s the first show to perform at Dublin’s newest and largest theatre venue and it was a great opening for the 2,100-capacity location. I’m still more than a little skeptical about the venue’s longterm prospects – is Dublin large enough to sustain a theatre of that size? – but there’s no denying it is simply jaw-dropping.

Just Swanning Around...

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