Spring is here and the awards are all over and done with now. Let the march towards summer blockbusters commence. But before you lose yourself in a swirl of mindless sanitised carnage courtesy of whichever superhero has drawn the short straw of saving the world this week, Wes Anderson is back.
The Grand Budapest Hotel could not be anything other than a Wes Anderson film. Arch patter, stagy action scenes and colourful production design combine to great effect in the ongoing adventures of Ralph Fiennes’ hotel concierge and his young protégé. The cast list is utterly ridiculous, the music fantastic and the world both highly original and comfortingly familiar. Life at the Grand Budapest Hotel must be hard, full as it is with clipped lines, buttoned up emotional distress and a never ending series of bizarre events. Life watching it is a joy.
It’s been a while since Zack Snyder’s heavily stylised and somewhat less than historically accurate 300 burst onto the scene. Now we are back for 300: Rise of an Empire’s prequel/sequel that takes in events before and after the Spartans famous scrap to the death. Snyder has handed the camera to someone else this time, but expect to see the odd old face alongside Eva Green as battle once again commences between implausibly attractive foes fighting very slowly in glossy slow motion.
We’ve had quirky humour and we’ve had mindless action this week. If you’re looking for something a little more unsettling, try the re-release of Wake in Fright. Quite possibly the finest Australian film you’ve never seen, it might not be hard going as such, but it’s certainly disturbing. Ted Kotcheff’s famous lost film puts Gary Blond’s seemingly respectable teacher through the ringer in remote Australia as alcohol, a horrific kangaroo hunt, questions of masculinity and Donald Pleasence all cause trouble. Not easy going. But very good going.
You’ve seen it sweep through the technical Oscars and pick up a cheeky little Best Director statuette along the way. Now you can revisit Alfonso Cuarón’s superlative Gravity on DVD. Sandra Bullock battles bravely to survive a series of catastrophic events in space as Cuarón’s sweeping long takes throw her up against exploding space stations, broken shuttles and the emptiness of space. This is cinema as you haven’t seen it before. And it’s spectacular.
After all that you’ll need a quick rest. But don’t take too long because there’s a whole host of new entries to check out next week. See you then.