David Lynch – The Art Life

3 Stars

A dose of inspiration and an art gallery in one.

David Lynch – The Art Life isn’t just for David Lynch fans, but for all creatives. There’s nothing like seeing someone with such passion for their work to get you itching to start new projects yourself.

This Kickstarter-funded film is very much a documentary’s documentary, clocking only 90 minutes in length. I’m sure many know Lynch predominantly for television and film work; but for those who haven’t seen his multimedia paintings and illustrations they are just as wonderfully disturbing and this is worth checking out just for the art alone.

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You might think from the darkness he manages to conjure up through his work and art that Lynch was from a broken home or had a traumatic childhood, but this was actually not the case. In fact his life story isn’t especially eventful and perhaps this is why it took so long to be told in the first place. But the spotlight is always brought back to the art life, as Lynch himself describes: art, coffee and cigarettes.

The story ends quite abruptly after we reach the point where Lynch has shot his first feature-length film, Eraserhead. I suppose the die-hard fans whom this is targeted towards already know the rest from that point onwards, but I would still have liked to know his thoughts on how his life changed after he tasted success.

I’m not sure if others will find this as inspiring as I did; it made me want to start up all the creative endeavours I had let slide. But there’s one thing I know for sure: this is one incredibly cool 70-year-old!

David Lynch – The Art Life premieres in Sweden on 14 April.

Oasis: Supersonic

3.5 Stars

Walk out of the cinema with a proper swagger.

If you’re already an Oasis fan (and I guess you wouldn’t be going to see this if you didn’t at least like the band) get ready to like them even more than before. Hearing the songs with cinema-sound gives them a whole new life, almost guaranteed to make you want to go home and listen to them again.

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Produced by the team behind the Amy Winehouse documentary ‘Amy’, Supersonic covers the time shortly before the band was formed, up until they played to a 2-dates sold out Knebworth in 1996. Also included is a little background on Liam and Noel growing up. The documentary is comprised mainly of audio interviews with Liam, Noel and their mother Peggy. The focus here is solely on the band, surprisingly not even a mention of the Blur rivalry.

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As with most documentaries, there isn’t much groundbreaking material that we haven’t heard before; although I did find it interesting to hear more about their childhood and it helps you to appreciate why Liam and Noel are the way they are. I would have liked to see some visual footage of the interviews rather than just the audio. For the most part it worked well to use the audio over the top of photos or videos of what was being spoken about. But it was clear in some parts that they needed to fill-in with visuals; at one point they had some animated drawings to describe what was being talked about in the interview, which felt a little odd.

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The thing which really comes across here is the unique attitude of the Gallagher brothers – that it was never just about the music but rather the whole package.

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There have already been some promising comments from Liam about a possible Oasis reunion at the film’s premiere, Liam has stated “If it happens tomorrow, I’m ready, my bags are packed, If it happens in a year, I’m still ready, if it happens in 10 years, I’m still ready.” There’s nothing like seeing this film to get you hyped up for that!

Oasis:Supersonic premieres in Sweden on 14 October.

Where To Invade Next

2 Stars

Michael Moore paints an overly simplistic view of what some European countries (and Tunisia) are doing better than America.

The title ‘Where to invade next’ is a little misleading. You’d expect it to be a doco about America’s military invading other countries and causing problems. Although that is touched on briefly at the beginning, It’s actually about Michael Moore himself “invading” other countries, looking at the way they deal with certain issues, and suggesting that America steal those ideas.

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There is a great deal of interesting content here, and food for thought. For each country he visits he has a clear message on what the country is doing right and what America is doing wrong, which he tries to prove with interviews and facts. This is fine, as long as it is watched with an open mind and a realisation that there is always going to be the side of the story he didn’t bother telling. I would be surprised if there weren’t things on the cutting-room floor which were left out for reasons of contrast. All opposing points of view are completely glossed over.

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Unfortunately, I had to seriously downgrade this film for two key reasons. Firstly, Michael Moore’s interview style is extremely irritating. Some of the questions he asks, you’d think he had an IQ of zero. Sometimes he repeats the inane question again for effect. I actually felt sorry for some of the people he interviewed. He can’t think much of the intellectual capacity of his viewers, if he thinks this is at all necessary to drive home a point.

Secondly, there is a segment about women in power in Iceland. This is all well and good, but some of the comments in this segment are extremely sexist towards men. Not only that, but at one point they decide to just film shots of women looking at the camera and doing nothing. As if we are aliens who have never seen women before, and are getting an introductory video. Very strange, and if anything it is an embarrassment to women.

Where To Invade Next premieres in Sweden on April 15.

Barça Dreams

2.5 Stars

Straightforward doco about Barcelona FC.

This is very much a documentary and not a movie’s movie, so it was difficult to compare with other films. I actually felt misplaced watching it at the cinema, I ought to have been curled up at home with a blanket and a hot drink after spontaneously finding it whilst flicking through the channels on TV.

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Barça Dreams is a journey through time, a mish-mash of interviews and old footage from the club’s humble beginnings when it was formed by Swiss man Joan Gamper, through the Spanish civil war and right up until the present day. Remarkably, but the values and spirit of the Barcelona have remained in tact since it was first conceived. The rivalry between manager Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid manager José Mourinho was particularly amusing.

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This is of course highly recommended viewing for Barcelona fans and football enthusiasts, however still watchable for the rest of us, although admittedly a little dull in some of the historical parts. Not just about football, the ideals presented here are great inspiration for anyone who wants to follow a dream; showing how competition can be a positive force in pushing forward to achieving greater things.

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Although narrated in English, many of the interviews are in Spanish; so unless you know the language you should be prepared for some serious reading!

Barça Dreams premieres in Sweden on November 30.