Friday, 30 December 2011
We see him acting as a getaway driver in a heist where acting without emotion and taking cold logical decisions is a distinct advantage. Especially when avoiding police cars and helicopters. His lack of character makes it very easy for him to melt into the background when he delivers the criminals to safety and he disappears into a crowd.
After this escapade we see him work as a Hollywood stunt driver on film set. He executes a roll in a car and does this in an efficient manner, doing exactly what was asked of him. He shows great restraint when performing these tasks and employs a steely, decisive persona to ensure that he makes his choices in an unemotive and logical manner, as every driver should do.
Driving and cars seems to be his life. He has another job working as a mechanic. We don’t see him take part in any recreational activity, his apartment seems pretty bare. Things change though when he meets a woman who lives down the hall from him with her son. It soon becomes apparent that she’s waiting for her husband to be released from prison, which really limits their relationship. The connection with the woman and her son, however tenuous, leads him to make different choices and to act in a different way. This may be the nub of the piece, but it would be sad if the moral was; beware of emotional attachments, they’ll bring you down.
His problem with emotion, as it were, may be emblematic of him not being a fully rounded character. It may be as well that he ends up fulfilling the role of The Man With no Name, as if he’s driven to take up this role. The irony being that he’s called the Driver, but he loses control of where’s he going, what he does and therefore what happens to him. That’s life though, I suppose, that’s what eventually leads him towards the road to becoming a fully rounded character. Although he does end performing incredibly violent acts as well, and I do mean incredibly.
Friday, 16 December 2011
This film owes a lot to what has come before; there are references to Little Red Riding Hood and Alice in Wonderland. There are nods as well to Twin Peaks at times as well. It is a film that reveals clues and secrets that gradually fall into place throughout the piece. There are a number of symbols as well; doors, crosses, alarms and darkness.
There is as well a brooding malcontent in the hotel. No one seems to get along, which is evident right from the beginning. This may be due to the disappearance of Eva which would have left a pall over everyone. Poor Irene is parachuted into the middle of all of this and works hard to fit in. She tries this making friends and going to a club. This doesn’t save her from a general sense of isolation, in the hotel and in the woods.
I love the way this film slowly reveals what has happened and in a way what will happen as well. It is a story of great stillness, there is a lot said in looks and glances. It is an ambitious film in the way it deals with narrative, in that it doesn’t rely on dialogue to tell the majority of the story, it relies on the visuals. It also reminds you that if you go down to the woods today…
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
He would like to leave school and to learn a trade, but his mother sees the benefit of an education and offers Antoine 1000 francs if he does well in writing a composition, as she recognises the value of French more than that of Algebra or Science. Unfortunately Antoine’s zeal causes him to plagiarise Balzac which leads to him eventually being expelled from the school.
This film was one of the first of the new wave, one of those directly reacting against le cine de papa. It shows Paris as a depressed city finding its feet after the Second World War. Overall the film is a plea for freedom from the constraints of society that turn poor Antoine into truant from school and then into a criminal.
I love the brutal honesty of this film. It does not flinch from telling and exposing truths and reaching natural conclusions without sentimentality. As I’ve said before this was a pioneering film, a film that showed how life was then. It was about real people encountering real issues. It is also quite interesting to see the directors that were influenced by this and how it shaped film to this day.
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Plaudits also need to go to the actors who play Kevin; Ezra Miller, Jasper Miller and Rock Duer. They give performances at such young ages which portray such beautiful menace and transform themselves into such a hideous creature. Lynne Ramsay’s direction encourages her actors to reveal their vulnerabilities. She also shows great skill in adapting unsettling texts to the screen, as she showed before with Morvern Callar. Also, I’m sure that this is the only film that credits a Guinea Pig Costume Designer, unless someone can contradict me of this.
The story is one of nature versus nurture, the answer sensibly lies somewhere in between of course. The film also questions maternal loyalties and how far they could and should stretch. The trouble is that it’s not really until something majorly hideous happens that all the cards stack up and that the real nature of Kevin is known. I suppose that the story is about Eva’s hindsight as she searches for clues in his upbringing and her interaction with him to see how she could have changed things. She also recognises and takes responsibility for her son’s actions and we know very early on that his fate changing actions effected the fates of all those around him and not just his.
In making the character Heathcliffe black as well has given something new to this well-known story of obsessional love and the filthiest of tempers. This is partially explained by Heathcliffe’s ethnicity and the reaction and racism to this that shapes his character. These reasons, as well as a bleak and inhospitable landscape, would make most people look at life in the least optimistic of ways.
His is the tale of an immigrant taken in by one who shows him kindness, but who insists on Heathcliffe’s baptism, which he resists. As is a recurrent theme the benefactor dies leaving Heathcliffe adrift and at the mercies of those less tolerant people who inherited the house. This gives Heathcliffe and entrepreneurial spirit, which enables him to succeed in the future.
I love the way Arnold as well portrayed the young Heathcliffe and Cathy. They show their touching playfulness by playing and rolling together in the mud and scratching their names on the walls. When they didn’t have a care in the world they were able to express their true emotions to one another before the realities of the grown up world impinged on them.
In contrast to most costume dramas Arnold’s vision has little or no music; there are no great speeches in the film. There is just an intensity of character and the actions of the characters being portrayed in a naturalistic manner. We are not given the normal clues of how we should feel about the events; we have to work it out for ourselves, which makes the rewards greater at the end of it all.
Sunday, 20 November 2011
Kemp is befriended by two people when he starts at the newspaper. There’s Sal who recognises Kemp as a man who appreciates a drink as much as he does. He also keeps a fighting cockerel with which he supplements his income. The other befriender is a property developer who is looking for someone to write a brochure about the development he is planning on the island. He has a very friendly girlfriend who Kemp falls for and spends most of the film coveting.
One of the joys of this film is the details in the characterisation. There is also a Swedish religious correspondent on the newspaper who introduces Sal and Kemp to an hallucinogenic drug in return for $50 and a check-up to see if he has the clap. Kemp tells him he has a standing ovation. The Swede also has a liking for recordings of Adolf Hitler as well.
In this story Kemp, really Thompson drinks a lot and is chemically enhanced. The director Bruce Robinson said that you can play a drinking game with Withnail and I, but this film will kill you if you try that. The real story in this film is that the bastards are identified and that an antidote to them is identified as ink. This is the beginning of his crusade of writing about them and exposing them.
I like this film, it is sentimental but its heart is in the right place. Sal and Kemp get up to antics in Fiat Cinquecento that sometimes seem like they may have been influenced by Last of the Summer Wine. Albeit the episodes where they drank industrial amounts of alcohol including some incredibly flammable spirits. They do it though in a far more likeable manner, and boy, could Hunter S. Thompson tell a story.
Saturday, 22 October 2011
The film tells the story of a Democratic Primary in Ohio, there are two men in the running and both of their teams believe that they can win. We are mainly concerned with Governor Morris’s (Clooney) team and the meeting of the head of media strategy (Ryan Gosling) with a much younger intern (Evan Rachael Wood). They begin a sexual relationship during which he discovers that the intern has slept with the governor and that she is now pregnant. Furthermore the team of the other candidate make overtures to Morris’s media director.
The film more than ably explores the nature of political allegiance and how this is based as much on trust as is it on like-minded individuals forming groupings together. It is as well quite a cynical outlook on the American political system. At times I was reminded of the film True Colors at times which was a portrayal of how much the lure of power can seduce and corrupt. Clooney as well has assembled a magnificent cast, to have Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti together in the same film is a treat indeed. The biggest treat though is witnessing a production that forms part of what could be a zenith of many years defining the grand career of George Clooney.
It is shown in the film that discipline, meticulous planning and compartmentalisation would need to be employed. The boy is kept in a very well ordered environment, there is soundproofing on the way down to the cellar, the room the boy is kept in is very well decorated; all evidence of his great planning. A work colleague shows up unannounced at Michael’s house and he can’t cope with this. This is maybe partly due to the fear of nearly being discovered and partly because he’s not used to her being there. At her presence he loses his temper and throws her out.
There is a voyeuristic fascination in seeing how he conducts himself in the home; this all too frequently turns to revulsion at every turn as to the activities Michael gets up to. The film does not attempt to play with your emotions at all. I think what it does is to attempt to give an insight into the whys of the situation and also as to what the implications might be. What really troubles me is the implication that stories like this are so common place and that things like this happen far too often.
Thursday, 20 October 2011
It could of course be both of those possibilities. Throughout the film I found myself getting more and more annoyed with the antics of these people as they continued to go parties, shop lift and take drugs. It cannot be said though that none of this is without consequence. It’s also true that there are people who live their lives this way.
As I’ve said there are the Alice references; the main character is Alice, mind altering substances are taken and there is plentiful surrealism and abnormal activity. There is also a nod to Jean Luc Godard when a girl is told to read a book while on a picnic. She takes offence to this and just happens to have a Noam Chomsky book to hand from which she reads aloud from. This is very reminiscent of Weekend and the discussions of Marxism.
The story does come across like Bright Young Things at time, but without the wit and humour. There is little or no social commentary, apart from rich people having a habit of drinking a lot and that if someone takes drugs they might die. A number of the actors are easy on the eye, which I’m sure gets them out of so many situations, what they do at times is a bit ugly.
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
The story is concerned with Roger Brown, who we are told at the beginning of the film has this thing about his height, along with having a taller wife. He’s also an art thief and a recruitment consultant come to that. His wife has expensive tastes, which he feels obliged to cater for. This he does by efficiently breaking and entering and then replacing valuable works of art with valueless copies. What his wife really wants though is a child, he’s not sure that he can afford this until he meets a man who he hears has at home a priceless Reubens.
There is a question here that if the owners never realise that they have a valueless copy are they actually suffering. The answer is yes of course, without realising it. Roger discusses this in the film when he talks about the Julian Opie piece in his office being worth a quarter of a million, and that’s because it’s by Julian Opie.
As a thriller Headhunters is absolutely fine. All the film tries to do is to entertain, to thrill; it doesn’t really try to do anything else. The plot is not entirely surprising, but it is engaging in its own sweet way. It follows the Chekov maxim of a gun being spotted in the first act and then fired in the third. Be prepared for a lot of blood and more than enough violence. To be concise, it serves its purpose of being diverting from the daily grind.
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
If only life was so simple. The rest of the film is concerned with the women of the town first of all stopping the men hearing about multi-faith violence and then subsequently stopping them from taking part in this violence themselves. It’s the women who have continually picked the pieces after these conflicts, where the too young are buried in the village’s cemetery. Tellingly there is a pathway dividing the two halves of the cemetery so that those of different faiths cannot be buried together.
It’s curious in the film that all the men, both Christian and Muslim, who are happy to bring up the divisions at every given opportunity, dress in a broadly similar way. It’s therefore difficult to tell what their faith is from their appearance. The women, however, are unified in their purpose and dress according to their faith.
At times I was reminded of Cinema Paradiso. There are plenty of examples of how an uncomplicated life can have its benefits. There is however the recurrent threat of ethnic violence hanging over the villagers. The film doesn’t try to preach to people, it really asks what can we do to alleviate the situation we’ve found ourselves in. How do we make life better for ourselves? Where do we go from here?
A dark comedy about a group people in Athens called Alps, led by a man nicknamed Mont Blanc. They perform a service of filling in for dead people so that their relatives and loved ones can feel that the dearly departed are still with them. Two of the group are a nurse and a paramedic who are in a prime position to find those who may be in need of the Alps services. The nurse, for instance, cares for a girl who dies as a result of being in a traffic accident. She fills in for the girl at her parents’ home. The director Yorgos Lanthimos asks which is stranger her offer or the parents’ acceptance.
There are times in the film where it feels like a Greek adaptation of songs by Belle and Sebastian. This is due to the prevalence of athletes; tennis players and gymnasts, and the subsequent currency of sexual favours that appear in different guises and for differing reasons throughout the film.
The theme of character is very important in a film of such subject matter of course. It’s very interesting how the limits of this are explored as well. In all this the element of pretence, it’s quite often seen that betrayal is not far away. The statement that cannot hold true and that cannot explain any of the actions is ‘I was only pretending’. Even in pretence betrayal appears to be all too real.
Monday, 17 October 2011
Through an impressive amount of tactless desperation and blind perseverance he gets the telephone number of Miranda. He meets her at a wedding and she shows no interest in him whatsoever. He through not really noticing that she’s not interested arranges to meet her at her parent’s house and very quickly proposes marriage. Amidst all of this bravura and Abe’s satisfaction in his collection is a deep set feeling in inadequacy. He feels that he’s at the bottom of the heap, especially in comparison with his brother and his cousin. This manifests itself in him feeling undermined at work and at home.
Todd Solondz has given us a comedy of dark proportions that questions us on parental relationships, prospects of unmarried thirty somethings and whether people of that age should be collecting toys. He liberally uses fantasy scenes to explore these themes. There are so many of them that you may wonder what reality actually is. That is the want of fiction, I suppose. In the middle of all of this is a towering performance by Christopher Waken, he plays Abe’s father, and displays hi customary menace. This is though while being on the verge of retirement and who spends his time selling space in strip malls and watching questionably funny comedy shows. The menace is all in his eyes.
The film continually challenges points of view. The soldiers have a way of looking at you and telling you that they knew what you were thinking about their job in Iraq while they were risking their lives. The film also worked well at reminding me of how trivial my thoughts and actions seemed a lot of the time during the war.
The first soldier talks about going back to his school wearing his army uniform, after being told not to wear his uniform off duty in Britain. His visit, so dressed, had the effect of making a former teacher of his feel unsettled and made him not acknowledge his presence properly at all. As if the uniform had turned in him to a big embarrassment, or at least the perception of it. It was never mentioned but there is the implication that their experience at times was the same as that of returning troops from the Vietnam War.
This was symptomatic of the brutal honesty of the film. The soldiers talk about their feelings in such a way that they appear to be real people. They talk about their fears and their hatred, but also at times about how the army had given new opportunities. The apparent reality comes through as well with small vignettes of the soldiers home lives showing their significant others as they waited at home. These are the images that the soldiers had in their minds and shows what they were fighting for.
Monday, 10 October 2011
Mullan plays Joseph, who we see from the outset, is a man of violence, he lashes out and kills his dog as a reaction to being wound up in the bookies. As soon as he aims the first and only kick he is remorseful and full of shame for his action. He’s ashamed of losing it and remorseful for killing his companion Blue.
The trouble for Joseph is that this isn’t an isolated incident. In the first few minutes of the film, after he kills his dog, he smashes a window in the local Post Office and also threatens a young man in the pub with a pool cue. This leads to more remorse and shame and he takes flight eventually taking refuge behind a rail of clothes in a charity shop.
Here he meets Hannah (Olivia Coleman), who we soon discover has her own demons to haunt and torment her. Joseph and Hannah’s coming together begins a friendship that from the outset is based on support and forgiveness. They, as the film progresses, attempt to help each other find redemption and a way of escaping from the lives they’ve ended up in.
This film is really required viewing. Considine has drawn some great performances from his actors, as so many actor-directors, including Peter Mullan, have done so before him. He allows his actors and characters to breath, enabling them to tell their story and to be real. I especially enjoyed some of the camerawork and some of the segues from scene to scene. This was as clever as the way Hannah’s husband (Eddie Marsan) could segue from mood to mood. Considine is certainly a director who cares about technique which is more than evident from this well-crafted piece of work.
Friday, 7 October 2011
Jean is a builder who collects his son from school after his wife suffers an accident at work. There he meets Veronique, his son’s teacher, who persuades Jean to talk to his son’s class and to look at a faulty window in her apartment. It’s there that he discovers that she plays the violin and he persuades her to play for him. This is after some negotiation as she’s uncertain of playing in front of people. In a moment surely inspired by Hammershøi she plays for him with her back turned to him. There is a reference before this as she has a poster from an exhibition of his in her kitchen.
This is really a useful metaphor as this act highlights how shy they are to declare their true feelings. She is a reserved, but friendly, teacher who lives by herself; he is a male builder who probably in the course of his day does not talk about his deepest desires. He also has a home life that he needs to protect and is a very caring man, as is shown when he washes his father’s feet.
This is a quietly beautiful film that looks at possibilities and is about people who know what the implications are of their actions, or at least take them into account. It is also a study in looking at how you can upset all of the people by attempting to be fair to all of them. I love the way as well that the actors are given space and time, that they are also encouraged to show what’s happening to them and that the plot is sensibly paced and not rushed in the slightest.
Monday, 3 October 2011
This is about her wedding and the aftermath at the reception, which has been paid for by her brother-in-law and hosted by him and her sister. It soon becomes apparent that all is not well with Justine’s family as her mother makes a number of acidic remarks whilst the speeches take place. Justine is seemingly on a mission to self-destruct; it becomes apparent that she doesn’t want to be there. As well as the mother’s contribution there is her boss who hasn’t really got the message that she’s not at work and wants her to provide a by line for an advertising campaign. This is von Trier’s rant against commerciality I guess; they always want their pound of flesh. This all contributes to Justine’s state of mind and she tailspins into the slough of despond.
Her sister Claire is the main focus of attention in the second half. She is materially depressed and worried about the planet Melancholia and its eventual proximity to the Earth. I’ve often thought that we may have all of worries about life, money and the state of modern life in general but that will all pale into insignificance given the right natural event.
This is a very thought provoking film and I especially loved the prologue that set the scene. Von Trier presents us with a number of slow moving tableaus that we see explored upon later in the film. There are a number of references to paintings which aid the air of misery and despair. Two of these are Past and Present by Augustus Egg and of course Ophelia by John Everett Millais. These do rather enhance the mood and give you a good indication of what is to come. Some of the dialogue may not be that great in writing or delivery but there is enough there to be at the more engaging end of the scale.
Sunday, 18 September 2011
Sunday, 4 September 2011
Saturday, 3 September 2011
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Monday, 29 August 2011
Saturday, 13 August 2011
It's remarkable how many films follow the rom-com pattern of the progression of a fledgling on screen relationship. Bridesmaids is another of those, I'll let you guess what happens. Anyway this film really could be a companion piece to the Hangover, but it's far funnier and doesn't make you feel like you've lost two hours of your life on a completely wasted venture.
It does talk about aspirations, dreams and achievement as well, but not in the sickening way that films can adopt sometimes. What it really says is that on most occasions it's positive steps we take ourselves that help us achieve and that spending too much time not realising this can be destructive. It also says though be careful of grey meat and mixing alcohol and prescription medication.
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
I’ve got this problem with the Big Picture. The acting is fine, there are some good performances, and it has Catherine Deneuve in it. The photography is almost sublime in places, moody clouds, beautiful seascapes, great scenery. The music is not intrusive; it engages you without leading you by the nose. I just find the plot on the whole rather far fetched.
It’s a story of what is never presented as the perfect French family. The mother, Sarah, and father, Paul, don’t get along, their youngest child is incredibly unhappy. Anyway Paul suspects Sarah of having an affair; he gets drunk at a dinner party and insults his wife and child in front of all their friends. Push comes to shove, she asks for a divorce. By now he’s worked out who she’s having the affair with and confronts him.
What could have a been a drama of manners, of people making sensible life changing choices descends into a film about changing identities and blowing things up. I refuse to believe that just because Paul cannot see the big picture that he would act in such a ludicrous and unbelievably ridiculous manner. Unless that is I’m missing something entirely that is. French thrillers used to be renowned for their subtlety; they probably still are in the main, but not this one. The title in French translates as the man who wanted to live his life. Honestly.
Sunday, 7 August 2011
The resultant film is, of course, Super 8. The film is quite an achievement really as well. If Abrams wanted to make an homage to Spielberg; to E.T., the Goonies and Close Encounters, then it would look something like this film. There are strange goings on in a small town in America, after a massive train wreck, car parts and dogs go missing and the air force are acting mysteriously as well. This time though the events are documented by a bunch of movie making kids.
Both Abrams and Spielberg quite often portray non-conventional families in their films and series. I think that the only really happy couple in Lost, for instance, were Bernard and Rose. In Super 8 the only fully functioning family unit includes kids who repeatedly hit the dinner table with baseball bats.
Without giving too much away, important elements in this film, as with what’s come in the past, are communication and understanding. This is course evidenced in the lack of communication between parents and children as much as anywhere else and of course between different strata of authority, the Police and the Air Force.
Abrams has said as well that it’s important that the film is set in the late seventies, early eighties. He said that the events wouldn’t happen today. Kids would be making a film using their iPhones, or some such device. It wouldn’t take three days to develop film and they’d probably upload everything to You Tube and then Skype the Pentagon, lol.
On the whole it’s a worthwhile experience. It’s a film that is funny in the right places and does not fail to astonish as to how people can have such metal work in their mouth and be such pyromaniacs. People will make comparisons with other films that Spielberg and Abrams have been involved in, as I have. I did find it curious that Matt Reeves was acknowledged at the end of the film. Also when are people going to learn that the film has not necessarily finished when the credits start to roll? All those that left early, when I saw the film today missed a screening of The Case, the film that the kids were making.
Saturday, 6 August 2011
Kristin Scott Thomas gives a wonderful performance as the harassed and not entirely mentally stable Suzanne. She meets the odd job man after he’s employed to clear out a room in the family home so that she can set up a physiotherapy practice there. Passion sets in between them after an accident with her car and they begin a torrid affair. This is of course mirrored with her cold and passionless relations with her husband, which are exercises in going through the motions as much as anything else. Passion for the Spanish odd job man seems to be her main motivation for doing this, that and the fact that her husband’s a bit of a git. Well more than that he tries to hang on to his wife by exercising power over her. Actions more often than not do cause reactions. What I like about the film is that it’s a bit amoral, although there are consequences to what people do, but it doesn’t preach at you either. Ultimately, it does you good to be uncomfortable in the cinema every once in a while, especially if you’re male.
There are a number of interesting traits and techniques on offer here. Throughout the film there is an engaging and interesting use of available light. We’re not given too much sunlight and this is because we’re caught in the pallor of grief as Ewan McGregor’s character, Oliver, comes to terms with the death of his father and so re-appraises the life and death of his mother. It turns out that when his mother died his father came out as being gay.
It is significant that not long after the death of his father Oliver meets a woman who sees the sadness in his eyes and with whom he starts a relationship. This helps him to reappraise what has happened in the past. How could his father leave his mother to be empty in her life, even though he professed that he did love her. We see that throughout the beginnings of Oliver’s new relationship his mind is more on endings. This therefore colours his whole state of mind, which not only affects love but his work as well.
It’s interesting and entirely valid as well for the director, Mike Mills, to give us a little tutorial on the nature of memory. We are presented at times with what Oliver remembers happening and what he would have liked to have happened. In the end there is the realisation that you have to acknowledge a persons whole character, love them for whom they are or were and not just pick and choose the bits you want to.
There is also an interesting device of Oliver inheriting his father’s dog. Left alone with the dog Oliver tells him what’s on his mind, which is not unheard of. At times we are presented with subtitles of what the dog is thinking. This may be what Oliver thinks the dog is thinking or of course it could just be in the director’s imagination. Anyway, Oliver and the dog have a symbiotic relationship, each of them reminding the other of the father.
Friday, 5 August 2011
Such was so with the last of the Harry Potter films. I say the last it may not be yet. That is part of the bitter sweet nature of the occasion. Some people are glad to see to this series conclude, and they can be divided between those that are happy with the content and those glad to see the back of it. Some want it to go on and on. This is not unique, JJ Abrams says that people come up to all the time and say that the ending of Lost sucked. Some of them mean it sucks that Lost ended.
We do have an ending to this series in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. In fact we have plenty of endings. The body count is so high that it would be understandable to believe that this was an adaptation of an Iain Banks novel. If you don't expect there to be death in this film, then think again. That though has been one of the motifs of this series, death and the avoidance of death. It's pleasing though that in this series death does actually mean something. This has been apparent from the first book and film when Harry is presented as the boy who lived, not the boy who died.
This eighth film though ably explores why we want to stay alive. That values such as love, friendship and family are worth fighting for. We are shown what Harry and his friends have become because of these qualities and also what Voldemort and his allies lack as they are denied this. The cameo in reinforcing this is in the Malfoys, but if you've been watching and reading carefully enough you know that only stretches so far. People need to, ultimately, share fundamental values to get on. Loyalty is also a recurrent them in the series that is explored here.
My only criticism is that of Alan Rickman's make up, are we really to believe that Severus Snape would wear such visible foundation. Even with the joy of seeing such a fine series with Michael Gambon in such a prominent role it was a joy for Ciarán Hinds to turn up as well.
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
The White Ribbon is Michael Haneke’s gift of a marvellous, well crafted, thought provoking film, which is what he's been making throughout his career. This time the setting is a village in northern
This is a 1942 Ealing propaganda film starting with the premise that there is a memorial to dead German troops in a churchyard in
Blimey, the Tree of Life, takes you through the whole of existence from the big bang to the afterlife discussing the choice between grace and nature. The film is a long discussion about the choice we have as to whether we believe in the survival of the fittest and the rules of the jungle or if we rise above that. This is explored in the lives of a Catholic family in