The final week of Cine-City 2012 was a mixed affair for me, scoring as many misses as it did hits. Barnaby Southcombe's debut effort, I,Anna, an adaptation of Elsa Lewin's noir infused New York set novel, was high on atmosphere if not on plausibility. Transferring the action to a wonderfully shot London, full of alienating concrete environments and oppressive weather, I,Anna fails to make satisfying use of a great cast that includes Southcombe's mother, Charlotte Rampling, Gabriel Byrne and Eddie Marsan. It's twists and reveals feel too contrived, though Southcombe does a stylish job of constructing the world the narrative plays out in. More impressive was Adam Leon's Bronx set teen drama Gimme the Loot, a fine snapshot of life for two young graffiti artists in modern day New York. My full review can be read here
Roger Michell's Hyde Park on Hudson, which tells of an affair between President Roosevelt and a distant cousin, has received a critical panning, and it's easy to see why. Gossamer thin, badly structured and sickly sweet, Michell's movie is only of note for its fine ensemble cast featuring Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Samuel West and the Olivias Colman and Williams. The horror anthology makes an, updated, return to our screens with V/H/S, which weaves five short stories through a tale of an abortive attempt to steal a mysterious VHS tape. Shot largely first person, V/H/S is a frustrating experience, with only a couple of the films within the film really hitting the spot. Full review here.
Proving that the old adage 'like father, like son' carries some weight, Brandon Cronenberg's Antiviral reminds the viewer of his father's more overly body-horror themed movies. Celebrity culture and the worship of it are queasily addressed in Cronenberg Jr's tale of big business, black marketeering and existential crises. Not without its flaws, Antiviral also hints that David's offspring may need to branch further away from referencing his father's oeuvre in future, though Antiviral is well worth catching up with. The closing night movie was Pablo Larrain's No, starring Gael Garcia Bernal and completing the director's trilogy of films focusing on Chile during Pinochet's regime. More conventional, in terms of story-line and symbolism, than Tony Manero and Post Mortem, No feels like the movie that could bring Larrain the mainstream international success this fine director deserves. It's my least favourite of the trilogy but is still an engrossing, rewarding movie. Roll on Cine-City 2013.