Category Archives: Back Catalogue

Back Catalogue: Love Crime

This guest blog was written by Sixth Form student Bethh Oliver who joined us in the Cinema For All Office for work experience. 

I spent quite a bit of time looking through a variety of different international film titles that are available in the booking scheme. I came across a French film called “Crime d’Amour” (which translates in English as “Love Crime.”) I chose this film as I thought it would be an interesting thriller to watch and blog about afterwards.

This title is distributed by Arrow Films and was first released in 2010. This is the last of Alain Corneau’s films before he died and I strongly feel that it is a great choice of film to watch.

This modern film is based in Paris, “the city of love”. In the first scene we’re introduced to the 2 protagonists, Christine (Kristen Scott Thomas) and Isabel (Ledivine Sagnier) and their agonizing relationship fuelled by dominance and seduction on Christine’s part. It opens with the two of them discussing business at executive Christine’s house and it is apparent within seconds that she has unprofessional and controlling characteristics, while her innocent assistant Isobel struggles with how to deal with Christine’s conflicting intimate and cold approaches.

The film uncovers their complex relationship where their trust for each other is dying, their hate for each other is growing and the tension within the film is rising. Their relationship is visually constructed with the use of their unnerving body language and the close up shots made to emphasise the intense growth of their love/hate relationship.

Love Crime accesses an affectionate woman to woman relationship without the display of graphic images. Its focus is more on their emotional bond rather than the physical. Their relationship is a mind game where only one comes out on top.
After an ongoing rivalry within their work place where Christine is toying with Isobel, the humiliation Isobel faces soon turns her against her, where Christine then underestimates Isobel’s capabilities and cunning mind of making her way to the top. Soon there’s a deadly feud between the two and Isobel is determined that Christine will not be the one to make the last move.

The constant unsettling tone throughout the film is created through the eerie soundtracks that climax the film. The close ups of the agitated facial expressions create the thriller like atmosphere and the integrated flashbacks that are incorporated introduce the psychological genius of the crime that’s committed.

The key to a successful thriller is to create the correct pace that keeps the audience questioning right until the last possible moment, which is exactly what “Love Crime” does. It opens up to a world of power and tells the story of a woman and her capabilities when she is pushed to her limits.

For an entertaining and thrilling viewing that keeps you guessing ‘til the end book this film for your society now!

Back Catalogue: Weekend

Having joined the BFFS team just over a month ago, I thought I’d  pick one of my favourite films out of the BFFS Booking Scheme back catalogue and write about it. I’ve picked the British realist film Weekend, which is one of the Peccadillo Pictures titles available now to book either on DVD or Blu-ray.

Weekend | Andrew Haigh | 2011 | UK | 97 mins

Writing this at the extended Easter bank holiday seems appropriate considering the premise of Andrew Haigh’s award winning 2011 feature film Weekend. The film starts on a Friday night. After attending a drunken house party with some of his straight friends Russell (Tom Cullen) heads over to a bar and picks up Glen (Chris New). Russell and Glenn proceed to share a tender and thought-provoking weekend together.

Considering recent debates over the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the UK and less progressive news of homosexual prejudice in Putin’s Russia, a film like Weekend is refreshing to see, despite being made three years ago. Although a film about two gay men, difference here is not emphasised. In his director’s statement Andrew Haigh has said of the film, “Just as there are many ways to define a person, the same can be said of a film. I hope that rather than narrowing the resonance of the story, the gay context helps to amplify the themes felt at the heart of Weekend – those struggles we all face regardless of sexuality.”

Russell and Glen are very relatable characters. Aspects of both strike a chord; Russell’s reluctance to make public displays of affection in public, Glen’s fears of taking a big risk in order to further his career. Through their interaction, as with any of our own romantic interactions, there is something to be learnt about acceptance. Rather than seeing something new through the relationship on screen, there is something in the union of these slightly opposing character types that can be recognised in all of us. A sense of quiet urgency is given to the subtle reflections brought out of Russell and Glen’s encounter, each character achieving a small personal victory at the end of the weekend.

The soft, naturalistic lighting and spontaneity of many of the shots in the film adds to the romance in the portrayal of private moments. The everyday quality and gentle tone of Russell and Glen’s revelations act as a contrast to Glen’s contemporary art piece in which he records people’s feelings the night after a one night stand. This leads one to think about the power of film to give power and gravitas to the small and non-extreme moments of life and relationships.

So like the tender thoughtful moments we have ourselves at the weekend – taking that little bit longer  to do the things we usually rush through, the first cup of coffee in the morning, reading the newspaper, walking to the supermarket – Weekend is a film to consider, long into the next weekend.

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