Sunday, 26 February 2012

Brain Activity, David Shrigley - Hayward Gallery


Have just finished writing a review of  David Shrigley's exhibition at The Hayward Gallery for The Guardian Newspaper's G2, I'll give you all a link to it once it's published in the near future. Whatever your age, it's entertaining if a bit depressing, so go along and check it out at the Southbank Centre in Central London. It's an exhibition with funny and mostly absurd pieces of modern art, you'll laugh at his comic strips and his brilliant animations. A little taste for you, Shrigley has collected 5 years worth of toenail clippings and placed them in a vase... WTH? 

Saturday, 25 February 2012

War Horse - directed by Steven Spielberg 

Picture from   
              A miraculous horse gallops through the barren, midnight battlefield. A trench hides at either side of it. Both house soldiers at war with each other. The beast leaps over splayed dead bodies, sprinting through lakes of blood. It collides with layers of barbed wire which wrap around its limbs and its gallop is halted. A mysterious animal gathers the attention of both trenches. The spirited stallion, quite literally, brings them both together. This scene, in my opinion, captures the meaning of this truly magnificent film. Steven Spielberg’s latest delivery in the world of film is based on Michael Morpurgo’s award winning book and the theatre adaptation which has had worldwide success. Spielberg’s blockbuster is assisted by Richard Curtis and the beautifully crafted soundtrack by Spielberg’s partner-in-film, John Williams: not to mention brilliant performances by the film’s cast. 
The film begins in Devon with an exquisite journey over summer fields. A teenager crouches in the grass, looking at the birth of a foal. Then we see the newborn and his mother with Albie (Jeremy Irvine) in his crouching position watching his future equine companion. The inevitable happens and Joey, the horse, is bought by Albie’s alcoholic father played with great vulnerability by Peter Mullan. The harvest lies ahead, crucial income to Albie’s family who are constantly chased by their heartless landlord, another exceptional display from David Thewlis. The best performance was by Niels Arestrup, who’s portrayal of a loving French grandfather delivers the film’s touching conclusion. His acting at the end of the film will bring teardrops to even the hardest of souls in cinemas. His granddaughter, a debut by Celine Buckens is reminiscent of a young Elizabeth Taylor in 40’s Technicolor. For a 14 year old actress, she delivers a believable and extremely sophisticated performance. 
Joey, whilst in German ownership, is ridden away by two German brothers, both fighting and one under-age. As this is desertion, a crime against your own country, the two boys are found in a windmill by their army and shot. This execution was filmed carefully and cleverly, in the night. The horse is left untouched and unnoticed. One of the highlights of this film was its action, a combination of CGI and live stunts worked together to make some truly breath-taking scenes - such as the army’s charge on a German army camp which produced much emotion. Men and horses losing life. The battlefield between the two trenches through which Albie sprints, dodging bullets and rolling through mud, blood and water to retrieve his long lost companion. The book of the film, by Michael Morpurgo, captured the nation’s hearts thirty years ago when it topped bestseller lists for years after publishing. Its adaptation onto stage gave the book a new audience.  And now with its arrival on the big screen, War Horse will be enjoyed around the world by millions of people. This film will have every single one of these people on the edge of their seats, moved by its beautiful soundtrack, transported by its clever story-line and most of all everybody who sees this film will remember it for the remainder of their lives.
By Freddie

Did you enjoy the movie? Or why not submit your own film, theatre, music,book, poetry, tv animation,visual arts, dance review ...thanks!