October 26, 2021
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first_imgThis week, the infamous fifth week blues have brought out the moaning teenage solipsists in the best of us, and let’s face it, sixth week isn’t much better. So why not stomp your feet and embrace your inner adolescence with this selection from Oxford’s film societies that concur: life just isn’t fair.The Oxford University Film Foundation is showing Eedward Scissorhands(1990), directed by Gothic enthusiast Tim Burton, sprinkled with pre-Christmas fantastical charm to soothe your angst-ridden soul. Cue (played with delicious eccentricity by Jonny Ddepp), the quite literal brainchild of a reclusive veteran scientist who dies before he has time to finish his creation, leavinghis frightened charge with some rather inconvenient scissors where hands should be. Salvation seems to arrive when Eedward finds a new home in a curtain-twitching slice of hypocritically self-righteous suburban America. Suffice to say Eeddie raises a few eyebrows. An enduring and finely wrought fairytale for our time, which exhibits the early aesthetic talent and originality of Burton.From those awkward social mix-ups and accidental self-harming that come with having scissors for hands, we pass the figurative trials of teenhood to the proverbial bridge to adulthood that is the gap year. This finds its ultimate incarnation in Walter Salle’s The Motorcycle Ddiaries (2004), shown by the International Cinema Club. “Been there” you may think, “done that, bought (and thrown away) the (now excruciatingly embarrassing Che Guevara) t-shirt”. But Walter Salles’ delightfully understated biopic, based around the diaries of the young Che, Eernesto Guevara, re-injects a shot of humanity and vitality into a crassly homogenised revolutionary icon. The directorial style is modest enough to allow space for a quietly compelling performance from Gael Garcia Bernal. And the breathtakingcinematography of the vast and exquisite South-American backdrop, along with its complex sociological conundrums, speaks for itself.Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), which the Magdalen Film Society is showing, signals anothertime warp, to the worryingly not-so-futuristic-any-more 2019 and an equally impressive, yet contrastinglybleak, visual landscape. It’s hard to overestimate the influence of Scott’s dystopian film-noir on sci-fi filmmakers and self-styled alt-teens alike (since we’re on the subject). The film follows bounty hunter Harrison Ford’s quest for a group of renegade ‘replicants’, androids designed to serve humans, but whose resemblance to their master race has become a bit too close for comfort. Offering a rather abstract slant on the themes of self-realisationand coming of age common to all this week’s films, Blade Runner also guarantees a swift revelatory slap in the face for the sixth week delusion that life couldn’t get much worse. Hmmm, try living in a perennially dark nightmare vision of Los Angeles in which you’ve been contracted to kill the robot (or is it woman?) you’re falling in love with. There, that feels better, doesn’t it?ARCHIVE: 5th week MT 2005last_img

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