Showing posts with label gff2013. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gff2013. Show all posts

1 March 2013

GFF 2013 Review: Stoker

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If you can avoid the trailer, then for God’s sake do because here’s a film that benefits from going in blind. Park Chan Wook’s Stoker is a thing of undeniable beauty; a carefully crafted piece of art, and there’s a word I don’t go throwing around too often. Essentially it’s a story about sexual awakening against a backdrop of dysfunctional family politics, but as with most great films, it’s not in the idea: it’s the execution.

The first half hour may strain patience, but it’s worth it. Wook takes time to set up his near epic tales, but after that slow start the film starts winding tighter and tighter, releasing brief flurries of energy whilst maintaining the illusion of a melodrama.  Here is a film horrific and deeply unsettling, without giving itself over to the horror genre.  Early scenes of India in the basement are thick with suspense, and moments of mystery call up Hitchcockian influences.You’ll spend a lot of time wondering just what in buggery is going on until finally Wook delivers a fantastic phone-box realisation scene and the film, rather than falling into place, lifts.

Important to the horror aspect is Mathew Goode’s electrifying performance as India’s estranged uncle, a man who appears just after her father’s death and upsets the balance of the household. To be fair I had expected Goode would be on top form, but this is something different.  There’s so much going on under the surface, so many silent and manipulative glances that you need a second viewing to catch the subtlety, Goode’s performance is the prize of the piece. Wasikowska’s India is something of gothic beauty also, shifting from what could have been a tired Burton character to a solid Angela Carter heroine.  We should be hearing a lot more from her in the future if this is anything to go by.

As with every Clint Mansell soundtrack Stoker is a thing to behold, furthering those Hitchcock influences with epic strings whilst digging deeper into India’s slowly dawning mind state with heartfelt piano.

Wook’s keen sense of style and image are fantastic , perhaps even a career best. The Gothic grandeur of the colonial house is captured with apparent ease, every frame looks like a painting, every image is a goldmine, there’s enough symbolism here to fill a hundred books. Repetition and explanation of certain details allows Wook’s film to achieve a bizarre nostalgic quality. This works hand-in-hand with the vicious and cold quality of the night time sequences allowing the horror to take shape.

Kidman’s performance fits in somewhere here; as a detail. And a fine one.  Just as important as India or Charlie, Kidman’s performance is seductive, pathetic, and heart-breaking: her’s is the damaged thread that winds throughout, adding the most pure strain of heart-ache to Stoker.

Macabre, erotic, visually seductive, perfectly cast and performed, and flaunting a plot so thick with mystery and meaning you’ll feel your brain swell. Stoker may just be a genuine masterpiece from a genuine master.

Scott Clark


★★★★★

Rating:18
Release Date: 1st March 2013
Director
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21 January 2013

GFF2013 - New Trailer And Clip For Park Chan-Wook's Stoker

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At last week's Glasgow Film Festival launch the film that stood out for me was the inclusion of Park Chan-Wook's Stoker and even last night's Sundance premier fairly mixed but positive reviews it's still one of our anticipated films. On this rather cold (and some places snow covered) damp afternoon  we have a new 60 second UK trailer & first clip for Stoker delivering dark, twisted creepiness in a downward spiral of mistrust and deception.

Mia Wasikowska plays India a young woman whose mourning the death of her father(Dermont Mulroney) with Nicole Kidman playing her  emotionally unstable mother Evelyn both are visited by India’s mysterious uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) whom she's intrigued with despite knowing about his existence. However when Charlie arrives it also marks the mysterious disappearance of many of the locals and over time India discovers her uncle may have an ulterior motive on why he’s here.

Probably out of the Korean directors making their English language debut this year Park Chan-Wook is probably the more familiar name amongst cinephiles largely thanks to the Vengeance trilogy which includes the brilliant Oldboy subject to a Hollyood remake from Spike Lee starring Josh Brolin. However the translation of Chan-Wook's storytelling to English language will be the test but as his previous films have been well received we have plenty of faith that Stoker will do the business when it's released.

In the first clip from Stoker we get see how much more unstable Nicole Kidman's character really is but also a question mark over India too, as she might be hiding something too like her Uncle Charlie! Stoker is set for a 1st March UK,Irish and US release date with the film playing at Glasgow Film Festival on 16th & 17th February. Stoker also stars Jacki Weaver, Lucas Til,Alden Ehrenreich with Tony and Ridley Scott as executive producers Trailer is courtesy of   Empire with clip from