RR Films: Dialogue

Donny the blessed peacemaker is trying to get all these Middle Eastern folk to stop making waves, mainly by encouraging dialogue about how awful Iran is (particularly apt now they have re-elected the moderate guy). I do hope Jared and Ivanka find his pills in time and keep him away from Twitter.

But I suppose¬†dialogue is better than just shouting at them or bombing them (see below). It’s good to talk, I seem to remember being told by Bob Hoskins a long time ago, and there are some great films out there that have talking in them!

I’m looking for films this week where talking is at the heart of the experience, where action and even plot are secondary. I thought of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight trilogy but instead I’ll pick his talking-head-spinning, Rotoscoped Waking Life.

What films centred around dialogue would you recommend?

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RR Films: Monsters

A man often labelled a monster has just died. It’s hard to disagree with the label here: a creature who seemed to lack empathy and to enjoy cruelty.

Or is perhaps just big and scaly, or hairy and colossal, or blue and furry. Monsters come in many forms, human, animal and even alien. They also come in many films, so let’s hear about them.

I’ll kick off with the most powerful examination of a human monster I’ve ever seen, Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act Of Killing.

What films about monsters would you recommend?

RR Films: Escape

Phew! France didn’t put the racist bastard in charge (although her popularity is still very worrying). Given other trends elsewhere, I consider that an escape. Sounds like a topic…..

There are plenty of war-era films and horror films featuring escapes you may wish to pick. The Killing Fields – highlighted in Journalism week – tells the stomach-churning story of one man’s miraculous escape from the murderous Khmer Rouge, but I’ll go with something more light-hearted, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, in which Alan heroically negotiates the release of hostages held at gunpoint (well, in his head he does…..).

What films about escape would you recommend?

RR Films: Memory

As we remember fondly that slightly more predictable age that ended just 100 days ago in the USA and scratch our heads at the great reversals made since the Tories were emphatically ousted from government 20 years ago on this side of the pond, let’s consider memory as a topic.

We remember some events with joy (like the 45th anniversary of the GD at Bickershaw falling next Sunday) and others with sadness (see above), yet memories form a huge part of us and the way we view new events.

It must be a nightmare, then, to lose your memories 15 minutes after they form, as is the case with Leonard Shelby in Christopher Nolan’s brain-scrambling Memento:

What films about/featuring memory would you recommend?

RR Films: Narcissism

Maybe the idea was sparked by yet another of Bliar’s attempts to turn the political spotlight in his direction, or maybe it was the continuous parade of grinning hypocrites asking for our votes, but narcissism is all around us. Even I – long averse to even owning a smartphone – have to confess to taking a selfie….

Actors may be particularly prone to the disease but perhaps that also makes them better able to portray it on screen, like Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen’s last decent film, Blue Jasmine:

What films about/involving narcissism would you recommend?

RR Films: Leadership

With the people of Turkey apparently voting for Christmas, er, a great and wise leader, with Vlad already established as such and with Donny trying to get into the club by dropping bombs all over the place, the human race seems to have regressed to childhood and decided Daddy knows best. Even if he is an aggressive, misogynistic, egotistical arsehole…..

I hope we all agree that leadership should be about more than strength and control, so let’s have some films that prove it. I’ll kick off with Selma, which contains three examples: George Wallace’s divisive machinations; LBJ’s canny pragmatism; and MLK’s inspirational conviction.

What films about Leadership would you recommend?

RR Films: Journalism

It’s Good News Week….is the top title listed in RRSA Journalism. Unfortunately that seems rarely to be the case at the moment, or maybe it’s that journalism doesn’t look very far from the obvious anymore. (I may have to look for a news story for a topic in future, rather than vice-versa.)

Plenty of films about hacks and noble truth-seekers to pick from. I’ll go for a classic, Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell (et al) whipping each other with their sharp tongues in His Girl Friday.

What films about journalism would you recommend?