Friday, July 12, 2013

Capsule Reviews: 'Something in the Air' (July 12th and 13th at the Cleveland Cinematheque) and 'Sightseers' (July 15th at the CIA Joseph McCullough Center)

[SOMETHING IN THE AIR screens Friday July 12 th at 7:20 pm and Saturday July 13 th at 9:30 pm.]

Review by Bob Ignizio

In SOMETHING IN THE AIR, French director Olivier Assayas takes a look back to the early seventies in France, when the “something” in the air was revolution. It's a somewhat autobiographical film, allowing Assayas to look revisit his past in a refreshingly non-rose tinted fashion. Sure, there's a certain amount of fondness for the radical ways of young revolutionaries, but it's tempered with a wisdom that comes with age that knows full well the left can be just as capable of tyranny as the right. It may seem a minor exchange, but when an older revolutionary cautions the film's protagonist Gilles (Clement Metayer), “you're young, but be careful what you read,” it speaks volumes. The film kind of meanders about a bit, but ultimately proves to be a satisfying snapshot of a particular time and place in history that, at least here in the U.S., we aren't likely to hear much about. 3 out of 4 stars. 

[SIGHTSEERS screens Monday July 15th at 5:45 pm and 7:45 pm at the Mandel Screening Room at the Cleveland Institute of Art's Joseph McCullough Center.]

Review by Bob Ignizio

A couple of misfits in love embark on a vacation across Britain by caravan (trailer for us yanks) and leave a trail of dead bodies in their wake in SIGHTSEERS. After the relentlessly grim KILL LIST, Ben Wheatley's follow-up film is almost a light-hearted romp. Of course to give credit where due, stars Alice Loew and Steve Oram, who conceived the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Amy Jump, are at least as much responsible as Wheatley for whether or not SIGHTSEERS offers a pleasant holiday to it's viewers. Although it's a well made film and the performances from comic veterans in the lead roles are winning, I found myself wanting to like the film far more than I actually did. The humor is exceedingly dry and dark, and ultimately it feels as if these travelers, and the film they're in, are on a road to nowhere. Which may very well be the point, but it doesn't necessarily make for a satisfying experience. 2 1/2 out of 4 stars.

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