2 items from 2013
★★★★☆ Each year, the discourse on global oil production intensifies; critics have been vocal about its dirty, finite and dangerous properties, or its place in a capitalist society which is reliant on unremitting assembly. It would therefore be straightforward to apply these arguments to Anthony Wonke's documentary Fire in the Night (2013), a sensitive retelling of the explosion that occurred on 6 July, 1988 on the Piper Alpha platform. But Wonke's poetic and solicitous film, based on a book by Stephen McGinty, relives the tragedy in a deeply personal way, interviewing those who survived, and is actually richer for the absence of politics.
Located off the east coast of Aberdeen and owned by Occidental Petroleum, Piper Alpha provided 10% of all North Sea oil production and at the time was channelling 300,000 barrels of oil per day. In a tragic way, the sheer scale of the operation contributed to the rig's doom as two explosions, »
- CineVue UK
What a strange little movie is Robot and Frank (2012, EOne, 12). Set in the near future, this gentle, sci-fi-inflected oddity finds Frank Langella playing an ageing cat burglar who becomes the unwilling recipient of a robot butler. Initially scornful of his automated assistant (and depressed by encroaching dementia), Frank warms to the robot's charms when he realises that he can become a partner in crime.
It sounds terrible, like some misjudged hybrid of the all too real pain of Iris and the fantastical comedy of Sleeper. Yet somehow it works, with writer Christopher Ford and director Jake Schreier conjuring an unexpectedly touching and bittersweet tale about the rigours of old age and the peculiar twists of unlikely friendship. Peter Sarsgaard provides the voice of the robot who overturns generic conventions by being both utterly practical and increasingly amiable, »
- Mark Kermode
2 items from 2013
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