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Seventy 60 second single-takes, one feature film. 70 contributors who are special to The Cube joined forces to make one extraordinary feature film that helped secure the future of the building where the cinema has lived since 1998.
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Powerful supernatural forces are unleashed when a young architect (Kelly Reilly) becomes pregnant after moving to an isolated and mysterious valley to build a house. And when the neighbouring farmers take against the unborn child, it's her very survival that is threatened.Written by
Wild Bunch Distribution
I was recently honoured to attend a screening of Nicolas Roeg's new film 'Puffball', at the Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley. 'Puffball' is Roeg's first major film in some years. Many of you will know his name and work via such classics as 'Don't Look Now', 'Performance', 'Walkabout' and 'The Man Who Fell to Earth'.
Nic Roeg 'enjoys' quite a reputation. In simplistic terms, he's considered something of a maverick; an occasionally wayward genius, a visionary director and a legendary cinematographer, he's responsible for some of the most striking, poetic and downright beautiful imagery committed to celluloid.
I'm sure he'd wince at the term 'style' when applied to his work but Roeg's films tend to be characterised by, among other things, a fluid, fractured, elastic, playful manipulation of time and space (largely achieved through some utterly idiosyncratic and unpredictable editing) and an uncommon, uncanny knack for revealing and dissecting hitherto 'hidden' connections and correspondences. They're often liberally peppered with literary and artistic allusion too...none more so than 'The Man Who Fell To Earth'.
Roeg's 'Puffball' is (reassuringly) utterly unsettling. To me, it seemed like a meditation upon thwarted desires...lust and betrayal, 'homicidal' jealousy, "green-eyed" rage and grief.
Kelly Reily plays a young architect who arrives in a beautiful but remote backwater of Ireland with a dream - to build a spectacular home upon the deserted ruins of a burnt-out cottage. But that cottage carries its own dark, secret history, and when Reilly falls pregnant, the envy of the superstitious, witchcraft-practising locals is aroused and old enmities are stirred. A confrontation, if not a conflagration, is in the offing...
The film re-unites Roeg with Donald Sutherland although his role is relatively minor, and the wonderful Miranda Richardson surpasses herself as an unhinged, tormented soul who craves a fourth child. Despite some dark themes and darker deeds, humour abounds and Roeg watchers will spot numerous in-jokes and allusions to other works. That said, there are some uncomfortably tense and gruesome scenes including one nightmarish flight of fancy which almost rivals the climax of 'Don't Look Now' for nerve-shredding tension. As always with Roeg, there are some startling and provocative visual surprises. OK, maybe I "haven't lived" but I've never witnessed an ejaculation from the "point of view" of a woman's cervix before!
The term "return to form" always strikes me as particularly cheap and meaningless. However, for my money, 'Puffball' is more engrossing and enthralling than any of Mr Roeg's works during the Eighties or Nineties. Highly recommended.
I'm afraid I cannot tell you when the film goes on general release in this country but I would urge you to make a "mental note" to see it when the time comes.
Andy p.s chastising people for minor spelling errors as this site does can only put us off posting. I actually find it annoying in the extreme. Site admin - you really should turn this irritating and patronising function off.
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