Sunday, April 17, 2011

This Week's Films: 2

As suggested by the lovely CJ, we have decided to note down which films we have watched every week as we desperately try to reduce our unwatched pile of DVDs.  Sadly, this week we have bought another seven films and one TV series (Farscape season 1) so we are not really progressing, as we only watched two films!

White Mischief (1987)

The story

Elderly millionaire (Joss Ackland) takes his new young wife (Greta Scacchi) to Kenya in the early nineteen forties.  She has an affair with a young aristocrat (Charles Dance) but then her husband is found shot dead.  Did the aristocrat do it? 

Seen it before...?

We first saw this when it came out with our girlfriend at the time SA.

Any good?

Beautifully photographed on location in Africa by Roger Deakins the film is almost more about atmosphere than anything else.  We always thought Joss Ackland slightly sleepwalked through this but otherwise there is a great cast of British character actors.  Triple P enjoyed seeing it again.  Surprisingly not available on DVD in either the US or Britain at present so Triple P had to get his from Germany.

Notable for...

Being based on a true story where the truth of what really happened may never be known.  Also one of Trevor Howard's last films and a rare big screen outing for Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan in BBC SF series Blake's Seven where she played one of TV's great villainesses). 

Greta in the famous and completely gratuitous spying through a hole in the bathroom wall scene

Any good girlies?

Good grief!  It stars Greta Scacchi, an actress always prepared to take her clothes off at any opportunity. Greta Scacchi naked in the bath. Greta Scacchi naked in the sea.  Greta Scacchi naked in bed.  Greta Scacchi in nineteen forties fashion.  Never has she looked so edible as in this film which she totally dominates with her smouldering, mesmerising sensuality.  We saw her on stage in Australia once and she was just as mesmerising there.  One of Triple P's top five (maybe top 3) favourite actresses.

Gentlemen's Relish (2001)

The story

Artist Kingdom Swann (Billy Connolly) finds his neo-classical pictures are out of fashion at the beginning of the twentieth century.  Given a camera by his fathfull housekeeper (Sarah Lancashire) he starts to take society portraits instead before being approached by two young ladies to photograph themselves nude for their lady friends.  His wily assistant (Primeval's Douglas Henshall)  starts selling Swann's classically inspired images of naked women to a publisher of "gentlemen's relish" naughty postcards. 

Seen it before...?

We first saw this when it was shown on the BBC on New Year's Day 2001 but haven't seen it since.

Any good...?

Set mainly in 1910, a story about a Lord Leighton type painter who gets involved in photographing nudes is a story just made for Triple P!  A script that references Leighton's favourite model, Dorothy Dene, has obviously been written by someone (David Nobbs, creator of the Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin) who knows what he is talking about. Based on a book by Miles Gibson it is a gently amusing period piece with an excellent cast firing on all cylinders.  Highly recommended.  Available in the US on region 1 disc but not in the UK.  However the region 1 disc does play on a UK Playstation 3 so must, in fact, be multi  region coded.

Notable for...

Another good early acting role for stand-up comedian Billy Connolly.  Douglas Henshall's amusing imitation of early Michael Caine.

Any good girlies?

Quite a lot of ladies tastefully remove their clothes for the photographer's set pieces.  It's nice to see that at least some of them have authentic looking figures for the period rather than all being the modern skinny type.  Of the lead actresses Triple P was taken with Katie Blake as the photographer's secretary (who briefly flaunts some period accurate underarm hair) and Emily Hillier as a gamine fallen woman come model.
More films next week...