Daniel Parsons (danieljparsons)London, England
Daniel's Recent Reviews
There is so, so much going on beneath the surface of what at first appears to be a rather ordinary London based youth/gangster film. Wonderfully shot in Hackney and with at least three standout performances, Sally El Hosaini's debut feature has at it's foundation a strong, well written script layered with explorations of grief, religion/faith, sexuality and morality, and the many contradictions, hypocrisies and realisations therein.
It's no surprise that the makers of the superlative "Stake Land" should take an already superb original film and not just rehash/redo/"re-imagine" it, but essentially make a brand new film with a different story, setting and a switch in gender perspective, but keep the same "bones". Beautifully filmed and expertly played, this is that rarest of things - an English language remake that is as good as the original, does something new, and can be seen independently of, prior to, or after the original and stand up.
Daniel's Favorite Movies
Much imitated, never bettered horror classic. Polanski ratchets up the tension practically from the beginning and the story cleverly puts doubt in the viewer as to whether Rosemary is right to be paranoid or if she's just delusional (for instance, was the dream real or imagined?). Mia Farrow is inspired casting, giving a pitch-perfect perfomance and using her physicality to great effect (she seems to get paler and more fragile as the movie progresses). Little bit of trivia: Ira Levin, who wrote the book the film is based on, dedicated the sequel, Son of Rosemary (which was also made into an abysmal made-for-TV film) to Mia Farrow.
A beautifully shot film starring a beautiful quartet of friends, one of whom has terminal cancer, making the journey to said dying friend's most favourite place on Earth to spend one last get-together. Sounds horrible perhaps, but this is truly a stunning, moving, hilarious, wonderful film that has been imbedded in my brain since I saw it on a tiny screen in a near-empty theatre. It's a small film with modest aims that absolutely succeeds on numerous levels and is one of the few films I've watched that had me uncontrollably *sobbing*. You can perhaps tell where it is going but every now and then I found myself wrong-footed in surprising ways. The concluding 15 minutes are a genuine tour-de-force in acting, writing and direction as every possible thought that anyone in such a situation would have is verbalised. To elaborate more would be unfair. This little seen and critically ignored/maligned film is worthy of your time and I implore you to seek it out as this talented director and exceptionally talented cast deserve to go on to do more widely recognised work.