There’s a line in Park Chan-Wook’s latest that manages to define his whole feature in a matter of seconds: “Each night, I lie in bed dreaming of her assets”. This slick double entendre is spoken by Count Fujiwawa, the conniving, apparent instigator of The Handmaiden’s constantly twisting storyline. The film coils and uncoils like a human heart brimming with ecstasy, both breathless and beautiful, enduringly tied to physicality instead of feeling.
Stage lights have shone much brighter than usual on George Clooney lately. After Alejandro G. Innaritu catapulted him into outer space in Gravity three years ago, the world subsequently realised how much of a global treasure he really was. Since then, both Hollywood and their audiences have held on tight to the star.
Parallels can be drawn between the almost unquestioned nature of The Disciple’s main focus, a dictator-like, old-fashioned outcast who has everyone around him eating from the palm of his hand, and the leader of the film’s country of origin. This, the fourth film from Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, tackles everything from religion to homophobia from an off-piste perspective, creating a deity out of a boy who is unequivocally in the wrong. Its unpunished lead verbally, often physically bulldozes his way through two hours of fascinating, if slightly flawed cinema, which in turn asks the question: what sociological side does the filmmaker sit on?
It’s strange how one moment can define your whole life.
For most people, it tends to be an action or some big event that marks the pinnacle of their days but for me, prior to last year, there was nothing. At 16 I, like all others, followed the mundane Monday to Friday school routine and went about trying to make my sixth and final year of school some sort of success.
I knew my hands were sweaty, and so I carefully dried them on my jeans before I shook her hand.
“Good morning”, she says, holding out her hand. A smile graces the elegant, warm face of performance artist Marina Abramović, as I walk through the doors of the Serpentine Gallery. This rather dewy, humid morning in Hyde Park marks the half way point for her latest work, 512 Hours.