Tuesday, 25 June 2013

On Populaire, A Hijacking And A New Car

Before we moved we used to try and see a film at the cinema every week. Sometimes we would travel to FACT in Liverpool and see two on the same day. But, due to the hectic times we've had recently, our cinema going has been curtailed of late. So we decided to try and put that right. After all, the weather we've had this spring hasn't exactly been perfect for our cycling or gardening. So, having enjoyed the thundering Man Of Steel at IMAX on Wednesday, we thought we'd have something a little more sedate on Saturday and headed back to Ipswich to the super IFTT and a showing of Summer in February starring Downton's Dan Stevens alongside Emily Browning.

Unfortunately IFTT had a glitch with their digital projector. It seems that when they get a film to show they get a number of codes with it to prevent piracy and allow them to show it only the number of times that they have paid for. The code somehow didn't work and the projectionist had to come and explain to a pretty full house of old codgers like us that he could show us a vampire movie or the French rom-com Populaire. Most of the audience filed out and went for a refund. No-one was keen on the vampires but others asked what Populaire was about. The usher didn't have her glasses so Marion read the synopsis to the few of us remaining and we stayed for the event worrying that the overrun would lead to a parking fine but not wanting a wasted journey to Ipswich.

Set in 1958, Populaire turned out to be a sugary sweet comedy with two charismatic leads in the beautiful Deborah Francois and the handsome Romain Duris. Duris needs a new secretary and Francois gets the job. She turns out to be amazingly fast on the keyboard and her boss trains her to enter speed typing competitions - and yes they do exist (although whether crowds were ever glued to their radios in excitement listening to commentaries on them is questionable). It's a very nice little film. It will never win any awards for subtlety or unpredictability but if you like a bit of happy romance (I do), this is one for you.

There wasn't much happiness or romance in Danish offering Kapringen or A Hijacking. As Denmark seems to have a very small pool of actors it was (like in Borgen) another case of trying to spot characters from Forbrydelsen ( The Killing - do keep up). Soren Malling stars as the boss of a shipping company whose cargo vessel is hijacked by pirates somewhere en route to Mumbai. Pilou Asbaek plays the ship's cook who, due to the captain's sickness, becomes the main go-between in the negotiations between the captors and the business. It's extremely tense, brilliantly acted by the two leads and keeps you on the edge of your seat.  The director used a real negotiator rather than an actor to play the company's negotiations advisor and filmed on a ship that was once actually hijacked. In addition the director kept the actors locked in the shipping company office never knowing when a call from the ship was going to come in and on the ship kept some of the cast locked up in dire conditions.This gave the film a tremendous sense of reality and, though it's unlikely to be playing in the multiplexes it's well worth seeking it out. We went to The Riverside at Woodbridge and took advantage of their excellent fish and flicks offer of £15 each for the film and some great food in their super restaurant.

Yesterday we picked up the new car. It extremely comfortable and I love its style. Today we're doing a spot of babysitting in Rochester but we left the new car at home as the Prius was damaged while parked here the last time we came and I don't want to risk it just now as we've got a long journey to Scotland planned for the weekend.

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