Happy Families: X&HT Saw Splice

Coincidence fascinates me. I mean, I don’t believe there’s anything in it. It’s clearly just my brain mapping meaning and pattern onto unrelated events. But it’s still fun when it happens.

As a serial procrastinator, it’s taken me the best part of six months to get engineers out to look at the stuttery HD playback on our plusbox. When I finally did so, it took less than five minutes to sort, and I was left with a more open schedule for my day than I’d planned. So, I had a bit of a browse on our newly sprightly V+ feed, and found a block of free movies, including one I’d missed on its limited UK release–Vincenzo Natali’s bio-sci-horror Splice.

The coincidence kicked in as the credits rolled and I realise that the film starred Sarah Polley, director of the most excellent Take This Waltz that I raved about earlier in the week. The two films could not be more different. Take This Waltz is a delicate, precise parody of chick flick clichés. Splice is… Well, it’s bugshit crazy, in a very good way indeed.

Continue reading Happy Families: X&HT Saw Splice

This Is Not A Love Song: X&HT Saw Take This Waltz

In a lot of ways, romantic fiction is all about making excuses for infidelity. There are no end of stories out there that feature a main character trapped in a loveless marriage, only to be swept off her feet and out of the door by a dashing hero archetype. The spineless schlub of a husband shrugs, smiles and lets her go, content to let the caged bird fly. She's a free spirit and she deserves more than he can offer because… because she's the heroine, OK?

Sarah Polley's amazing new film Take This Waltz applies an overdue stress-test to the cliches, with a simplicity and honesty that's rare in the chick-flick world.

Continue reading This Is Not A Love Song: X&HT Saw Take This Waltz