All posts tagged: LFF

Watch Louis Theroux get stalked by religious leaders in My Scientology Movie

Documentary filmmakers tend to have one terrible, common habit: assuming that they are always in the right. Most use this idea as their documentary starting point and once things get moving, their driving force. The result? One-sided, cinematic lectures lacking any varied opinion. That being said, there are still a few that go into something relatively blind and powered by nothing more than inquisitiveness. A British national treasure, Louis Theroux is one of this group. In terms of subject matter, he’s fearless; high security prisons and mental institutions for paedophiles are all set locations for his past work. Now, few stones left are left unturned; leading him to the unwelcoming doors of the Church of Scientology. Regardless of his reputation, Theroux joins the long list of rejected media that the Church is refusing to talk to. Eager to learn more but unable to witness their teachings first hand, he reels in former Scientology members and sets out to create a film based off of their first hand experiences, casting actors in the main roles. Needless to say, it isn’t long before the Church catch …

LFF 14: Serena (Susanne Bier, 2014)

Somewhere in between the Oscar guzzlers that were Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper worked together on a film that has become known for its delays. Becoming entangled in the busy schedules of its two leads, post production ate up a fair amount of the 18 months that it took to shoot, edit and complete. After much anticipation, Susanne Bier’s Serena arrives in a comfortable position in a year where neither lead have their eye on big awards. In Depression-era North Carolina, a timber merchant’s empire becomes entangled in money worries upon the arrival of his assertive new wife. As expected, the already cemented chemistry between Cooper and Lawrence is the strongest component in Serena’s rather weak structure. Lawrence’s caustic emotional range is totally beguiling, even when verging on ridiculous at the fault of its adapted script (Christopher Kyle, Alexander). Moments of the film have true emotional stronghold, but is brought plummeting back down thanks to some clichéd supporting characters and some truly ridiculous dialogue. Thankfully, the lustrous cinematography crafted by Morten Søborg …