One of cinema’s most enjoyable and durable genres, the buddy movie has given us some of the most memorable and outrageous characters. Gentry pay tribute to the greatest friendships on the silver screen.
Category Archives: 5 best
Sometimes we all need a helping hand when perusing the vast expanses and endless possibilities of the local bookstore. It’s not always easy to make a smart choice when each and every publication boasts quotes of “Brilliant!” and “A modern classic”. Thus, Gentry have devised an informed guide to some of the most provocative and arousing books to give you endless nights of literary pleasure.
This week we look at those crushing, heart-wrenching stories that concern themselves with longing. This most beguiling of emotions is a staple of many a great novel, traversing the borderlands of romance and tragedy, a nomadic sentiment exiled from passion.
A retrospective at London’s NFT celebrates the film career of Frank Sinatra. While he may have been Mr. Smooth on record, he was one of the fiercest and most intense of screen actors. Below, Gentry look back at the greatest movies of a true performer.
One of the cinema’s most beguiling and enthralling genres, the gambling movie is always a wild ride, sometimes taking the audience to the the thrilling heights of the winner’s circle and, more often than not, to the lonely lows of the loser’s personal hell. There is something vicariously sumptuous in gambling movies, it’s all about the minutiae, the resplendent details, the simple pleasure of ‘the game’ to be found in the turn of a card or the roll of the dice. It’s a strange kind of cinema, one of direct experience and implied meaning. Below Gentry look back at some of the best gambling movies ever made…
Cinéma du look was a French film movement of the 1980s that had a slick, self-concious visual style. It focussed on young, alienated and almost invariably handsome characters. It was a thrilling blend of high and low (pop) culture and music, dealing with themes of urban loneliness and cosmetic attraction – very much taking its lead from the music videos of the day (breathing in both Punk and New Romanticism). Perhaps the most style conscious movement in the history of the medium, Cinéma du Look was a neon slap of a sub-genre, as sexy in form as maddening in content. Gentry Style pays tribute below to the best Films du Look, each one a slinky, vampirically vapid classic.
5. Gladiator (2000)
The only thing ‘epic’ about this venture is the vastness of its preposterousness. Russell Crowe grins and gurns his way through an array of bad accents and lurid emotional churning. Both less exciting than Ben Hur and less impressive than Spartacus, Crowe is somewhat out of his depth and even his commendable, natural Aussie surliness cannot mask his ultimately floppy centre. Joaquin Phoenix is impossibly wrong as the sister-hungry Commodus (a name which conjures images of Imperial incontinence), not to mention the strange digitally enhanced performance of the expired Oliver Reed. This is an oddly sinister film in which the hero is a barbarian invader, his mentor a slave trader and the arch-villain an incestuous psychopath. So, sure, what’s not to like? It looks great and Ridley Scott builds worlds like other people cook sausages, but even the stunning and innovative CGI-fired set design isn’t enough to save the chewy, anti-climactic script.
Cringe with me:
4. West Side Story (1961)
Gang violence never had it so good. I’m sorry, I know this film is a lot of fun and one sequence in particular – the scene around the song ‘America’ – is stunningly iconic, but, it cannot possibly have been the best film of 1961. In fact, I can assure you it wasn’t. West Side Story was up against Robert Rossen’s The Hustler. It is a travesty that this soft pedalled, misleading flash and dazzle twirl-fest was allowed anywhere near the same category as the classic movie depicting the compelling self-destruction of Paul Newman’s ‘Fast’ Eddie. So why does Hollywood do this to us? Why does it punish us for believing in a meritocracy? Not only is West Side Story a second-rate film, it is a botched one. Robert Wise was only brought in to direct once Jerome Robbins (who directed the Broadway incarnation of the tale) was fired for his over-meticulous preparations. His scenes remain far more energetic than those forged by Wise, a filmmaker way outside his comfort zone.
Ah, but here’s that great scene anyway!:
3. Chicago (2002)
Another musical – a genre that should be banned from the Oscars along with racist snuff movies and Continue reading
Before George Lucas became a juvenile baboon, he forged this cold, stark, strangely convincing vision of the future. Heavily indebted to Yevgeny Zamyatin’s novel We, THX-1138 reveals the sterile nightmare of emotional suppression, where sex and love are only a brief indulgence permitted to the doomed and insane. There is something seductively plausible about the way in which the population have given themselves up to an obscure ruling class, spending their days weeping into automated confession booths, wasting their nights on the mind-numbing entertainment offered by the state. Lucas’ frozen, spotless society is a utopia of sorts – a timeless paradise without feeling, obsessed with protection. This is an amazingly austere film, perfectly constructed, like the inner workings of a clockwork heart.
The original student film on which Thx-1138 was based is available to watch here:
4. MAD MAX 2 / ROAD WARRIOR