Themed Feature14 Jun 2017
In 1925, more than 5,000 miles away from his English homeland, Percy Fawcett disappeared in the Brazilian jungle. To this day nobody knows what happened to the explorer. What is certain, though, is that he was looking for something: ‘Z’. That’s what he called the mysterious city, which he suspected to exist deep in the rainforest. From this true story, director James Gray has created a dramatic action adventure. The Lost City of Z captivates with its great visuals and a main character who defied everything: rapids, leopards, piranhas, snakes and the occasional bombardment with arrows. Oh, and cannibals, too. That the Amazon rainforest is half the size of Europe did not seem to deter the man.
An uncharted island in the South Pacific is home to a movie icon who has been roaring his way through pop culture for more than 80 years. The name is Kong, King Kong. The latest installment is called Kong: Skull Island and is set in 1973: Vietnam soldiers, researchers and a photographer (Oscar winner Brie Larson) fly by helicopter to his island, which is girdled by dense storm clouds. Behind waits a green paradise – and the 100-foot ape, who plays squash with the helicopters and uses palm trees as darts. Visibly influenced by the war drama “Apocalypse Now”, young director Jordan Vogt-Roberts delivers a visual spectacle that is exhilarating. Beware: Not only the monkeys are oversized, spiders and water buffaloes have the dimensions of a duplex. An amazing popcorn movie to marvel at!
An expedition into the jungle of the Malay Archipelago is undertaken by Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) in the 1980s. The hapless mining company owner from Nevada is certain a precious metal awaits him there. For his role in the adventure drama Gold, Oscar winner McConaughey has transformed himself once again. The former ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ has gained 45 pounds through a diet of milk shakes and cheeseburgers. He also wears false teeth and is half-bald to play the pale, sweaty, malaria-stricken prospector. Together with a geologist, he roams through the largest island in Asia, desperate to strike gold. His dreams burst in a speculative bubble, and the greed proves to be the downside of an American Dream which evaporates into a fever dream.
Today, a trip from Lisbon to the Japanese city of Nagasaki takes twenty hours. In the 17th century, it was a long and arduous journey that few dared to undertake. In Martin Scorsese’s film Silence, two young Jesuits set off for Japan to search for their revered mentor, who is said to have abandoned his faith there. At that time, it was dangerous in Japan to be a Christian, they faced torture and death. Scorsese, who turns 75 this year, has created a great work of art with his cinematic meditation on faith and human nature. Soul-stirring and touching.
The Lost City of Z
Kong: Skull Island