Welcome to the final Monday Blu(e)s And DVD of 2013. As might be expected, it’s rather quiet, but what is released is well worth seeking out.
Il Bidone. The final release from Masters Of Cinema of 2013, Il Bidone rounds off an excellent year for the British label (more on said “excellent year” can be found in our annual round-up here). While Fellini is hit and miss for Hope Lies, this earlier film is a satisfying piece of work, and MoC’s disc a solid edition.
Upstream Color. Shane Carruth is one of our greatest assets. In Upstream Color, his first film in almost a decade, the American iconoclast is freed from the shackles of financial constraint once and for all, afforded the most remarkable of opportunities thanks to digital modes of production coming to complete fruition. The basic premise of Upstream Color is fairly simple, almost misleadingly so. A set-up straight out of a horror movie soon gives way to a mood piece centred around a pair who find one another thru circumstance, with Carruth not so much concerned with the conspiracy that brings his protagonists together so much as he is in the relatable manner in which the heart works.
Elysium. Neill Blomkamp’s follow up to the remarkable District 9 (a film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture!), Elysium hinges on the same brand of heavy handed political allegory to make it’s far-flung future tale wholly relevant to the contemporaneous now. Like some one-time 2000AD epic of old, this tale of a man-machine-Jesus vs the 1 per cent is solid enough, with it’s trump card coming in the form of a spectacular sense of world building. Verhoeven’s influence is alive and well. Our full review of the film can be found here.