PUMPKIN HEAD XSCAPES : Cinemadays report (4) : A Cock and Bull Story, The Matador

The 50th CinemaDays : CineWorld cinema, Xscape complex, Milton Keynes (UK)

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DAY FOUR (Sun 9th Oct)
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Michael Winterbottom's A COCK AND BULL STORY [7/10] : UK 2005 : 93 mins :
AKA Tristram Shandy – A Cock and Bull Story

A COCK + BULL STORY      30/12      95 min !
Deconstruction of the form.
Kaufmanistic.   Mid c-18.
Period drama / comedy … original
Lively, irreverent … breezily
                                 self-ref.
moviemaking
       satire

 … anything goes
'Womb with a view'
Brydon-Coogan rivalry.
Tony Wilson interview
Coogan/Molina : C+C
Coogan's playboy image.

24HPP > "unfilmable"… Cop out?
"Mark" not "Mike" ?! EVASIVE?
Irma Vep (rushes.)
Ronni as Anita (or Ronni)
Isn't TS, isn't really owt else
                                           7/6
opulent hotel
"chaotic … amorphous" – Fry
Steve Coogan's New Nightmare
Being Steve Coogan

Behind-scenes satire     Gives up on the TS early on
TS as starting-point
Day For Night – English
Dreamy
Shows us the workings
N'marish >> Fellini 8 1/2

Word of book : x : spirit : !
Stardust Mem…
Layers of …
                    > Confusing!
Nyman music
D.Contract music
Pacino epilog.
                    > Improv.
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Richard Shepard's THE MATADOR [4/10] : USA 2005 : 97 mins

   One powerful argument for retaining Pierce Brosnan in his beloved role of James Bond is that, if nothing else, those bloated 007 projects keep him busy for years at a time. And thus unable to appear in ropey 'extra-curricular' efforts like Evelyn, The Tailor of Panama or this lukewarm hitman 'comedy' - movies which lay bare the limitations of his acting ability, and which are usually produced or co-produced by his own, cloying-titled company, 'Irish Dreamtime.' 
   Here he's badly overstretched in the central role of Julian Noble, a charismatic/assholish professional assassin (of wobblily indeterminate accent/nationality). Jaded and burnt out after decades globetrotting 'on the job', he seeks companionship from a straight-arrow Denver businessman (Greg Kinnear, typecast) after the pair get drunk one night in a Mexico City hotel. As has long been de rigueur in Hollywood, this 'odd couple' form an unlikely friendship – each of them learning valuable life-lessons from the other, etc etc. 
   The material isn't unpromising – we aren't a million miles away from, say, The American Friend or Harry, He's Here To Help, and one can imagine, say, David Mamet, using the set-up as a springboard to something intriguing. On this evidence, however, Shepard isn't anywhere near that kind of league: his script feels broken-backed and underdeveloped (or possibly over re-written?), while his direction seldom graduates beyond a slick, cheesy kind of sub-Tarantino sophomoric swagger.
   Veteran cinematographer David Tattersall's bold visuals (primary-coloured backgrounds abound) keep things borderline-watchable for much of the running-time… but ultimately Shepard has as much difficulty hitting the target as Brosnan's yips-plagued has-been of a sniper.
    
Neil Young
9th October, 2005

The other days at CinemaDays October 2005:
Day 1 (Thursday) including Corpse Bride, Nanny McPhee and The Proposition
Day 2 (Friday) including Broken Flowers, The Libertine and Flightplan
Day 3 (Saturday) including Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Murderball and Mad Hot Ballroom