Thursday, January 15, 2009

Prince Charles Diversion

When we went to the Prince Charles yesterday it was good to see the red lanterns are already up in China town. They’re ready to celebrate The Year of the Ox on January 26th.

I won’t often stray from the Cineworld circuit (unless it’s to the NFT). These and sofa.cinema take care of my foreign film needs. Still, when I’m waiting midweek for a programme change I’m vulnerable. So when R said ‘The Wave’ at the Prince Charles had good reviews I went along.

The German, title is ‘Die Welle’ and it’s about a school teacher who sets out to prove to his class of High School students they could become Nazis if conditions were right. It all ends in tears. The plotline was fairly predictable, but the main problem was the lack of definition to the characters, apart from the teacher, and he had to keep you guessing how serious he was, so acted low-key. I hadn’t expected ‘High School 3’ but these kids were lacklustre to say the least. It was strange, too, that although the wife was heavily pregnant, she and the teacher never mentioned the baby or discussed future plans, such as when they’d move off the houseboat where they lived. It was as if a whole scene had been cut out.

It reminded me of watching films in Singapore, where whole scenes were cut out for censorship reasons, regardless of how it affected the plot. We saw Jodie Foster in ‘The Accused’, for instance, and the rape scene was cut. One minute she’s dancing to a juke-box in a café with some boys looking on and the next she’s hysterical and Kelly McGillis is encouraging her to take them to court. What, for just looking???

The seats at the Prince were less comfortable than Cineworld and the screen a lot smaller than I’m used to. That 'Studio' at the NFT has ruined me. At £4 for the afternoon show it wasn’t bad. The sound wasn’t as good but as it’s often too loud in Cineworld so I didn’t mind that. I thought I might go deaf after ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ at West India Quay.

The huge letters in Leicester Square to welcome Will Smith were startling. I’d be even more impressed if it was Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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