life is short as they say whilst pointing out your greying hair, regrets, failures especially as one ages….oh, my creaking bones!!! Tis true it is far too brief to waste on the pablum grinded out by cultural meat factories. though often we are cast forth into the arts of darkness without aid, academic knowledge or wifi access with only instinct or personal taste as our cultural compass. with limited mortality time, choices feel vital and we must try everything no? at least this has been my impulse thus far. taking into account some delusion, perhaps the brain and heart filter has become more discerning with maturity. (the audience laughs)

to be honest, i wasn’t expecting that reaction but maybe i can win them over with my quasi-sanctimonious, self-aware schtick….

This is part a. I will cover three films and comment upon three films I done watched thus keeping a dogmatic lid on this law of 3 idea. if the lid opens, god knows what terrifying beasts of chaos will be unleashed upon mah wee blog! please keep the lid shut. 33333333333333333333333333. ok. let’s go!

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A Bigger Splash, Luca Guadagnino’s 2015 remake of the 1969 Italian-French film La Piscine which starred Alain Delon. Something of a torrid languorous Sicilian love quadrangle this one with libertine northern Europeans locked in a slow sun-baked dance of longing, temptation, sightseeing and culinary consumption. Not the most urgent of narratives, it feels like an extended holiday for cast and crew at times but Ralph Fiennes joyful inhabitation of Harry, a veteran rock n roll chancer still pining for his ex, a famous singer portrayed by Tilda Swinton is a thing of uninhibited wonder and reason enough to watch, with intrigue petering out in the last act even when the plot takes a dramatic turn.

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Arrival. beautifully crafted science fiction, another mainstream triumph from French-Canadian Denis Villeneuve keeping cerebral, thoughtful entertainment alive within the American system, screenwriter Eric Heisserer adapts Ted Chiang’s 1998 short story ‘Story of your life’. Alien Heptapods in giant ‘terry’s choc orange sliver-shaped spacecraft’ suddenly arrive on earth. Amy Adams is a linguist, jeremy renner a physicist who are recruited by the US military to help decipher the visitors complex vocabulary in order to understand why they have come to Earth. I won’t reveal anything else except to say that it is if you are expecting an alien invasion such as  Independence Day or War of the Worlds, you will be let down. so don’t prepare yourself to be let down man! arrival is more in the vein of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a philosophical human enquiry wrapped up in a beautifully, subtly rendered sci-fi package.

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Hacksaw Ridge. mel gibson eh? this man has been crucified in all ways but one in the past decade but he seems to have covered that ground – some would say- quite extensively in his prior directorial efforts, enough to sate the supposedly morally outraged public’s celeb blood lust. based on the true story of Desmond Doss, this is a World War II film shot like a crazed Boys Own adventure comic strip; old-fashioned, earnest, square-jawed, brutally violent, exciting and often moving, told with one hundred percent conviction. gibson believes and seems incapable of doing anything in half measures. it’s corny and simplistic at times but a solid cast – led by doe eyed Andrew Garfield as Doss and Vince Vaughn as hardasses but fair Sergeant  – and Gibson’s immersive direction place you right in the eye of the hellish extremity of war where courage and death collide.