Monthly Archives: March 2013

Film Review – In The House

François Ozon’s latest movie is a psychological drama that takes its viewers on an emotional ride with more twists and turns than a basket full of snakes.

Kirstin Scott Thomas and Fabrice Luchini from In The House

Kirstin Scott Thomas and Fabrice Luchini from In The House

Following on from 8 Femmes and Swimming Pool, Ozon’s In The House stars Fabrice Luchini (The Women On The 6th Floor) as Germain, a disillusioned high-school teacher of French literature who finds a renewed inspiration in the writings of one of his students, 16-year-old Claude (Ernst Umhauer).  Claude has become maths mentor to another pupil and the two boys strike up an unlikely friendship, but it seems Claude has other motives. He has a desire to be accepted into his classmate’s family home and becomes obsessed with his friend’s mother, Esther (Emmanuelle Seigner).

In The House: Fabrice Luchini, Emmanuelle Seigner and Ernst Umhauer

In The House: Fabrice Luchini, Emmanuelle Seigner and Ernst Umhauer

His confessional-style writings portray that of a creepy voyeur who has infiltrated another person’s life and is dishing all the intimate details. His observations always end with a “to be continued …”. Germain’s fervour increases with each instalment and he feels a compelling urge to keep the story going. He takes Claude’s writings home, and in reading them to his art gallery owner wife Jeanne (Kirstin Scott Thomas), also embroils her in the game.

It seems the boy is orchestrating events as deftly as a Stradivarius maestro. He’s manipulative and decidedly creepy, and you fear an inevitable tragic ending.

Ozon then throws in a few dramatic twists. There’s a blurring between reality and fantasy leading to confusion about the schoolboy’s relationship with the mother.

All during the film Claude remains a mystery. There is a brief snapshot into his dismal and bleak life, where we feel a surprising turn of sympathy, leading to a renewed confusion over the motives behind his actions.

In the House: Ernst Umhauer

In the House: Ernst Umhauer

And by the time the movie reaches its surprising conclusion, all you are left with are questions and your own interpretations, together with mixed feelings for Claude, suspicion or sympathy?

If you like your films all nicely tied up, you are likely to be left confused and frustrated.

But there is enough intrigue to keep the audience engaged until the final scene. There’s also a brilliant performance by young Ernst Umhauer, and future stardom surely beckons.

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Filed under Film Reviews, Glasgow Film Theatre

Strathspey Railway, at Boat of Garten near Aviemore, Inverness-shire. March 27, 2013

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March 29, 2013 · 1:52 am

Snowy day overlooking Hamilton Park Racecourse, Lanarkshire. March 23, 2013

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March 23, 2013 · 10:35 am

Snowy at Lanark train station. March 16, 2013

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March 16, 2013 · 10:20 pm

Early evening Glasgow in the rain. March 14, 2013

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March 15, 2013 · 9:43 am

Live Gig Review: Horse, with Scottish Chamber Orchestra , Barrowland, Glasgow, March 2, 2013

A horse gig is full of drama but it’s also a very human affair. Most aspects of ordinary life come under inspection, because Horse usually has a song she’s written about them in her back catalogue.

Horse at Barrowland, Glasgow

Horse at Barrowland, Glasgow
Picture Credit: Kris Kesiak

And at this gig at the Barrowland there were songs which dealt with life, marriage, death and children.

The stage was as packed as a busy weekend at well … the Barras, and it was also a rare opportunity to see the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on stage in this venue. Horse has appeared with them before in the Barrowland, but way back in 1995. This reunion saw the orchestra expertly conducted by Sally Herbert.

Also on stage were Horse’s band of musicians together with backing singers, Chris Judge, Madaleine Pritchard and Stefanie Lawrence, all stars in their own right.

This wealth of talent which crowded the stage set the bar high. But as soon as Horse appeared and kicked off the gig by singing Careful, we knew the voice was there. Her vocal range was spellbinding and best seen in the sad and sultry Breathe Me from the Same Sky album.

It’s also the 20th anniversary of Horse album God’s Home Movie and we heard a wonderful rendition of the title track, as well as a dip through the impressive back catalogue with Automatic, Some Wonderful, Sweet Thing and Catch My Fall, which featured an amazing string-lead intro from the SCO which the band and backing singers followed up on.

The tracks from the latest album Home are perhaps reflective of Horse’s current situation. She tied the knot at the start of this year, and this batch of songs sounded happy and joyful. A particular highlight was the jaunty and romantic Alanna’s Waltz, named after her partner.

Moving on from marriage to children, we heard the lovely Starfish which was dedicated to little ones. And from birth and new life we went to the other end of the spectrum where we were gifted a rare outing of An End Of Days. A song Horse has never sung live before. It was written after the loss of her parents, and it proved to be a particularly tender and thoughtful moment as the Barrowland fell silent.

But there was also time for celebration as Horse got her aim to get the “Barrowland bouncing” during a lively Shake This Mountain.

 

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Filed under Barrowland Glasgow, Gig Reviews, Glasgow, Music

Lovely morning at Strathclyde Country Park, near Hamilton, Lanarkshire.

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March 1, 2013 · 11:15 am