The Imitation Game (2014)

So The Imitation Game is a good movie in that ‘Sunday evening, BBC 2, quality drama from the people who brought you Inspector Morse’ sort of way and it breaks your heart because the story of Alan Turing is heart breaking.  All the performances do what is needed etc and it’s interesting because, again, it’s an interesting story.  But, if I’m honest, like Captain Phillips (2013), it tells you nothing more about Turing and the events in question than a decent newspaper article might.

Maybe the film needed a different structure, what if the police investigation was the story with Rory Kinnear’s character as the audience surrogate, realising that people are more than one thing, rather than just an excuse for a flash back? Films should be honest in their dealings with history but there has to be more than the plodding straight line of ‘this then this then this then etc etc and onwards’.

Turing is a national hero who’s story ended as a (continuing) national shame and that’s what this story should have been about.  Sentiment and quality gloss obscures the person and, because we shed a tear, we all get to pretend we’d have acted differently, injustice lives only in the past.  It’s a cautionary tale that warns us that bad things happened once and neglects the lesson.

Still you could do a lot worse and the story makes it worth while.

Recommended.

Film: A Story of Children and Film (2013)

A Story of Children and Film @ www.cinemascream.co.uk

I really like Mark Cousins.  He talks about films in just the right way.  His voice is the voice of a man describing a precious jewel, a voice that betrays love and knowledge, a voice half lost in the dream of it all.  He skips from film to film as moments remind him of moments and from E.T. (1982) we are sudden four or five films and half a world away.  Or perhaps it’s because he presented BBC 2’s Moviedrome, the cult film series that was my first informal film school.

A Story of Children and Film is just that; an exploration of children in cinema and the common themes that Cousins finds there.  Like his The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) I think your enjoyment will hinge on how much you like Cousins himself and how open you are to a true selection of world cinema but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s 106 minutes of joy and Cousins really understands that film is a medium of consecutive moments.

Highly recommended.