January 7th, 2016 / 2 Comments

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Again, there’s that March release date reference for Queen of the Desert. It’s really only 6 weeks or so away so that’s not long at all.  From The Playlist:

“The Childhood Of A Leader”
Safe to say you won’t see a more ambitious movie than Brady Corbet‘s Venice winner. But for Jess, who reviewed his grandiose directorial debut at a C+ out of Venice, that adds up to a film whose noisy reach exceeds its cacophonous grasp (Scott Walker‘s score is one of the most interesting aspects, but it’s blasted so loud at times that it hurts). Starring Bérénice Bejo, Liam Cunningham and Stacy Martin, with a small role for Robert Pattinson, it’s very self-serious and rather hard work, but you can’t say Corbet hasn’t got balls.
Release Date: No word yet

“Queen Of  The Desert”
That “Queen of the Desert,” less a bad film than a very bland and starchy one, feels like such a crushing disappointment, is a mark of how much we were expecting something with a little more magic and madness to it from idiosyncratic, extraordinary German director Werner Herzog. But his film about Gertrude Bell, starring the great Nicole Kidman alongside James Franco, Robert Pattinson and more, is a stodgily by-the-numbers historical biopic/star vehicle, according to Jess who gave it a halfhearted C In Berlin.
Release Date: There’s talk of a March date but nothing firm. Atlas Distribution have it for the States.””

Well I’ve seen Queen of the Desert and I enjoyed it which surprised me mainly because I’m not a Kidman nor Franco fan.  In fact the person I saw the film with was so intrigued by Gertrude Bell that I bought them one of Bell’s books and a biography for Christmas.  So as far as I’m concerned if it garners interest in Gertrude Bell then Herzog has done his job.  If you want my opinion, if you are going to listen to a review done by a “Jess” I suggest you read Jess Ellicott’s review as it’s one of the best reviews to take on board before seeing the film.  Here’s an extract (although for those who recently saw the US cut, you will note the opening scene is different I believe):

““Herzog establishes this mode of comedic disturbance from the outset of the film, the opening scene greeting us with a gentleman’s club of British military heavyweights deciding how they’ll divvy up the Ottoman Empire as if they’re playing a casual game of Risk, leaving the difficult countries like leftover scraps they’d rather let the French clean up. At the table is T.E. Lawrence (“of Arabia”), played by Robert Pattinson, whose every performance necessarily carries with it the unmistakable presence of his galactic, all-engulfing fame. We don’t see him until someone asks his opinion, where he’s suddenly revealed in a close-up. The audience laughed – they saw Robert Pattinson, not T.E. Lawrence. His performance, and that of his co-stars James Franco and Nicole Kidman, is one of playful self-awareness orchestrated by Herzog.  ….  Seen as a playful, comic, romantic epic, a burlesque inversion of Lawrence of Arabia, there is plenty of pleasure to be had in watching Queen of the Desert. Like an old Hollywood film that sweeps up its audience with a cascading score, graceful cinematography and romantic notions of adventure, but one which delivers its audience with a subversive side-helping of Brechtian distanciation.””

Honestly, if you are going into this film assuming it’s a serious biopic, then you will be disappointed.

  • Bee Kaye
    Posted on January 07, 2016

    Thanks Maria for Jess Elliott’s review, sounds interesting, and will catch up when DVD released.

  • Sue
    Posted on January 07, 2016

    Thanks Maria. Looking forward to seeing BOTH of these movies, hopefully soon.

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