Les Misérables

Cops Pento, Chris and Gwada

The title Les Misérables is now so associated with the musical that it’s often hard to remember that it was originally a novel by Victor Hugo, and an immensely significant one at that. Surely, bearing the book, the musical and various film adaptations of both in mind, writer director Ladj Ly must have had qualms about calling his film that. But he went ahead anyway and here’s the result, a bravado piece of dramatic film-making that not only justifies Ly’s use of the title but also validates his chutzpah. Hugo’s masterpiece often translates as The Miserables, The Wretched, The Dispossessed and The Wretched Poor, and Ly finds the modern equivalents of Hugo bread-stealing … Read more

13 May 2013-05-13

Keanu the interviewer in Side by Side

Out in the UK this week Side by Side (Axiom, cert 15, DVD) A documentary about the digital revolution in movie making that runs through the whole process – first the workings of the old photochemical technology which was king for more than 100 years and then on to how digital has changed everything, from cameras and acting, to editing and effects, the print and the projector. His Matrix experience apart, Keanu Reeves initially seems an unlikely guide to the whole thing. But he’s not just a voiceover, he’s the interviewer and producer of the documentary and it’s probably thanks to his clout that it gets access to pretty much anyone it wants. … Read more