Diss Corn Hall

The DCH Blog

Bridge of Spies - a pre-screening review - Thursday 28th April 2016

Stephen Spielberg proves once again that he is one of the world’s great story tellers, turning what could have been a slight drama of cold war spy-swaps into an agonisingly tense, elegantly constructed, and superbly crafted thriller.

John Le Carre’s shabby world of bad faith and broken promises is so well engrained in our understanding of espionage it’s something of a culture shock to be told such an even handed,positive story of James Donovan’s decency and moral courage. He was always there, both in the history books and in Matt Charman’s script, but it’s a mark of Spielberg’s skill that we so quickly and easily find him believable. Tom Hanks, at his avuncular best, deserves credit too. His performance isan object lesson in old fashioned personality driven acting. It’s also the antithesis of what Mark Rylance brings to a role – the actor utterly subsumed in service to his character. Not only do they play men on either side of the political divide – they are men of either side of the acting profession.
Both excellent, yet completely different, their scenes together are hypnotic.

If that were not enough, we get Berlin as the wall goes up, a superbly staged (and heart-stoppingly tense) U2 crash landing, and some classic court room drama. This is deeply satisfying and pure storytelling from the master of popular, yet intelligent, cinema.

Taxi Tehran - a pre-screening review - Thursday 21st April 2016
After upsetting the Iranian government with his realist dramas about everyday life in Iran, Jafar Panahi was banned from making films. Despite being threatened with imprisonment, Tehran Taxi is his third movie in defiance of that ban, filmed within the confines of a taxi that Panahi drives around Iran’s capital city.

This is an artfully chaotic film, packed with improbable archetypes, all wanting a lift from a perennially bemused Panahi. Playfully and continually breaking the forth wall – one of the characters accuses Panahi of populating his taxi with actors – the film nonetheless gradually builds a grim anecdotal picture of life in modern Iran. We learn about the inequality of women, profound censorship, and the terrible abuse of human rights. It would be wrong, however, to imagine this is an unremittingly dark and troubling film. Panahi leavens his message with humour and whimsy. A DVD bootlegger, two women carrying a goldfish bowl, a human rights lawyer distributing roses, are just
some of the eccentric passengers he helps on their way.

Most touching is the character of his niece, played by his real niece, whose recounting of the rules of film making, learned in class, serves as a rubric of everything Panahi is fighting against. Who can say how long he can keep this up, but judging from the films abrupt and shocking end, it’s a question that is in the forefront of his mind.

Saturday Club: Steve Antony - a review - Tuesday 19th April 2016
Today we went to watch Steve Antony at the The Corn Hall Saturday Club .

Steve Antony showed us his sketch book and told us how he came up with the ideas of what to write about, he had a dream about lizards and rectangles fighting and he turned that into a book. And he thought more people should say please so he wrote a book about a panda that hands out doughnuts but does not give them to anyone he offers them to except the merecat because the merecat said please.

Then Steve read us some of his books. He even read us a book called Monster in the Hood and that book is not even in the book shops yet!

After that Steve showed us how to draw his character Mr Panda who gave out the doughnuts and another character called Mr Toucan from his books about Betty the Gorilla.

I really enjoyed coming to hear Steve talk and I hope everyone who came along did too!!

By Eadie Bee Rae