Thursday, 3 June 2021

The Killing of Two Lovers (2020)

What a visual delight this film is. Forget the storyline, look at the imagery - beautifully created and executed by director/writer/producer Robert Machoian. It really is a feast for the eyes and well worth grabbing when you get the chance (or pay Curzon Home Cinema) for this alone.

There is a story of course, and it's a very ordinary, everyday story about a family who are trying to stay together. David and Nikki got hitched up and pregnant right out of school and have not known much else. They have four kids, an older teenage girl and three younger boys, but mum and dad have made a terribly adult decision to try a break from each other (the story never tells us really why) and that during that break, they would be free to see other people.

David goes to live with his dad while Nikki looks after the kids in the family home. They seem hopeful about getting back together, though he apparently more so than her as she takes a lover. The opening scene is a powerful one as David stands over the bed of his sleeping wife and her lover, gun in hand, and we think instantly that this is The Killing of Two Lovers. But it's not. Though it does give us an instant insight into the mind of David and how he's coping with the new situation.

The director is not afraid to linger on close-ups, play with focus to good effect, stick a camera in one position and let the scene move for itself and generally make pretty much every frame of the film an image worthy of a wall framing. The style of Fargo or The Handmaid's Tale as every frame is carefully considered. Placing the camera on the driver's door of the car, fixed focus, while the scene plays out, driving is done, conversation engaged in, is a favourite trick which, again, works really well.

Most of the cast are relatively inexperienced in film, much TV work, but each of them perform their parts to perfection. Particularly Clayne Crawford as David, Sepideh Moafi as Nikki and a great performance by Avery Pizzuto as Jess, the teenage girl. She's old enough to understand what is going on but not old enough to get herself out of the situation. There's one scene in the car with dad where she excels, holds herself in prolonged pose whilst expressing by voice and face the stress and anxiety that her character is feeling.

David is doing well, holding it together, even going out on 'date night' with Nikki as agreed they would, until stresses boil over and there is a confrontation with Nikki's lover. Prior to this, there's a creepy scene as David follows the lover into a 'one stop' shop, the lover not knowing who David is, and they get uncomfortably close. There are numerous great scenes like this and although the story is a very simple one, they also help to carry the audience forward keeping interest high.

The cinematography is further enhanced by the outdoor setting of this small town America where there's loads of open space and a skyline littered with hills and mountains. Big open dusty roads and loads of room between houses and the few shops and facilities.

It's a great little film, superbly presented by a small team with a real 'indie' feel to it. It's engaging and enjoyable throughout mostly down to the fabulous camera work and director using that to get the best from the cast. I can't praise the visual delight highly enough here. As for the title, well you can make your own mind up as to what that actually is about when you come to the end. Super film, highly recommended.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

PodHubUK Podcasts for May 2021

 ...a roundup of our month of podcasting. Links to the team, communities and podcast homes on the net at the foot, so scroll down!


Phones Show Chat
Saturday 1st May
Steve and I are back again this weekend with special guest Chris Kelly who joins the debate about cameras in phones vs proper cameras and lenses!

Tech Addicts Podcast
Part 2 - Classic Boxes
Sunday 2nd May
Sunday again so Gareth and I are back with a tech catch-up or two! This week we get our knickers in a twist about Chrome and Edge, try to unpick paid-for podcasting, hark back to interesting boxes/packaging and loads more.

Projector Room
Episode 87 - Minari Castaway!
Wednesday 6th May
Gareth, Allan and I are back again with another round of thoughts on all things film, cinema and TV. This time we tackle Tusk, muse on Minari, consider Cast Away and as always, get on Like a House on Fire!

The Phones Show
Thursday 7th May
Join Steve in the back seat of his car as he explains all about what he uses and how, when having to 'work mobile'. Some good tips and ideas for all Road Warriors!

Phones Show Chat
Saturday 8th May
This weekend Steve and I welcome back Mike Warner who gives us another masterclass in all things off-piste, making Android and Lineage work hard for our enjoyment of mobile phones. Keep up at the back!

Tech Addicts Podcast
Sunday 9th May
Gareth and I are back again with our weekly catch-up of what's caught our eye in tech. Loads of stuff as usual, from crystal-ball gazing about future Samsungs, the fruit of Project Treble, Huawei Harmonising the East to top tips around the web - lots of tasty morsels! Oh, and we're back to one whole show instead of two parts! Consistently inconsistent, see!

Whatever Works
Episode 137 - Mow Them Down!
Friday 14th May
Aidan and I are back with our fortnightly splurge of Whatever Works for us and the Group Members. Thanks all for your input. Loads of stuff thrown around as usual from Gorillas to Yogurt and much between! Oh, and watch out for fruit-loop drivers if you're walking around Reading supermarket carparks!

Phones Show Chat
Episode 638 - Bulging at the Seams
Friday 14th May
Nice and early this week, Steve and I bring you our latest thoughts on all things mobile phone. My experiments with Ready For and Steve's Marshall Headphones and Bluetooth exploration amongst all the other usual goodies.

Tech Addicts Podcast
Sunday 16th May
Gareth and I are back again for another weekend roundup of all the tech stuff that's caught our eye in the last few days. Cheap smart watches, Royal Mail autonomous island-hopping drones, Zenfone 8, Ready For, plus bargains and a harkback to Mvix! All good fun.

Phones Show Chat
Episode 639 - Android 360
Wednesday 19th May
A bonus mid-week special, you lucky people 😂 Steve and I grab our microphones to bring you up-to-the-minute natter about all things mobile phone, specifically the Android 12 Beta 1 release and Sony's Reality Audio 360 and related paraphernalia!

Projector Room
Episode 88 - Jupiter's Oxygen!
Wednesday 19th May
Gareth, Allan and I are back again for another look at all things film, cinema and TV. Plenty to chew over again this time as we gasp for Oxygen, head for Jupiter, decide on The King of Monsters and engage with The Housemaid from Korea!

Phones Show Chat
Saturday 22nd May
Steve and I are back in our usual weekend slot and this time we welcome first-timer Bart Busschots to join us and chat about Apple, Photography and Podcasting! Loads to get through and a good time was had by all.

Tech Addicts Podcast
Sunday 23rd May
It's Gareth and I, back again with a weekly roundup of what we've found interesting in tech. Plenty of goodies as usual including Gareth's fave - the new and exciting Evercade, thoughts of Google I/O, a punch-up about nine zero's, boxes of bargains, acres of Apps and a red Phone Box just 10cm from Brighton!

The Phones Show
Wednesday 26th May
Steve's most exciting year in smartphone history: July 2006 to August 2007. Join him to find out the what any why!

Whatever Works
Episode 138 - Duckboard Quartet!
Wednesday 26th May
Aidan and I are back again - and early this time, with a cheerful look at Whatever Works for us and you! This time we dabble with Duckboards, accord power to the Accordion, firk with Funnels, repel Rodents and even bathe Biscuits! What's not to like?! Do join us for an hour of madness!

Phones Show Chat
Saturday 29th May
Steve and I welcome back Ed Hause this week to chat about all things mobile phone but specifically experiments between cameras in phones and add-on gear, like the DxO One, Moto Mod Hasselblad and Sony QX10/100. Plus all the usual news, comments and thoughts.

Tech Addicts Podcast
Sunday 30th May
Gareth and I are back again this weekend with a roundup of a load of tech stuff. Gaming is a big theme as everyone tries to find one I've heard of 😂 while Gareth enthuses with gusto! Nano II is here from Anker, more Gaming on the Surface Duo, a new USB-C standard in the pipes and a big Switch to Valve!


The Podcasts
PodHubUK - Phones Show Chat - The Phones Show - Whatever Works - Chewing Gum for the Ears - Projector Room - Tech Addicts

The MeWe Community Groups (follow the links to join up)
Phones Show Chat & The Phones Show - Whatever Works - Chewing Gum for the Ears - Projector Room - PSC Photos - PSC Classifieds - Tech Addicts

The Team
Ted Salmon - Steve Litchfield - Aidan Bell - Gareth Myles - Allan Gildea

Shadowtown (2020)

This is a short thriller based in Iceland, created by (unknown to me) Jon Einarsson Gustafsson and Karolina Lewicka. I have mixed feelings a...