02nd Apr2014

Powder Room – DVD

by timbaros

images-44Ever wonder what happens in a woman’s powder room? The new film Powder Room will tell you all about it, more than what you want to know!

Starring Sheridan Smith and directed by MJ Delaney, Powder Room is an in your face comedy/drama about Sam’s (Smith) two separate group of friends who happen to be at the same nightclub on the same night. And Smith hopes that they don’t meet each other.
Sam is a late 20-something woman who has planned a night out at Fake Club in an unknown British city with her girlfriend Michelle (Kate Nash), who she hasn’t seen in five years and who now lives in Paris. Michelle brings along the snooty Jess (Oona Chaplin), her friend and business partner in Paris. Both Michelle and Jess are very stylish, very Parisian, in many ways the opposite of the real Sam.

Trouble for Sam starts when she sees in the powder room of the club her best mates Chanel (Jaime Winstone), Saskia (Sarah Hoare) and Page (Riann Steele). Sam doesn’t want both groups to meet because Sam has told Michelle and Jess that she is a lawyer, with a handsome boyfriend and a great life, unfortunately none of which is true. So Powder Room is all about both sets of girls going in and out of the powder room all night, each of them with their own set of problems/issues. Promiscuous Chanel has been following a man around the club, telling everyone that ‘he is the one’. Saskia and Page end up taking the hallucinogenic drug MDMA and spend the evening tripping. And Sam is trying, successfully until the very end, to not let the two groups meet. All of this mayhem is overseen by the powder room toilet attendant (the lovely Johnnie Fiori). Meanwhile, loads of other different characters drift in and out of the powder room; putting makeup on, gossiping, checking their outfits, and, rarely using the toilet for its main purpose! One memorable character is a young woman who is dressed as a baby. She’s dressed this way only because her friends said that it was fancy dress night at the club!
Against the backdrop of all this mess is the music in the nightclub, played to a toe-thumping and memorable tunes by an all girl band, who are, in fact, called The Fake Club. Their music is excellent and is by far the best thing about this movie.
In Powder Room, based on the stage play When Women Wee, we see woman acting in a manner that not too many men can relate to, and don’t want to know. Is it too much? Perhaps. But the cast is very good and very charming, with Smith out in front, with good performances from the supporting characters. And credit also goes to director MJ Delaney, 27 years old, for doing a good job in helming her first feature length film. But keep an eye open for the group Fake Club – they will be very big very soon.
Powder Room is out in DVD now.

02nd Apr2014

How to Survive a Plague – DVD

by timbaros
images-143How to Survive a Plague (Directed by David France), nominated this past year for an Academy Award for Best Documentary, begins in 1987, six years into what activist Larry Kramer called ‘The Plague’ – the AIDS crisis.
It is in Greenwich Village in the 1980’s where HIV activism began, and we meet several very young men who unfortunately have been diagnosed as HIV Positive. They come together as part of the activist group ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) to protest against the government’s handling of the AIDS crisis. They perform civil disobedience demonstrations against the drug companies and get into shouting matches with political leaders. Amongst these men is Peter Staley, a former bond trader who was forced into disability at age 26 and was told he had only months to live. Other members of ACT UP that we meet in the documentary are Mark Harrington, who joined ACT Up upon learning that an ex-lover was sick, David Barr, a laywer who was one of the leaders of ACT Up, Bill Bahlman, who was one of the first in the community to invent the idea of  “treatment activism,” and Bob Rafsky, a former PR executive, with a young daughter, who becomes the mouthpiece for ACT Up.
In March 1987, ACT Up stages its first demonstration, on Wall Street, to protest the high cost of AZT, the only drug at that time prescribed to HIV patients. How to Survive a Plaque also shows, using archival and amateur footage throughout, the group staging protests on the Mall in Washington, D.C., at the Federal Drug Administration, in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, and at the headquarters of AZT manufacturer Burroughs Wellcome.
During the time of these protests, several members of ACT Up die of AIDS, and one is marched through the streets in Greenwich village on the eve of Bill Clinton winning the presidency. Another march on the White House is one of the most emotional parts of the film as we see several people throwing ashes of their loved ones over the fence and into the White House lawn. Eventually Act Up breaks into a couple splinter groups with the core of the activists establishing the Treatment Action Group whose sole purpose was to take their battle to the highest levels of AIDS research. There is a lot more to this documentary than what is written here, and if you are old enough to remember what it was like in the 1980’s and early 1990’s when friends were dying right and left, then this documentary will be very emotional to watch. How to Survive a Plague sets the record straight, for the first time, to show these few and young men fighting for their lives when no one else would fight for them. They helped to make survival of being HIV positive possible. And near the end, we see the surviving members what they look like today, with battlescars, both emotional and physical.


How to Survive a Plague [DVD] (DVD)

Director: David France
Rating: Exempt

New From: £5.98 GBP In Stock
Used from: £5.90 GBP In Stock