02nd May2017

Heal the Living and Four Days in France (Film)

by timbaros

heal-the-livingTwo French films opened this past weekend – one that will emotionally rip you apart and the other that will make you feel that you’ve wasted your time.

Heal the Living

Heal the Living (Réparer les vivants) deals with a tragedy that changes the lives of two families – it’s very sad and very dramatic like most French films are, but it’s also well acted and well told. It deals with the delicacy of life, family, relationships and decisions that need to be made in a tragic time. Teenager Simon (Gabin Verdet) is experiencing his first true love, but when him and his friends get into a tragic car accident it’s up to his parents (Tahar Ramin and Emmanuelle Singer – both very good) to make a heartbreaking decision.

Meanwhile, Claire Méjean (Ann Dorval) needs a new heart, and while she is waiting she can feel her life ticking away. She’s got two grown boys, and she loves them very much. But without a new heart, she doesn’t have much time to live. So Simon’s tragic accident has very sad consequences for one family but the opposite effect for another family – in a film that is both beautifully and delicately told. Heal the Living, directed by Katell Quillévéré, will leave you in tears. It’s hard hitting yet it comes with an excellent original story (Maylis De Kerangal and Katell Quillévéré) and superb performances all around.

Four Days in France

Four Days in France (Jour de France) is basically one very long advert for Grindr.

One man uses the app to find his missing partner – in the middle of France! I can’t even find a shag in my own neighborhood much less find someone in the middle of nowhere. But that’s the premise of this film, very far fetched and not quite durable.

Pierre (Pascal Cervo) up and leaves his partner Paul (Arthur Igual) in the middle of the night with no explanation whatsoever – he just gets in his car and heads out of town. Pierre drives and drives and drives and uses Grindr to hook up with various men along the way – to nowhere. He also encounters all sorts of people, including taking a man’s photograph on the very snowy border between France and Italy, is then yelled at by a woman who is tired of gay men using her neighborhood as a cruising area, and a much older man who refuses sex because Pierre smells (he’s been sleeping in his car). What is Pierre’s motivation for doing this? This very long 127 minute film doesn’t give us a clue. Paul, meanwhile, is hot on the trail looking for him, and narrows his search by using Grindr. It’s only a matter of time (a very long time) until the predictable happens, but before we are expected to believe that they both picked up the same woman on the side of the same road and had the same conversation with her (she tells both of them that they look depressed), and that Pierre goes out of his way to deliver a package to a woman who lives high up on a mountain because one of his shags asked him to do so. Really?

Writer and director Jérôme Reybaud really tests the viewers endurance as some of the driving scenes are way too long and this film could’ve been cut by at least 45 minutes. It’s a bit of an indulgence that Reybaud puts us through this journey, it’s a journey that’s very unbelievable and the payoff it not even worth it. And while there is only one hot hookup in the film, it may be better that you spend your time looking for sex in the middle of France, because according to this film there are lots of lonely and sexually frustrated men there, and all are on Grindr.

02nd May2017

Pam Ann (Theatre)

by timbaros

pam-aystria-2Trolley Dolly Pam Ann returns to London with her 20th Anniversary tour – Touch Trolley Run to Galley – but it’s pretty much the same schtick she’s been doing over and over again.

Australian Pam Ann (real name Caroline Reid) has been making the rounds as the self-described ‘Queen of the skies’ for the past 20 years all round the world, and in this show she let’s us know it. Now playing at the Leicester Square Theatre, the ‘air hostess’ show begins with a video montage of previous shows and the famous people that she’s hung out with. Yes, from the minute the video starts we are reminded the show is all about her. She lets us know that she’s an iconic international celebrity airhostess who has developed cult status over the years with her fans (most of whom are gay and who love her bitchiness and candor), but I’ve got no idea how she’s lasted this long! The show begins by her picking four audience members onto the stage to create a new Spice Girls band (who are also celebrating their 20th anniversary). On the night I saw the show, she conveniently picked four gay men from the audience (after all, gay men are so much more likely to ‘get her’) to ‘become the Spice Girls. Picking on audience members is a time and tested old tradition used by comedians when they don’t have enough material to fill a show (‘what’s your name, where are you from’), and it’s a bit lazy to do so at the beginning! Anyways, Pam Ann was very funny with them; she was quick with one-liners and put downs, and the men took it in jest. It’s funny, but I wanted more jokes about the current state of the airline industry (she did open up with a joke about the United Airlines fiasco but it was a bit too sudden and too quick).

The second half of the show had her bring out a trolley filled with, of course, alcohol, as well as with a bevy of dolls that represented airline stewardesses from all over the world (an Australian transgender doll was quite funny), but we’ve all see this before from her, many many times. Pam Ann tells us why she loves BA, while her alter ego Lilly ‘comes out’ all too briefly, and of course she makes fun of Ryanair (who wouldn’t). But as the show goes, it ‘we’ve seen and heard it all before’, and two hours in she leaves the stage and tells the audience to expect something great – but when she did come back all we were presented with was a change to a more glittering outfit and she then proceeded to take selfies with the audience members whom she chose to be the Spice Girls, and then thud, the show ended, with not a laugh in sight. Pam Ann: Touch Trolley Run to Galley 20th Anniversary tour is 2 hours and 20 minutes long, but this consisted of a 20 minute interval and 20 minutes of video footage, including two videos of her interspersed in scenes from the Great British Bake off – it would’ve been a bit funnier if she would’ve done this live, but that would’ve been perhaps too much effort?

For tickets to see Pam Ann, who is at the Leicester Square Theatre until May 27th, please go go:

For more information about Pam Ann and the rest of her UK tour, please visit:
pamann.com / @pamannairbitch / facebook.com/pamannairhostess