After exploding onto the scene with super low-budget zombie movie Colin in 2008, talented British filmmaker Marc Price has been busy making movies, as well as mentoring a legion of young talent through his partnership with the BFI. As his stunning second feature Magpie – a moving drama about a grief-stricken young father who steals the coffin from his son’s funeral – makes its debut on Amazon Prime, I spoke to Marc about the challenges of making independent film.
Australian writer-director Zak Hilditch’s apocalyptic vision is striking in its visuals, bold in its bleakness and completely unoriginal in its core narrative. An asteroid strike in the North Atlantic sends a tsunami of unstoppable fire around the world, with Western Australia the last place to be hit. The people of Perth have 12 hours to contemplate their demise and, as the sky turns hotter, lawlessness rapidly descends – with many choosing suicide or the escape of hard drugs, rather than meeting their fate head on.
Combining auteur filmmaking Terence Malick with powerhouse performers Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman should, in theory, have resulted in cinematic fireworks. Instead, Knight of Cups is a damp squib, its arresting visuals an artistic smokescreen for a barely-there narrative that is unoriginal, insipid and downright alarming in its treatment of women.