Tips to Help You Choose the Right Party Planner

You have decided to bring together family and friends for a great party this summer with the help of an event planner, but how can you know that you are choosing the right one? Party planners are a dime a dozen and unfortunately not all of them are as good as they claim to be. You cannot afford to take any chances – not only do you want to impress your guests, you also don’t want to waste money by hiring the wrong party planner. Before you make any decisions take the following into account:

• Do they have experience with the kind of party that you have in mind? There are many different kinds of parties that you can throw. You may choose to have a birthday party, a garden party, a neighborhood party, a dress-up party – it can be anything really. Just because an event planner is good at throwing one kind of party doesn’t necessarily mean that they do another kind. Before you sign any contracts find out whether the event planner has any experience with your kind of party.

• Get clarification on the services offered. There are some excellent party planners who will take care of everything from sending out invitations to making sure that guests are fed and the venue is cleaned, but there are others who only offer advice. You are better off with a comprehensive party planner even if you have to pay more.

• Find out what they can and cannot provide. The best event planners have everything that they need to throw a party. If they don’t have it they know where they can hire from. Make sure that your party planner can provide everything that is needed including plates and glassware, cutlery, service people, a DJ and everything else that will be needed to make your party a success.

• Find out whether they are able to work with the kind of menu that you have in mind. This is especially important if you plan to offer your guests a special menu. You can ask them to cook samples that you can taste beforehand.

• There will always be an unexpected guest at every good party – someone is bound to bring a plus one who you hadn’t included in your count. A good party planner plans for a few extras to ensure that everyone is catered for.

If you find a good party planner make sure to keep their details handy – they can help you throw great parties in the future.

It’s Been a While

It’s been nearly a month since my last post and a lot of things have been happening, which I decided to ignore. Yes, I missed some good posters and some wonderful trailers came out, too, but I had a lot of other things to do and Midnight Review just had to wait a while.

But since you’ve waited, I’m here to offer you something new in the New Year.

Regularity has definitely not been my strongest side, but you can’t say I’m not consistent. In the last five years of this blog I have developed a certain interest which I’ve been developing and sharing with you along the way. Because of this I have decided to make some radical steps and focus only on those things which I truly feel passionate about. Which means two things really:

There will be books

There will be less reviews

When it comes to film reviews, there’s really nothing new I can give you. There are better blogs out there doing what I have been trying to do for a while and I’m very happy to recommend you some reading if you are interested. But something I haven’t found out so much about are trailers and poster reviews. Yes, there are some YouTube channels that do trailers reviews, although these days we’re talking more about reaction videos, but really, apart from an ingenious post from the Shiznit, there’s not enough said in this area. So I decided to spend even more time reviewing the posters and this year, I will also review some trailers. Furthermore, I want to invite you to my instagram account, where I post book covers quite often. I will do the same here because although I have little to do myself with visual arts, covers and posters is just something I find extremely pleasing to my heart.

There will be also books. I don’t think I will review them much, but I will definitely discuss some of them here. I’ve been a reader for a long time now and although, I read slowly, I also read deeply, so sometimes an interesting thought or two come to my head. It might be worth checking it out.

What I’m also planning on doing more is my Top 12 lists. It has been quite difficult to do the long lists, because to be honest with you, I hardly remember any film plots, so when I write lists such as “Top Movie Villains”, etc, I can only come up with the last ten films I saw, otherwise I just pointlessly waste my time on IMDb trying to grab onto any list there is. So they will be a little different from what they used to be.

Also, the original intention of this blog was to post things at Midnight and finally, I will do so. I wonder how many of you will be awake then. According to Hans Ulrich Obrist – a lot.

Thanks for waiting, all of you, who have. And as for now, Here I present you two of my favourite movie posters of this year in no particular order. I hope you’ll enjoy them:


I guess I’m sucker for red.

Room Didn’t Work For Me Even Though

Well, maybe it’s an overstatement, because even though sitting in the cinema I kept thinking that I wish I liked it more, two weeks has passed since then and I’m still thinking about it. I actually have been recommending this film to everyone I feel appreciates good films and like every sane person, I am cheering for Brie Larson to win Oscar for her performance this year. And yet, there is a certain emptiness in me when I think about Room (do not mistake it with The Room – this never left me feeling empty, even for a second). You see, I really really wanted to love this film and I only liked it.

But the story starts way before, on the day I finished the book which the film is based on. If you haven’t read it yet, too late – now you can probably only get the awful film cover (the poster is nice, but putting film posters on the covers of the books is just horrible, I think – as if the book itself didn’t have a personality unless we give it the one of the film). I’m not sure why I decided to read it – it might be simply because…well, I heard so much good about the film which was showed during LFF and everyone went crazy about it. I got it on Kindle and I was done in the next three days. I literally couldn’t stop thinking about it for a second, so I read it in the same way people watch the Game of Thrones episodes.

Everything I loved about the book was indeed in the film – it doesn’t surprise me, because the authors herself wrote the script. Reading each scene I had it right in front of my eyes, which in my case, isn’t very usual – I suffer from lack of visual imagination. Also, I began to watch the trailer. Obsessively. At some point the images from the trailer combined with those from the book, which created the ultimate and the perfect product.

How I imagined the film? Well, I imagined it greyer and darker. Even though I could tell from the trailer that Larson’s teeth weren’t as rotten as her literary equivalent, I still believed they could have done it better. Also, the book is about the incredible relationship between the mother and the son – so strong it’s painful. The balance keeps switching too – she doesn’t want to leave him for a moment, but sometimes we wonder if it isn’t the result of the situation they are in. In Room, nothing is ever safe.

The balance changes when they manage to escape. Suddenly, the mother is back to her old world – the world in which she was a childless teenager last. The book handles her struggle so well – she is treated like a little girl by both of her parents (her father refusing to accept the son), her friends have had some sort of lives she now learns all about it. Suddenly it could be once again about her, but of course, it cannot be.

The son reacts to her changing by strengthening his bond with her. He puts a rotten tooth in his mouth she loses in Room and keeps it there at all time. This is a substitute of sucking her breastmilk, which she continues to do even though he’s five already.

The last scene in the book is both beautiful and heart-ripping. It is exactly what had to happen and yet, we already feel so sentimental towards the past even though the future seems much brighter in comparison. It might be because the book has more time to explore these ideas, but the film is generally really short, so it feels like if it was longer, there would be a chance to cover them in much more detail.

The film, of course, discusses the struggle, but does it in a much softer way. That said, it is still dark and disturbing, but there’s also so much hope in it, we know the characters will be fine. The book was hopeful, but there were moments when I thought some scars would never heal.

Still, I recommend Room to everyone, especially because it is a result of masterful directing, amazing acting and incredible storytelling. But if you want to choose, always choose the book. First. And then, the film.

I Thought It Would Be Different: Ratter

Here I come with a new series of reviews called “I thought it would be different”. The title came from a simple experience I have as often as you do, I’m sure: I read all about a film, know all the reviews by heart and set it such high or low expectations (depending on what I’ve been reading and where this information was coming from) that the film is almost doomed to surprise me (or not if it means an Adam Sandler movie). Usually this happens after film festivals I fail to attend. The audience can’t stop talking about a certain film and I get all excited about it only to discover yet another pretentious borefest, or in other cases, I grow all defensive like those who hate Harry Potter while never have read it themselves and when I finally get to see it (years after its official release, on the small screen of my computer which can never give anything justice) I curse myself for hating those who loved it. This happened for example with the Edge of Tomorrow – how long did I wait to see it? I don’t even know…Why? Because it never looked appealing – the title was awful, the trailer was ok. But one night I had nothing better to watch, so I put it on and hell, one of the best films of the genre (although like with all good films and books, the genre is played with). My God, how many letters did I send to Prince Charles Cinema asking them for re-release.

So yes, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about when I talk about films that I thought would be different.

So here comes the actual review.

Maybe before I start I should say that I’m afraid of darkness. I spent million years being very embarrassed about it, but now I don’t really give a crap of what all of you ten people reading this blog will think about it – I am afraid of darkness.

The fear of darkness has advantages of low tolerance for alcohol. Because of it, I tend to get freaked out by the mere mention of the words Home Alone and one of the scariest films I’ve seen in my whole life is E.T. because of the scene in which Elliot goes to the barn to check something (get pizza?) and alone, finds there a holly-shit-it’s-an-alien. I’m not going to even get into details of how many years I spent trying to stop freaking out about aliens abducting me in my sleep and how much it took me to finally turn off the light to go to sleep, even if I can only do it if somebody else is sleeping right next to me.

So Ratter seemed like a perfect film for me.

Until it tried to scare me.

There’s not much going on. There’s a girl who moves into the fanciest apartment in New York (fucking students, man) and spends her time doing not much, like we all, playing wii and watching TV. Sometimes she goes out and meets her friend who must be the most indifferent friend in the whole world. But of course, nothing is as simple as playing wii and watching TV – our heroine moved out partly to escape her parents’ overprotective nest (and to move to another nest, also sponsored by her parents) and partly to get rid off a drama queen ex, who calls her non stop crying over their finished relationship. So, of course when shit starts to go down we know it cannot be him causing all the trouble. He’s too obvious of a choice. But who else is there?

Well, she meets this guy she has no chemistry with and yet, they start going out and two weeks into their relationship he gets her a kitten as an apology for sending her porn accidentally (he didn’t but it freaked her out so he still apologised I guess…). First of all, as much as I love cats – who the fuck gives a cat surprise for anyone you know for such a short time? Hell, I wouldn’t even give a surprise pet for someone I know my whole life if they never mentioned wanting one before. Secondly, why is this character even there if not to make us think that oooooh…he must be doing stuff. But of course, it’s not him and anyway, what is this stuff I’m talking about?

Well, it’s hard to say. I should have mentioned much earlier- Ratter has a very special editing…issue…

Our heroine is stalked by a man, but we don’t know anything about him. The only way we could tell that somebody is stalking her is because all of her gadgets and technology around her is watching her. Her X Box camera is always on and so is her computer and sometimes we see her being zoomed in, so we presume there must be a person controlling it. But the main medium of stalking is her phone and damn, this phone has an eye of a spy I tell you.

The film’s editing looks messy to make it more realistic and fails amazingly at doing it right. Let’s play a game called Where Is the Phone?

Here are few shots from the film. Imagine, where the phone would have to be in order to film these:

Who the hell puts the camera on the level of their faces? It’s like the camera is the third person in the room. Or is it on top of her bag which is on top of the table? I don’t know, but it’s rude, girl. Hide your phone, man. So annoying…

In here, the camera is on the bed, but why at her feet as she does her nails?

Definitely one of my favourite scenes – walking around New York with a camera at your face. Girl, you’re dangerous. You might cause an accident walking like that

There’a a party scene in the film and I highly recommend you watch it, even if you skip the rest of the movie. Take the phone of your face people!!

The problem with Ratter is that everyone who’s seen it recommended it to me, saying it’s much better than Unfriended, another horror of similar sub-genre. But it’s not! Unfriended was one of my favourite things when I saw it and comparing Ratter to it is a disgrace.

So, yes. It was bad. How bad?


The Ones Below

Some films, even if they are not the best you’ve seen, are so interesting to watch you wish they lasted twice as long as they do. This is the case with The Ones Below, a new thriller from David Farr starring Clemence Poesy.

Before I finished The Ones Below, it was impossible for me to think of Poesy without associating her with Harry Potter franchise. I know, it’s old and she’s been doing things since then, but somehow I missed the majority of these things. So it came as a greatest surprise when I realised that not only can she act, but she can hold the whole film together for longer than they gave her a chance to. Yes, it is the first time I’m complaining about the film being too short. Deal with it.

The Ones Below is has what I would call, the Alice in Wonderland narrative structure. We enter a room of a story which doesn’t seem strange only to realise that not only is it strange, but extremely creepy and yet tempting us deeper down the rabbit hole. We open more and more doors, some really small, some massive and discover threads and sub-stories we want to leave the main plot for. The Ones Below is a fascinating film.

Since the previous paragraphs just sound abstract, I will now serve you the story itself in the words of the distributor:

Kate (Clémence Poésy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) live in the upstairs flat of a London house. Thirty-something, successful and affluent, they are expecting their first baby. All appears well on the surface though Kate harbours deep-rooted fears about her fitness to be a mother and her ability to love her child. One day, another couple, Jon (David Morrissey) and Theresa (Laura Birn), move in to the empty apartment below. They are also expecting a baby and, in stark contrast to Kate, Theresa is full of joy at the prospect of imminent motherhood. Pregnancy brings the women together in a blossoming friendship as Kate becomes entranced by Theresa’s unquestioning celebration of her family-to-be. Everything changes one night at a dinner party in Kate and Justin’s flat. Kate begins to sense that all is not as it seems with the couple below. Then a tragic accident throws the couples into a nightmare and a reign of psychological terror begins.

I can easily imagine Guillermo del Toro making this film. It has this sinister atmosphere all the way through and Poesy is excellent in leading us through it. The story itself comes with a few bumps, but overall it is extremely involving and we spend most of the film on the edge of our seats.

But do not assume that The Ones Below is your typical thriller. In structure it once again recalls the likes of Alice in Wonderland or the Orphanage. Comparing it to a horror film might be confusing, but the Ones Below is all about the atmosphere, that’s why I’m giving an example of a fairy-talish one.

Like I said, it had a few bumps. I felt that the ending was a little rushed and maybe it was so desperate to create a twist, when it finally came it felt pushed and almost unnecessary. The horror of the story lied in it not being extreme. Nobody could stop what was happening, because all the way through it just didn’t look so serious.

Aside from that, I loved the Ones Below. Of course, it’s not getting the broad release it deserves, because the mainstream cinemas are afraid to show films which might be slower than Deadpool (shout out for Odeon, who changed the game drastically by showing Disorder on their last Screen Unseen – even though I didn’t like the movie, I loved the step they took). If you can put your prejudices and doubts aside, do see the Ones Below. It’s a small and daunting treat.

In Linklater we trust

Linklater’s films aren’t story-driven. They are not character-driven either.
They are emotion-driven.

From the very first time I sat in the cinema to see Before Sunrise I knew one thing: I wanted to live in Linklater’s films no matter what.
No matter how bad an argument turns. No matter how painful childhood can be. No matter how crazy the amounts of alcohol and drugs become.
I wanted to live in his films.

Everything passes, but the moments last. The moments last in our memories.
Often idealised, sometimes not the way they actually happened. But always, always filled with true emotions.

There is a risk Linklater takes with every single film he makes. It might turn out to be over-sentimental. It’s easy to accuse him of having a single view on growing up. It’s easy to accuse him of directing only the average lives and ignoring the tragic ones. It’s easy to accuse him of being a white male. His characters are mainly white. His stories are all about the middle class.

But saying all of these things would be just too easy and it would take back what makes Linklater the master of indie cinema. His films are true and no matter who you are and where you have been, you can identify with the awe one feels coming-of age. The awe of the new, the awe of the unexperience, the awe of hope.

‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ is his new film and probably my third favourite of his yet (unless we count Before Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight as one, then it comes second). It feels like a continuation of his early feature, Dazed and Confused mixed with Boyhood, but in my eyes, it’s much better than both of them taken together. Although I liked Boyhood, I felt that the time span didn’t allow Linklater to do what he does best – focus on a moment. And although he had been successful in portraying the little things that build one’s childhood, ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’is made of these things.

There is no story as such. It’s an impression of college, as seen from perspective of a much older director. The distance is almost invisible at first. We are thrown into the lives of young guys playing baseball, going to college and most importantly, trying to get laid. But here, the Linklater’s magic happens – after we leave the cinema, our cheeks burning with all the emotions we have experienced – because the film isn’t a film, it’s an experience – we realise that it was a little too perfect. Just like our own memories of those days.

Of course the majority was sitting in the class and trying not to fall asleep, but Linklater ends his film on that leaving us little suffering of an everyday college life. Instead, he focuses on all the goods, or rather, on all the goods we remember. Like us, Linklater idealises the past but this is exactly what makes ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ so different from every other coming-of-age film I’ve seen. It captures our memories of these moments and turns them into reality.

I can’t recommend it enough. I loved it, I love it and I will love it again and again as I plan on seeing it regularly when it comes out. I promise you, you want some, too.

The propaganda game

I had been expecting to see an eye-opening documentary about the country everyone heard about and yet nobody knows anything of.
I had not been expecting one of the scariest films I’ve seen since…hell, I don’t know.
The Propaganda Game is impossible to compare to.

The Propaganda Game is a documentary directed by Alvaro Longoria – the creator of another film I will definitely watch soon. Alvaro goes to North Korea with the intention of discovering the truth about it. What does he mean by truth (originally)? Well, everything that doesn’t come from the mouth of media. What does he consider lies? Here it gets tricky. Longorio isn’t quite sure if what he hears is completely untrue.

North Korea is presented in Western Media as the most oppressed country in the world. Not only does it hurt its own people by putting them in an inhumane system ruled by a godlike dictator, but also it is a danger to the rest us. Its weapons, its soldiers and the scale of propaganda its people are subjected to makes it a target of ongoing discussion. The problem is, hardly anyone has access to it, so hardly anyone can say what is really going on.

Longoria gets an opportunity to visit the country,but as he goes deeper into the system or rather what he sees as such, the further he gets from discovering what the truth is.

The process of seeing is the key to understand the Propaganda Game. If to see is to believe than here it means the total opposite. The longer we look, the more unreal what we see seems. At the end, we leave just like Longoria does.

The Propaganda Game is extremely difficult to write about. It just has to be seen to be believed.

Top 12 Representations of Drugs in Films

It’s 20th of April today, also known as 420! So happy 420 and let’s get right to it!

Drugs are not a new topic in cinema. We’ve seen them from the moment Reefer Madness demonised marijuana. Or actually, maybe even earlier than that. Interestingly, the cinema has been always a mirror of a conversation which is taking place on the political scene. Are drugs bad? Are they good? Should we legalise them? What will happen if we do? What will happen if we won’t?

In the recent years I have noticed that with the legalisation of medical marijuana, more and more films show characters picking a joint over a can of beer. It’s interesting considering how much impact films had on the popularity of cigarettes in the past or alcohol for that matter.

I have my own opinion in this topic, which I don’t care to share. My intention is simply to present you with a number of interesting representations of drugs in films. By ‘interesting’ I don’t mean realistic or funny. I mean all sorts of things. What exactly? Let’s do it one at the time. Starting with…


12. Airplane!

Airplane! isn’t a drug-related film per se, but scenes where drugs are taken are definitely one of the most cult ones. Why? Maybe because they are play with the idea that something like coffee and cigarettes is easily comparable to glue and amphetamine (and aren’t they?), or maybe it’s because under the layer of a hilarious joke, it shows a much darker side of a drug addiction: it’s never a good time to quit anything.

11. The Wolf of Wall Street

It’s here not because of the overall treatment of drugs, or because of the car scene so well acted by DiCaprio you might be thinking he must had been on something. It’s because of the plane scene. About to be crashed, Jordan Belford and his accountant are sniffing the brains out of cocaine which they still have. If you’re going to die, you need to be high, they say. And this is what makes the drug addiction so scary. See, Airplane! for a lighter treatment of the same idea.

10. Bad Lieutenant

It’s all in Nicolas Cage. As much as Harvey Keitel version is much darker than Herzog’s film, it is Nicolas Cage’s performance that really does it. I can’t even remember which scenes he is on drugs in. Another example of a film which shows how fearless drugs make their characters feel.

9. A Scanner Darkly

This film takes its portrayal of drugs to the next level by presenting it with beautiful visuals, which recall some sort of trip on their own. But really, it’s about Robert Downey Jr. character and the mixture of glamour and disgust this film induces. Add his personal story to the mix and you can get really disturbed.

8. Trainspotting

The only reason why this film is so far on the list is because it’s my least surprising choice. If I were to pick one scene it would have to be the dead baby scene – not even the baby that walks on the ceiling, but the actual baby who dies. Straight away the mother’s grief is treated with heroin. Because what else is there to be done, right? Fucking terrifying.

7. American Psycho

I’m starting to think that this list might suggest I’m really against drugs, since all of the films here are some sort of warnings. American Psycho in my opinion most realistically shows how cocaine is a number one choice meal if you want to survive the high world. Yes, this is something literally every film on stock, money, millionaires and fancy suits says, but American Psycho shows this need internalised to its very edge. Does Patrick Bateman take cocaine and becomes more mad? Or is it cocaine that keeps him away from killing everyone (else)?

6. Pineapple Express

It’s to brighten up the mood. I will be watching this film tonight, most probably. Pineapple Express is my favourite high film. It’s funny, it’s about friendship and the scene when Saul and Dale get high with a catterpillar will warm your heart. The dopest dope I ever smoked.

5. 21 Jump Street

Ok, this list is no longer in any particular order, ok? So no, 21 Jump Street isn’t a better or more realistic representation of drugs than Trainspotting or I don’t know, Requiem for a Dream, but the way it shows how one phase turns into another is unmissible hilarious. It’s here so you can watch something tonight as a double bill with Pineapple Express. You’ll thank me later.

4. Requiem for a Dream

Watch with caution. Messed me up for years.


3. Enter the Void

I love this film. Yes, I do agree with all the criticism it gets. Yes, the whole plot is revealed in the first ten minutes of the movie. Yes, there’s more style and form to it than the quality of the story. Yes, yes, yes, but so what? It’s nearly three hours long and keeps your gaze still on the screen throughout. And it’s stunning. It’s so beautiful going back to the real word makes you miss it immediately. I guess that’s exactly what DMT feels like. So, bravo.

2. Christiane F.

I grew up on the book this film is based on, but I thought it was just my teenage taste which made me like it. A year ago I finally saw this film from the start to finish and I was shocked how unapologetic it was. It’s an exact adaptation of the book. The girl is definitely too young to be playing the role she is playing and it’s almost impossible to believe that it’s not a documentary. Abolutely terrifying, disturbing and most anti-heroin movie on this list.

1. Heaven Knows What

This film is probably the most underrated movie in the recent years, so see it instead of reading why you should. It doesn’t really tell a story. It doesn’t really have characters. It’s just a rubmle of some crackheads trying to get a fix. They walk around the city arguing, talking, planning, conspiring, getting high and then getting back to walking, arguing, talking, planning and trying to get high.

It’s a masterpiece.

Demolition with Jake Gyllenhaal – Is His Hair Good Enough?

Today I saw a new clip from Demolition – one of these films with Jake Gyllenhaal we are all waiting for and yet, worrying that it will turn out to be something like Southpaw – the film I’m trying to forget about even though I never saw it. It might be the case that there is a correlation between Jake Gyllenhaal’s hair and the quality of movies he’s in. But before we get to it, here is the clip from Demolition:

It’s cute and nihilistic and it has this cool editing where people seem to be talking for long periods of time (because the scene jumps into the next one without the topic being changed). I don’t know if it’s happening in the present or in the past or in the future even, but whatever it is – it does work cooly.

Overall, Demolition looks good. I saw a trailer. The only concern I had was lack of clear direction towards which the film was going. But maybe, I thought, maybe some films don’t need a plot. I know a lot of good ones that don’t follow the traditional story patterns and instead, focus on the character’s development. And since, Demolition talks about grief and loss, maybe this is exactly what the director intended – to reveal the whole story, so we go to the cinema only to learn about its character.

I trust Jake Gyllenhaal or should I say, in Jake Gyllenhaal I trust. As an actor, he never disappoints, no matter how small of a task he gets and rarely does he get a small task.

However, there is one thing I noticed and it’s not necessarily always true, but in 80% of cases it seems to be – his hairstyle tends to determine the quality of the movie he starrs in. And not to panic – his hair is short in Demolition. Southpaw short.

Of course, rarely does Jake Gyllenhaal have verybad hair, however, sometimes his hair is perfect-hall and special, other times it’s only pretending to be long. It’s longish or long on the top, but on the side…it doesn’t promise a good movie.

Whenever his hair is fresh-shave-hair and lacking personality, the edginess of the Hall, it seems the film tends to suffer, too. For example, Love and Other Drugs the total rubbish has Jake Gyllenhaal looking like a Calvin Klein model:

the sides are messed-up. Too short. Rotten Tomatoes rating? 49%

With Rendition, another film which scored only 47%, Jake Gyllenhaal is Nick Carter. It’s bad. It’s really bad

And then, there’s Accidental Love. Still can’t believe this film came out last year.

This hair though, it never gave it a chance:

it’s a strong 7% hair.

So, I worry. I worry that Demolition will be a bad film, but I’m not going to be guided by American critics and am patiently waiting for the UK release, later this month. For now, let’s enjoy the clips while they’re lacking context.

The Club – The Club of the Broken

It’s almost impossible to watch The Club today without referring back to Spotlight – a film, which everyone loved, but nobody expected to win the very main Academy Award this year. Both films discuss a difficult and disturbing topic of sexual harrassment in the walls of Catholic Church – in Spotlight, these walls are constantly moved whils in the Club the walls are thicker than what they hold inside.

Pablo Larrain is the director of one of the most motivating films I watched – NO. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you do immediately, however, watching the Club straight afterwards might be a surprising experience. The Club has little to do with NO, but Larrain’s sensibility to make unheard voices loud is in both of them.

In the words of distributor:

Four men live together in a secluded house in a small, seaside town. Each of them has been sent to this place to purge sins from the past. They live according to a strict regime under the watchful eye of a female caretaker when the fragile stability of their routine is disrupted by the arrival of a fifth man, a newly-disgraced companion bringing with him the past they thought they had left behind.

So, as you can imagine the film is dark. It’s beautifully dark. The pace is really slow, but it allows us to give our full attention to incredible directorial choices Larrain made when filming the surrounding. The time seems to always be dusking or dawning, the world always covered in fog. The images speak more than the words in the Club, although words, when spoken, are painful and disturbing.

Although, it was Spotlight which I cried through hearing the stories of the vitims, here the descriptions are much more direct. They seem almost vulgar when put against the raw, innocent environment it is filmed in. The nature, the cottage house, the sea.

What I loved about the Club is that it remains ambiguous all the way through. By introducing two characters to the cult-like cottage house structure, Larrain puts its viewers in an uncomfortable chair: the priests are obviouslt guilty of certain crimes and yet, we hope they will find themselves rather than get the punishment worse than they’re already subjected to. It is also the way they are being punished by the sins from the past – by life in isolation, which in reality seems more like letting them hide themselves rather than face the facts.

And some of them are homosexuals who didn’t commit any crimes. We want them to be loved.

But I didn’t like the Club as much as I liked NO and not because it was painful and complex, or slower than NO. Somehow, it left me cold and maybe a little bored. Maybe I wish Larrain made a statement of a sort.

THE CLUB directed by Pablo Larraín is in UK cinemas 25 March with a Special Preview Screening and Panel Discussion at Curzon Soho on Monday 21st March 6.20pm #TheClubFilm

The Club was

Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, The Golden Globes 2015

Winner of Silver Bear – Grand Jury Prize,

Berlin International Film Festival 2015

and is coming out next week.