Out in cinemas this week: Bella finds out what being a vampire, and a mom, is all about; a Russian advertising whiz drowns in post-Soviet consumerism; and fifty years on, you'll still be ducking all those pigeons who have it in for Tippi Hedren.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 (2012)
Here it is at last: the very end of the Twilight saga. There will never be any more sparkly vampires, ever. Hallelujah.
The story: After the birth of Renesmee, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi.
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Dakota Fanning, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Anna Kendrick, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Peter Facinelli, Billy Burke, Michael Sheen.
Directed by: Bill Condon.
Generation P (2012)
What is it with Russia and iconoclastic satires the perils of consumerism lately? Anyway, this kinetic adaptation of the Viktor Pelevin novel is a real trip through Russian postmodernism, in all senses of the word. The sci-fi element is primarily the extension of the story beyond the present day, extrapolating from the novel and the original version of the screenplay.
The story: A complex chronicle of the rise of the advertising industry in Post-Soviet Russia.
Starring: Vladimir Epifantsev, Mikhail Efremov, Andrey Fomin, Sergey Shnurov, Vladimir Menshov, Oleg Taktarov, Ivan Okhlobystin, Andrey Panin, Leonid Parfyonov.
Directed by: Victor Ginzburg.
It's half a century old, and The Birds still continues to exemplify what can be done with framing, effects, and sound to unsettle and thrill the captive viewer. And the eeriest part is still that we never find out why, or how, those birds are ganging up on Tippi Hedren. In addition to this limited-run re-release with a new 35 mm print--and really, if you're near a participating cinema you really have to see this film on the big screen--there's also a DVD reissue out.
The story: A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people there in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness.
Starring: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette, Jessica Tandy, Veronica Cartwright, Ethel Griffies, Charles McGraw, Joe Mantell, Elizabeth Wilson, Doodles Weaver, Richard Deacon.
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock.