Greengrass was a gentleman

Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass pictured with Martin Melarkey from the Culture Company at a screening of his latest film in the Brunswick Moviebowl in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown.
Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass pictured with Martin Melarkey from the Culture Company at a screening of his latest film in the Brunswick Moviebowl in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown.

Sunday Journal reporter and Derry Journal film critic, Andrew Quinn, spent this week taking in the Sam Shepard season, watched Werner Herzog’s re-make of F.W. Murnau’s ‘Nosferatu’ and asked ‘Captain Phillips’ director Paul Greengrass if he has any intention of making movies with Matt Damon again.

November 12, 7.44pm - ‘Fool For Love’ at the Nerve Centre

After a week spent in the rain with Nosferatu, a meat clever wielding dwarf and a murderous preacher it was time to embrace the part of Cinema City I was looking forward to most.

Sam Shepard is without question one of my favourite writers and actors so the chance to take in a bit of the Sam Shepard Season at Cinema City was not to be missed.

‘Oedipus Rex’ was on at the same time as ‘Don’t Look Now’ last week and despite wanting desperately to go and see ‘Don’t Come Knocking’ a certain movie by the name of ‘Gravity’ put a stop to that on Thursday.

‘Fool For Love’ is the film adaptation of Shepard’s play of the same time.

Until Tuesday evening at the Nerve Centre, I had not seen the film before.

Sometimes, plays that are turned into films can feel arduous and like hard work but that wasn’t the case with ‘Fool For Love’.

It’s directed by Robert Altman and the performances from Shepard, Kim Basinger and Harry Dean Stanton are absolutely brilliant.

‘The film’s opening scene is reminiscent of the first few frames of ‘Midnight Cowboy’ but for this movie lover, it was a much more rewarding and enjoyable experience.

May (Basinger) finds herself working in a petrol station in the middle of the Nevada desert. Out of nowhere, an old friend/flame from her past by the name of Eddie (Shepard) turns up and threatens, sometimes literally, to drag her kicking and screaming back to her previous life.

An old man, who lives nearby, loiters throughout and as Eddie and May work through their wild and passionate past it’s revealed that the old man is much more significant than we originally thought.

Altman’s film is awfully dark at times but there a consistent wry humour that runs right through the movie.

The film is set entirely in and around the petrol station and the motel which gives almost a voyeuristic feel to it. The fact that the narrative and setting are largely limited to a small area made me feel like I was right up close and personal with all that was going on.

Shepard, as you’d expect, is brilliant as Eddie but Basinger is wonderfully intense as May.

May comes across the kind of woman who doesn’t think before she acts but she craves the feeling of being desired by men.

Basinger is an actress who would be far down many lists when it comes to prowess but in ‘Fool For Love’ she is utterly endearing.

The Sam Shepard season doesn’t stop with ‘Fool For Love’.

On Friday November 22 ‘Paris, Texas’ will be screened at the Brunswick Moviebowl at 7.30pm and Sam Shepard will take part in a Q&A session after the movie.

On Tuesday November 26 ‘Blackthorn’ will be shown at the Nerve Centre at 8pm.

November 13, 7.33pm - ‘Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht’ at the Nerve Centre

I endured the rain during the outdoor screening of F.W. Murnau’s 1922 ‘Nosferatu’ in Ebrington Square last Friday but thankfully Screen Two at the Nerve Centre was bone dry and warm for Werner Herzog’s 1979 re-make ‘Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht’.

The opening sequence of the film, coupled with the chilling music from German band ‘Popol Vuh’ is utterly frightening.

The camera pans from left to right over a dreadful collection of preserved corpses. It’s memorable and brilliant but terrifying also.

Herzog’s film is elegant and wonderfully made but what made my viewing almost unbearable was the fact that a couple, who were sat behind me, talked the whole way through the film, laughed at parts where comedy was not intended and both their mobile phones went off - if I ran a cinema they’d be banned for life. If it’s good enough for Madonna then it’s good enough for two cinema goers in Derry.

Klaus Kinski plays Count Dracula and is ridiculously realistic and if you’ve ever seen Oliver Hirschbiegel’s ‘Downfall’ it’s worth checking out ‘Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht’ as Bruno Ganz, who played Adolf Hitler in Hirschbiegel’s film was cast as Jonathan Harker.

If it’s ‘True Blood’ or ‘Vampire Diaries’ you are after then stay away but if you fancy an outstanding and interesting film about the world’s most famous count, then give it a go.

November 14 - 9.47am - ‘Captain Phillips’ at the Brunswick Moviebowl

You need a world class excuse for not having seen Paul Greengrass’ ‘Captain Phillips’.

Along with ‘Gravity’, it’s the film of the year and Tom Hanks’ performance in the movie is without question one of his best.

But the screening of the film at the Brunswick Moviebowl on Thursday morning was extra special because Paul Greengrass, yes, the man who made ‘United 93’, ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ and ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’, was there too.

Paul Greengrass introduced the film to a full to capacity Screen One and nipped out for a coffee, some press interviews and then returned after the film had ended to take part in a Q&A session with Eoghan Doherty from Joe.ie.

I managed to grab ten minutes with Paul Greengrass before the Q&A session started and I am happy to report that he is every bit as classy and charming as his movies. He was a complete gentleman and as we say in Derry ‘he was wile down to earth’.

Greengrass spoke from the heart when it came to Derry. He said making the film ‘Bloody Sunday’ in 2002 was one of the highlights of his career and added that the city had taught him so much about life.

He also praised the performance of Tom Hanks and newcomer Barkhad Abdi in ‘Captain Phillips’ and confirmed to me that he had been linked with making ‘Rush’ and he would 100 per cent make more movies (not Jason Bourne) with Matt Damon.

Next Week

If next week’s programme was to be a movie sequel to the two preceding weeks it would be ‘Toy Story 3’ because it’s just full of top class entertainment.

The Foyle Film Festival opens on Wednesday evening with Israeli film ‘Big Bad Wolves’ at the Brunswick Moviebowl but cinema fans will have one hell of a decision to make between attending ‘Psycho Live’ with music from the Ulster Orchestra in Ebrington on Friday and a special screening of ‘Paris, Texas’ with a Q&A with Sam Shepard (both are on at the same time).

For full details and to buy tickets for next week’s events visit www.brunswickmoviebowl.com or www.foylefilmfestival.org or www.cinema-city.co