Movies, TV & Music
Little White Lies

Little White Lies January - February 2016

The freshest and most credible voice in film, LWLies is the world's most stunning film source. Honest, unmerciful, relevant - and always beautiful.

United Kingdom
The Church of London
Read More
6 Issues

in this issue

6 min.

Directed byPAOLO SORRENTINO StarringMICHAEL CAINE, HARVEY KEITEL, RACHEL WEISZ Released29 JANUARY We tend to think of the ageing process as one of perpetual decline. The body grows weak, the mind tires, memories fade. Accepting our own mortality is one of the hardest realisations we face as human beings, yet the reality is that only a few of us will reach the point where “natural causes” – that most curious and vague of medical euphemisms – becomes a viable cause of death. We fear what we cannot control and believe the best we can hope for is a quick and painless exit. But what matters more: the manner in which you go, or making sure you’re at peace with the world when your time is up? In Youth, writer/director Paolo Sorrentino’s operatic ode to old…

15 min.
every bloody thing

Michael Caine is propelled by such perky charm that everything he says – in public life or within character – seems peachy. It often isn’t as simple as that, but such is the power of his unique persona. His voice is immediately recognisable, a blend of cockney chancer and man of the world. Film-wise, he has starred in the great and the good, the bad and the awful, albeit without ever personally delivering a duff performance. Caine is a consummate professional whose attention to craft began when, at aged 14, he took out a book on acting technique by the Russian actor Vsevolod Pudovkin from the Southwark Public Library. “Film acting is re-acting, not acting” and “never blink before the camera” are self-taught lessons still evident in his performances today. Caine…

6 min.
the puppet master

“’m in a philosophical mood but I don’t know if I’m up to it – so I just hope not to disappoint you.” Paolo Sorrentino is sitting on a hard sofa on the second floor of a Parisian restaurant. He glances forward warily while smoking a cigar. Downstairs, a fluffy tabby cat is stretched out in the ladies bathroom. Sorrentino and the feline share the same relaxed posture, and the ability to deflect advances at lightning speed should a person reach out with too much familiarity. This distance is surprising given the mood conjured by Youth. There’s an existential lightness to the director’s seventh feature that suggests a soul in search of release. That said, previous films The Great Beauty and Il Divo depict men who look down on life from ivory…

48 min.
little white lies presents swan songs

INTRODUCTION We take for granted that when we wake up of a morning, art will be there for us to consume. And, our favourite artists will be there, ready and willing, to serve this unquenchable desire. But time is a cruel mistress, and just as, say, a film director has to make a first movie, he or she will also have to make a final movie. Our cover film, Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, is about a retired conductor (played by Michael Caine) who is looking back over his life and working out which loose ends need tying, and which can remain forever frayed. Little White Lies has decided to take 50 examples of cinematic swan songs and explore them individually in search of common themes and threads. On occasion, a director will accept…

3 min.

IN LOVING MEMORY R.I.P. SOMETIMES, MOVIE DIRECTORS DIE BEFORE THEY CAN REALISE ALL OF THE CINEMATIC DRAMS. WE OFFER SPECULATIVE REVIEWS OF THE SWAN SONGS THAT NEVER WERE. GOD’S PRECIOUS GIFT ROBERT BRESSON GENESIS The French director Robert Bresson certainly made genre films in his time (Pickpocket; Lancelot Du Lac), but his mooted epic involving the creation of the universe, Genesis, falls into a category of its own. Avoiding digital effects, Bresson relies on abstract flashes of light and a meticulous melody of sounds to imagine Earth’s first days. Adam (Jean-Pierre Leaud) and Eve (Catherine Deneuve) walk solemnly through a Technicolor painted garden with their many, astonishingly expressive animal costars (plus Jean-Luc Godard voicing the serpent). But while the film’s physical elements are astonishing, the immense tragedy of the film’s ending – a…

4 min.

Directed byCHARLIE KAUFMAN, DUKE JOHNSON StarringDAVID THEWLIS, JENNIFER JASON LEIGH, TOM NOONAN Released11 MARCH 5 ANTICIPATION. Obviously 4 ENJOYMENT. Intricately, brilliantly, tragically solipsistic. 5 IN RETROSPECT. Commitment to mapping a specific type of suffering is never less than absolute. Kurt Vonnegut’s 1963 novel ‘Cat’s Cradle’ is about the fictional religion of Bokonism. In it, he invented a new vocabulary for how we evaluate others. The most profound thing you can say about a person is that they belong to your “karass”. This, Vonnegut defines as “a network or group of people who are somehow affiliated or linked spiritually.” Charlie Kaufman wrote Being John Malkovich and Adaptation., and directed Synecdoche, New York, and I am a member of his karass. We are linked by name and an inward nature, and therefore I naturally accept qualities in his latest film, Anomalisa, that might deter…