So, firstly, the actual cinema: is gorgeous. It has absolutely loads of legs room in all the seats, more than in any other cinema I have ever been in. Neither of my 6'5"+ partners would have the slightest trouble fitting into any seat they wanted to, which is incredibly unusual. Tickets are slightly more than at the Rex, and there's no organ at the front or snogging seats at the back, but it's clean and the decor is your traditional cinema decor, all red plush and gold frogging. The snacks and drinks are reasonably priced, and you can get a cup of tea in a proper cup as well as fizzy pop and stuff. The staff are friendly and helpful, and you get proper old style Pearl And Dean music and idents at the start of the adverts. Oh yeah, and the "turn your phone off" and "don't put your feet on the seats" messages are delivered in the form of twee poetry, which is so Hebden Bridge. I really liked this cinema, so much so that I signed up for the email list and will definitely be going again.
Secondly, the film. Wow. For starters, the visuals: it's absolutely stunningly beautifully shot. Lighting comparable to that in Night of the Demon (which those who know me will know is my favourite film for beautiful lighting ever). There's flavours of the German Expressionist school in there, too. The framing and timing of every shot is so spot on, both the editor and the director have done amazing jobs. The scenes where drugs have been taken by one or another character are as well done as the SloMo drugs scenes in Dredd. The close-ups on the pivotal cat are amazing, and the way the film plays with focus to show you different angles on the same shot is lovely.
Then there's the sound. Music plays a big part in this story, and the songs and music played by characters within the film blend seamlessly with the overarching soundtrack. It's incredibly well-done and immersive. Again, in the drug-taking scenes, the soundtrack works with the visuals, going muffled or muted or oddly loud in all the right places.
Other things... The pace of the thing is slow and lyrical for most of the time, such that when ther is a jolting shock, it's really jolting. The plot is... Well, for the second time today, I'm not going to go into the plot, but it's unusual and interesting and fun. It's a bit gory in places, and there's some sexual nastiness, but nothing that triggered me. It passes Bechdel. The acting is first class, from the elderly drug addict to the jaded prostitute to the terrified little boy; and through all this the titular Girl floats ethereally, like the otherworldly thing she is. Oh yes, and the male lead is so impossibly beautiful he looks like a sculpture. All in all, I would fully recommend this to anyone who is a film geek.
See this film if:
- You want to see something visually and aurally stunning that will NEVER come out of a major Hollywood studio
- You want to see some great acting from a range of actors
- You want to see what can be done with black and white in the modern era.
- You think black and white films are boring and you can't cope with foreign language movies
- You want breakneck pace and explosions on a regular schedule.
Scores: Acting: 9/10, Script: 8/10; Technical 10/10. Overall 9/10
If you liked this you should watch: The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1920), Night of the Demon (1957), Let the Right One In (2008)