Hardy) and former Nickleodean starlet Alexandra Shipp’s scene-stealing Storm.
Meanwhile, lining up for the white hats, James McAvoy’s Professor X is joined by charming new team additions Jean Grey ( Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner), Kodi Smit-McPhee’s Nightcrawler (another scene stealer), Tye Sheridan’s Cyclops and J-Law, who, making the most of her star wattage, dispenses with some of the blue skin in favour of looking like J-Law.
Highlights include an unsurprising (yet welcome) star cameo and the most elaborate screen runaround to date for Quicksilver (Evan Peters). Low points include: ic brute husband.
“You are a failed wife and a failed mother and you will rot in the bowels of hell,” he tells Aislin in one of their more tender moments together. The unhappy couple have already lost a child in a ludicrously overheated opening sequence.
Balor, who routinely mentions his service during the war (presumably second) is in the middle of a heated domestic dispute when a young mainlander named Fionn (Ross Anderson) arrives on their doorstep. Well this can only turn out well.
Anderson’s performance retains a degree of nuance, the 15 minutes required for every single X-Man to remember to use his or her powers; a total failure to make merry with the Cold War backdrop; and an endless, and endlessly fluffed hyper-mega-global destruction scene wherein pixelated versions of world monuments are blown into still more pixels ad nauseam.
Returning director Bryan Singer birthed this successful franchise when the Marvelverse was still capable of producing flops ( Punisher) between hits ( Blade and Spider-Man). Seventeen years on, the sequence feels almost as old as its sorry antagonist. Time for X to take some zzzz, perhaps. while his more experienced co-stars sound like a cannons mounted before megaphones. It’s hardly their fault. Everything about The Silent Storm suggests a screenplay was written entirely IN CAPITAL LETTERS. No “r” goes unrolled, no piece of furniture is unpounded.
Joanna Hogg’s regular director of photography Ed Rutherford seeks out sparse, windswept tableaux, but one suspects that the only reason this is playing in cinemas is that Barbara Broccoli, the veteran Bond mogul, is listed as an executive producer. Fishy. MIRROR/ZERKALO Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. Starring Margarita Terekhova, Ignat Daniltsev, Larisa Tarkovskaya, Alla Demidova. Club, IFI, Dublin, 106 min If one needed to explain the term “arthouse” to a marauding space alien, the nonemore-arthouse Mirror ticks all boxes: Voiceover? Check. Random newsreel inserts? Check. Nonlinear narrative? Check. Shots of pages turning in Mao’s Little Red Book? Yep.
Andrei Tarkovsky’s quasiautobiographical film poem, originally released in 1975, floats and flits between prewar, wartime and postwar years as the film-maker contemplates his relationship with his mother, his estranged wife and his motherland. In common with Stalker (1979) and Nostalgia (1983), the writings of poet Arseni Tarkovsky (Andrei’s father) are heard, and Tarkovsky’s mother, Maria Vishnyakova, appears as herself.
Tarkovsky’s alter-ego, Alexei (Ignat Daniltsev), drifts through memories and dreams: the family barn by his
Parent, trapped: Margarita Terekhova in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mirror
childhood home burns down; his mother washes her hair; he squabbles with his wife; he undergoes rifle training as an adolescent; he reunites with his father and sister at the end of the war; his son reads from a letter by Pushkin; and, confined to bed, he waits for death.
Ghostly archive footage from the Spanish Civil War and Sino-Soviet clashes is spliced between recollections that may not be wholly reliable: Alexei’s mother, notably, is alternately called Maria, Marushka and Masha. Other reminiscences are coloured by cultural influences.
Many of DOP Georgy Rerberg’s compositions echo works by Da Vinci and (a Tarkovsky favourite) Bruegel the Elder. There are nods, as well, to the director’s own work: a poster for Andrei Rublev (1966) hangs on the protagonist’s wall. The score by Eduard Artemyev is appositely haunting.
Mirror was not widely released upon its completion, yet it soon became a cult favourite in the USSR. Its reputation has grown steadily in Anglophone territories over the past decade, placing 19th in Sight & Sound’s most recent critics’ poll, and ninth in the corresponding directors’ poll.
Tarkovsky’s stream-ofconsciousness continues to cast a lengthy shadow on experimental cinema. Mirror is much copied, but as the recent run of Terrence Malick films demonstrates, eschewing time and plot for flotsam and psyche is much harder than Tarkovsky makes it look.