Welcome to the latest edition of 24 Frames. Sahara Shrestha and Andrew Jamieson will be guiding you through the exciting, confusing and often brilliant world of 'film'. Expect news, trailers and plenty of opinion.

The latest edition is brought to you by Andrew Jamieson, who can be found on twitter over at @theghostwriterc.



24 Frames: The 'Formula One' Edition

As the year enters its twilight months, there are many releases that demand your attention over the next few weeks until the 2013 holiday season arrives. New movies from Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott will be hitting cinemas across the globe. This week saw the release of Rush, which is the new movie from director Ron Howard who made a stellar transition from the comedic highs of the 'Happy Days' television show to the George Lucas directed American Graffiti (1973).

While Howard's career has moved from the highs of the political veracity of Frost/Nixon (2008) to the portentous and slightly underwhelming adaptations of two portentously opaque Dan Brown novels with Tom Hanks, Howard is a director with a sensibility that is rooted in character and heartfelt human emotion, as he showed with Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind (2001). After the strange comedic paradigm that was 2011's The Dilemma, he returns to form with Rush, and what a glorious return to form this movie is.

Rush tells the story of the rivalry between two of the biggest stars in Formula One racing during the 1970s: James Hunt and Niki Lauder - a rivalry that had a profound effect on the sport and the lives of the two men featured here. James Hunt played by Chris Hemsworth is a man driven by passion, sexuality and naked desire. His opponent Niki Lauder played brilliantly by Daniel Bruhl is a man who strives toward the deft adaptation of his own technical nous and focused enterprise to bring himself wins on the circuit. Lauder is not as confident with people and members of the opposite sex as his rival but he offers his own sense of sedated charisma to the sporting arena. Hunt's life is one that is defined by a want and need to live life to the full, he does this by enjoying friends, stimulants and a promiscuous lifestyle that perhaps masks the complexities of his heart. Lauder is almost a character stinted by his own emotional dyspepsia.

While the movie is a stunning companion piece to Asif Kapadia's wonderful documentarySenna (2010), it also shares some traits with Michael Mann's 1995 crime opus Heat. In Michael Mann's movie the criminal and the cop find themselves in direct opposition and yet this leads both men toward a paradoxical respect for each other that defines the narrative arc for them both.

  • Alexandria Maria Lara and Daniel Bruhl in Rush

In Rush, the two male characters are also defined by their opposition to each other and the subjective personality flaws that define who they are. The other thing the two movies have in common is that both stories use the female characters in the story to add a layer of profundity to their male counterparts. Alexandria Maria Lara plays Niki Lauder's lover Marlene Knaus and Olivia Wilde plays Hunt's wife Suzy Miller. There is a beautiful scene in the movie as Lauder admits to his lover that he sees happiness as a worrying signifier for the end of his career, because this nirvana will mean that he is more cautious on the terrifying Formula One tracks and vehicles of the 1970s. This pays off in a stunningly small but intimate scene later in the movie.

James Hunt meanwhile uses the machismo of his sexual exploits to mask his sorrow. While Michael Mann's characters veered away from their women and were ultimately defined by their machismo and focus, Nicki Lauder's relationship is wonderfully intimate and flawed. This facet of his story is made all the more surprising as it comes from a man who prior to marrying his partner tells her "Well if it had to be anybody, I'm glad it's you." This relationship is well played and allows the story to transcend the traditionally male conceit of a movie in which men supposedly desire cars as much as their lovers. While Hunt is a lothario, it is to the credit of screenwriter Peter Morgan that he remains a sympathetic character.

Despite all of the emotionality of the story, Rush is also a superbly fun movie. It is sexy without being crass and bawdy, exciting and well shot. The director of photography is Antony Dod Mantle who shot 127 hours (2010) and Slumdog Millionaire for director Danny Boyle. He makes a 50 million dollar budget look like a 150 million dollar budget. It is funny and its heart is rooted firmly in the right place. Not only is the movie an affecting piece, it is also a thrill ride. Please rush to the cinema to see this, you won't forget the ride or the emotional journey.

See Also: 24 Frames: The 'Fifty Shades of Fincher' Edition