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#1 Wools

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 10:08 AM

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After a long wait for the film to get to these shores, I finally managed to see the film last night.

I was worried the film would not be screened at any location where I live, but Guildford Odeon announced a few weeks ago there would be a one off screening in Screen 1. Itís good to see that tickets must have sold fast as the room was at capacity and they had an extra showing in Screen 7, hopefully positive word of mouth will give Senna a decent run in the UK.

Iíve been a lifetime Formula 1 fan but Iíve never been a fan of Senna. I was aware that he was a dangerous driver, prepared to do anything to win, and witnessed the amount of shunts, crashes and his general aggressive behaviour. When he had his crash at Imola, it was a huge shock to witness but somewhere in the back of my mind, I was not surprised to see him be killed, considering what I had witnessed in previous years.

As time went on, the acclaim Senna received was countered by my own feelings and journalists like Nigel Roebuck, whoís praise of his driving was just as easy to talk about as his aggressive nature on and off the track. With those mixed emotions, I watched the film and emerged with a different attitude towards the man and the situations that Iíve always held aloft as negatives towards his life.

The film uses documentary footage throughout, with no narrator or single voice. The images are entirely of the time and the voices are a mixture of historical recording of the people involved in his life, and recent interviews with Ron Dennis, Sennaís Sister and close relations. The film plays out in a structure like Goodfellas, where the film opens from his humble beginnings racing Go Karts, quickly jumps to him joining Formula 1 in the Toleman, his continued success in the McLaren, but then slows down as he becomes unhappy in the car, in till it all slows to a crawl at the final race in Imola where everything goes wrong.

Iíve never seen a documentary that is so involving or feels as cinematic as a film. Senna is as charismatic as any lead, with the on-board footage of the old cars looking far more fast and far more terrifying than any of the 2011 F1 cars. The open cockpit exposing the drivers shoulders, large steering wheels and manual H Shifter gearbox looks beautiful to behold on the big screen, with the drivers moving and being slammed about as they negotiate the bare concrete circuits of the day. As is predictable, there are some hair raising crashes shown on the film and with nowhere to look but the screen, you feel helpless as a drivers body lay lifeless on the track as cars are driving round him.

The film communicated to me what Ayrton Senna was about in 2 hours, where the live TV footage and a decade of books have failed to. He was a dedicated driver, passionate about winning, genuinely cared about what his wealth could contribute to the world and hated the politics involved with the FIA and Formula 1. If you love F1 or especially if you donít, I urge you to watch it.



There was a thread about this but it was in Off Topic. I thought Iíll talk about the Film, but feel free to merge if not!
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#2 Rudderless

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 11:57 AM

What a superb post. I'm really interested in seeing this, but with work and family commitments I barely get the chance to leave the house these days, let alone get the opportunity to go to the cinema. I'll have to wait for the DVD/Blu-Ray release, I think.
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#3 Eighthours

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 12:33 PM

I saw this a couple of weeks ago. I can't remember the last time I was as nervous as I was when the 'San Marino Grand Prix 1994' caption popped up and I knew it was the final weekend. My heart was pounding so hard during the race footage leading up to the crash. I certainly wasn't expecting the film to have such an impact on me, but I thought it was absolutely fantastic.
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#4 Plissken

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 12:37 PM

Funnily enough, it is a film to be seen in a cinema, despite not being overly cinematic. Mainly because, as Eighthours says, the atmosphere in the room changes when that caption comes up and you share with the rest of the audience in the horror of what is about to happen.
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#5 Captain LeChuck

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 12:51 PM

This is 'out there' and now there is a half-decent english subtitle file available too. However, I saw this properly in the cinema last night. It's magnificent; easily my film of the year. I can't imagine any other film out this year having anywhere near the emotional impact of Senna. As I said over in the F1 thread, I implore all F1 fans who have not seen this to try and make one of the viewings while it's still in the cinema. And definitely get the blu-ray.
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#6 Charles

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 03:34 PM

For those of us youngsters who only got into F1 in recent years, is this film worth watching? Obviously I know the history of Senna but don't have a great emotional attachment to either him or F1 at that time? Is it just a good standalone documentary or does it assume you already have plenty of background knowledge regarding the subject?
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#7 Plissken

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 03:38 PM

You don't need any background knowledge at all, either on him as a person or a driver. You get the impression of all that from the film. Obviously if you know F1 now, the lack of safety, plus the skill of the drivers comes as a real shock - seeing that Senna in the Toleman just dancing around Monaco is amazing to see.
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#8 JohnC

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 03:53 PM

For those of us youngsters who only got into F1 in recent years, is this film worth watching? Obviously I know the history of Senna but don't have a great emotional attachment to either him or F1 at that time? Is it just a good standalone documentary or does it assume you already have plenty of background knowledge regarding the subject?

You need no knowledge. I've heard several people on the radio, including critics reviewing it, who have no interest or knowledge of F1 who all loved it. Film of the year so far for some of them.
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#9 Headache

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 04:10 PM

For those of us youngsters who only got into F1 in recent years, is this film worth watching? Obviously I know the history of Senna but don't have a great emotional attachment to either him or F1 at that time? Is it just a good standalone documentary or does it assume you already have plenty of background knowledge regarding the subject?

You'll feel like you knew and loved the man by the end of the film. Le Chuck's comments on the film in the F1 thread are excellent, especially how he described the experience for his friend. Worth a quick read.
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#10 Charles

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 04:10 PM

Good, I've just checked and its showing in my local cinema so I shall be off to see it next week.
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#11 Bushtopher

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 04:16 PM

I wasn't into F1 at the time Senna was driving, but absolutely loved the film. Agree with the other posts above about the final race - I can't remember the last time I felt so tense in a film, watching that on board footage. Truly amazing film.

My girlfriend, who has little interest in F1, came out in tears and has since been recommending it to all her friends too.
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#12 Ben

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 05:22 PM

Saw it last week too, it really is fantastic. Impossible not to be moved by it and easily in the top 3 films of the year.
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#13 Pete

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 05:58 PM

I'm glad this film has been seperated from the F1 geeks as it is a fantastic film on it's own count (no offense!). Being in a cinema was amazing too, I strongly advise taking someone who knows little of the man but the audience reaction makes up for it if you can't. Genuine gasps at Barichello's crash and from there you can feel the dread building up in the cinema. I cried.

It was smart to start with Monaco with the on-board, really shows how crazy close to the edge these guys are.
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#14 hoot

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 06:25 PM

I went to see it last night with my dad, or rather, tried to. The Cineworld here was only showing it yesterday, four performances in total, we got down there for about 6:15 for a 6:30 showing and it had already sold out with queues out the door. It's honestly the busiest I've ever seen the place, couldn't believe it.
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#15 Headache

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 06:32 PM

The showing Chuck and I were in was sold out and it's good to see that Vue have decided to put a few more showing on now over the weekend as it's certainly a film that deserves to be seen in the cinema. The audience was great part of the experience, there were people bantering and joking before the opening, cheers when Senna took Prost out and even a few boos and choice words for Balestre. Like during Pete's showing many of us gasped in horror at Barichello's crash, there were groans and sighs when we saw the paramedics trying to resuscitate a deathly still Roland Ratzenberger and then the room became deathly silent as we watched Senna make his way around the Imola track from the on board camera. Even just remembering it is making me well up a bit. It was powerful, emotional and very moving.

Seriously people, go see this film.
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#16 Sapa

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 07:17 PM

I loved this film. I'm definitely no F1 fan, you don't need to be at all, even my gf loved it. One of my favourite films of the year.
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#17 emjay2kay

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 07:25 PM

Checked the Sheffield Vue this morning at 4am (couldn't sleep) and two tickets had been sold for Saturday. Hoping to avoid their booking fee, I thought I'd check tonight to see if they'd sold any more, and if they'd sold a ton get the tickets then. If not, chance it for another night and so on. Seems they've gone and completely sold out, for every single one of their screenings bar the tuesday evening! Christ. Quicker than I expected.

Anyway, managed to get tickets for The Showroom, which is probably a better cinema anyway. I'm not a massive F1 fan, and due to my age my only memory of Senna is unfortunately his death, but I'm really looking forward to this.
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#18 Eighthours

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 09:44 AM

Genuine gasps at Barichello's crash


How he got out of that one alive is a miracle. The car was sideways in the air when it smacked the barrier at a zillion miles per hour.
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#19 Shimmyhill

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 02:40 PM

I saw it last night, loved it and thought it was very well made with an excellent score. Very good build up to the tragic end and as i said in the F1 thread i have never heard a cinema so quiet during the credits!
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#20 Hawkeye

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 10:12 PM

I saw this today and agree with everyone else that the film is absolutely stunning. I'm old enough to remember him and F1 of the time but I never really followed the sport back then, so although I knew the names and the teams the history of it all was new to me.

An amazing story, brilliantly told and some of the onboard footage is spectacular. The politics of the sport always seems to infuriate. A must see film, even for people with no knowledge or love of the sport.
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#21 Yswr

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 11:06 PM

Just got back form seeing it after seeing peoples reactions on here and I thought it was nothing short of brilliant to watch, so glad I went to see it.
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#22 kiroquai

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 10:38 AM

Thought I'd bump this with my thoughts of the film, as I decided after a bit of thought to go and see it in the cinema after not being too sure given how sad even seeing bits of Imola 1994 make me.

I am really glad I decided to see it on the big screen. The sound alone was amazing - great soundtrack, and to hear those engines loud and proud was really something. I thought they also managed to do a great job of really explaining what Senna was about, although the end credits kind of showed that they knew they had a whole world of stuff they wish they could have fitted in. Hoping the UK Blu Ray release comes with some sort of extended version.

I guess I will put the bit below in spoilers - doesn't spoil much (everyone knows how it's going to end) but still. I coped pretty well through the Imola stuff until

Spoiler


That really got to me, and the people next and in front of me were in tears. Just the huge amount of emotion shown for him by his friends and countrymen alike, and the thought of what the guy was planning to do with his wealth and status to help them before he was taken away.

The footage itself was good, too. I'd seen various angles of it all, but some of the footage was from a new perspective and the driver briefings were great to see.

Very tempted to go again now.
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#23 womblingfree

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 09:40 AM

Saw this last night. Best film I've seen in years.
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#24 danbot

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 02:31 PM

Such a great film!

As someone who has no love for F1, I thought I'd find it pretty interesting and maybe a little sad in the end.

What I saw was a wonderful collection of moments from the life of a great man that died far too young. At times funny, moving and always captivating.
Another +1 here for the soundtrack, just perfect.

I even watched a bit of the British Grand Prix today. :o
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#25 JohnC

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 09:56 AM

Blu-ray is up for pre-order, released 10 October.
Standard version (BD/DVD/Digital Copy) £17.93
Special Edition Digibook (as above, plus production notes) £17.99
WTF Limited Edition version (Digibook version + model) £262.49 :wacko:
Posted Image
I think I can live without the model.
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#26 dayte

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 10:48 PM

WOW that looks amazing :wub:

then the price tag :facepalm:
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#27 SuperNashwan

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 02:32 PM

Is this bluray the same as the one knocking around pirate sites at 2h42m long or is it the theatrical release? And which cut is better, if anyone's seen both?
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#28 Ben

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 02:38 PM

I haven't seen the extended cut but I thought that the cinema release was the perfect length personally, the "narrative" was perfectly paced. I'd be interested in seeing the extra footage but on a filmic level can't imagine it would improve the movie.
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#29 Paradigm

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 02:55 PM

Hands up who mis-read that as £26. D'oh.

Still, looks like a lush model. For those not into car models, good replicas are easily that price so it may not seem quite the swizz it first appears - plus I hope the money would go to his foundation anyhow.

If anyone can confirm this and find who the model's made by? Cheers.
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#30 JohnC

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 03:12 PM

Hands up who mis-read that as £26. D'oh.

Still, looks like a lush model. For those not into car models, good replicas are easily that price so it may not seem quite the swizz it first appears - plus I hope the money would go to his foundation anyhow.

If anyone can confirm this and find who the model's made by? Cheers.

I've seen comments somewhere that it appears to be a model that can be had for £190 or £200. Minichamps make it, apparently. I think this is it on ebay.
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