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Tenet: the end you see coming

Tenet: the end you see coming

Christopher Nolan’s new one-word movie, chosen both for its palindromic embodiment of the central conceit, and the convenient fact that it doesn’t mean very much, is the culmination of a reported five year development of what was, by this reviewer’s guess, its director’s germinal inspiration, or Jacob’s Ladder idea: namely, wouldn’t it be cool if […]

Scopophiliac

Scopophiliac

Recently caught Henri-Georges Clouzot’s last film, the misleadingly titled, and even more so in its English language title, La prisonniere. Nothing in his oeuvre hitherto quite prepares you for it. Perhaps they should have followed Hammer’s indelible logic in its Les diaboliques spin-offs, Fanatic and Paranoiac, and called it the above.

Tarantino’s Eight and a Half

Quentin Tarantino’s movie #8 ‘and a half’ (Death Proof being only half a show) is, appropriately enough, both a film about Hollywood, and a story of a career in crisis (cf. Otto e mezzo). One wonders whether he is aware of this coincidence (let’s not misuse the word ‘irony’ – unless he is not, in […]

7,000 and counting

7,000 and counting

Having been born in the same year in which Help! was made, I consider it fitting enough to claim Ron Howard’s exemplary Beatles documentary as my 7,000th film viewed (even if this is naturally enough an inexact science).  No better way to wind down after an (always gruelling) start to term than to enjoy the […]

Tarred and horse feathered?

Tarred and horse feathered?

Six days in the lives of this pair who barely speak to one another, and it took me nearly as long to finish the film.  This is not to say that The Turin Horse is a hard slog not worth the bother; far from it. We are told at the start that Nietsche was cut down […]

Mal de vivre

Mal de vivre

Have recently seen two films (Young Adult and A Quiet Passion – see links for a fuller individual appreciation) which, in their different ways, ruminate over the lot of their ageing female characters and offer plum roles for Charlize Theron and Cynthia Nixon at a time when such things are, as ever, hard to come by. […]

Silence is godly

Silence is godly

After Bergman, it is Scorsese’s turn to meditate on God’s silence, in his tale of a Jesuit priest enduring persecution in seventeenth century Japan.  As Father Rodrigues hides in the undergrowth and watches members of his flock suffer the ultimate penalty for not spitting on the image of Christ, and as he is forced by […]

Isabelle de jour

Isabelle de jour

Just seen Ozon’s Jeune & Jolie, and found it to be as elegant and mixed up as its young heroine, uncertain whether it is offering a comment on the prevalent sexualisation of youngsters’ lives leading to frigid wantonness, or a Buñuelian pièce à outrance with tongue partly in cheek. Either way, it never quite convinces, […]

Prête-à-manger?

Prête-à-manger?

The Neon Demon, NWR’s latest piece of provocation (he’s like a more genre-motivated Lars Von Trier), begins with one of those visual and aural grand statements, a reclining model/mannequin(?) – the French word is the same for both – her throat severed and oozing blood while she stares transfixed at the camera lens.  There will […]

Why can't the U.S. be Moore like us?

Why can’t the U.S. be Moore like us?

Michael Moore’s latest film, Where to Invade Next, is a tour of European countries – Italy, France, Germany, Norway, Finland, Slovenia, Iceland – and Tunisia, to see if he can find one thing they have got right, in their welfare system, their penal system, in their general attitudes to Society, that he can take back home. One […]