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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 […]

High Dive

High Dive

Ben Wheatley’s most visually flamboyant picture to date understandably evokes memories of Cronenberg and Roeg while confirming him as a director with a penchant for the weird, and an unsettling treatment of violence bordering on misanthropy. (http://www.cinefileonline.co.uk/cinefile-database/7535/)

The disappointments of Youth

The disappointments of Youth

Sorrentino’s latest is a riot of sagging flesh and portentous theatrics. http://www.cinefileonline.co.uk/cinefile-database/7517/ It’s like Tarkovsky and Fellini rolled into one, an indigestible melange. Time to lay the ghost of Otto e mezzo.

It's Hateful

It’s Hateful

I am not sure what is worse, the narcissistic assumption that we are as interested in his opus numbers as we might have been in Fellini’s, or the unbridled and increasing tendency to defile his models. Whereas Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, and even Jackie Brown, elevated their pulp material into something more measured and […]

A Good Year

A Good Year

Peter Mayle’s book, A Year in Provence, was a newstand hit at the same time I spent my own very formative year there, and so I resisted reading it and, for a long time, resisted watching Scott’s screen version of it. (I was there first, and I wasn’t having anyone else telling me how gorgeous […]