The Dirty South

The Dirty South (2023)

Sue Parker (Willa Holland) tends bar in a small college town in North Louisiana. Here class divisions are demarcated by the river running through the town centre, with massive shoreline mansions on one side and trailers on the other. As Sue states in the voiceover which opens The Dirty South, this Bible Belt community is…

Fast Charlie

Fast Charlie (2023)

Fast Charlie begins near its end, as Charlie (Pierce Brosnan) is held at gunpoint in an isolated junkyard, himself unarmed and literally with his pants down. As he reveals in voiceover, this is not quite how he had pictured his final moments to be – but having lived a violent life as a gangland fixer,…

Greenhouse

Greenhouse (2022)

Greenhouse screened at London Korean Film Festival 2023. This is a longer version of my on-stage introduction (plus programme note) Greenhouse gets its title from the off-road, metal framed structure in which single mother Lee Moon-jung (Kim Seo-hyung) is living. More tent than home, with plastic sheeting for walls, and designed to house plants, this…

Red Rooms

Red Rooms (Les chambres rouges) (2023)

Red Rooms (Les chambres rouges) first seen at the BFI London Film Festival 2023 She sees him through a screen. While in Red Rooms (Les chambres rouges), Kelly-Anne (Juliette Gariépy) sits in a Montréal courtroom, with a prominent crucifix around her neck, watching a criminal trial – and a cause célèbre – unfold, the defendant…

Tales of Babylon

Tales of Babylon (2023)

Tales of Babylon opens with a cycling montage from the daily routine of bespectacled milquetoast Martin (Philip Tomlin). To the ironically repeating lyric “I follow you” from Lykke Li’s I Follow Rivers (2011) on the soundtrack, the camera remains fixed in medium close-up on Martin’s face, following his every disconsolate, down-trodden expression as he wakes,…

The Angry Black Girl And Her Monster

The Angry Black Girl And Her Monster (2023)

The Angry Black Girl And Her Monster had its world première at SXSW 2023 “Death is a disease,” says Vicaria (Laya DeLeon Hayes) in voiceover at the beginning of The Angry Black Girl And Her Monster. Vicaria is a high-school teenager, in her prime and very much alive, making her experience of death, in keeping…

Down Terrace

Down Terrace (2009)

Down Terrace first published by Little White Lies MONDAY. TUESDAY. The events of Down Terrace are regularly punctuated by intertitles stating in bold capitals which day of the week it is. These fit in perfectly with the film’s quotidian concerns, as a family’s kitchen sink dramas are played out in a Brighton terrace house measured…

Bull

Bull (2021)

Bull first published by VODzilla.co Bull opens with three men in a grassy field at dusk, burying something that is still in flames, and then walking away from the smouldering remains. It is an image which will be carefully overturned by the message of the remaining film: that you cannot ever really turn your back…

Infernal Affairs

Infernal Affairs (Mou gaan dou) (2002)

Infernal Affairs (Mou gaan dou) first published by Movie Gazette, 12 Nov, 2003 “I wish you guys every success in the police force – good luck, officers”, says Sam (Eric Tsang) to a line-up of young recruits. Except that Sam is a Triad boss, and the recruits are young criminals who have agreed to infiltrate…

L'Argent

L’Argent (aka Money) (1983)

L’Argent first published by Movie Gazette, July 14, 2005 Two schoolboys (Marc Ernest Fourneau, Bruno Lapeyre) use a counterfeit banknote in a photography shop. The shop’s owner (Didier Baussy) then knowingly passes on the bill to innocent engineer Yvon (Christian Patey), and when Yvon is accused of forging the note himself, the owner and an…

The Man From London

The Man From London (A Londoni Férfi) (2007)

The Man From London (A Londoni Férfi) first published by Film4 Summary: Hungarian auteurist couple Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky fill their spare waterfront noir with the shadowy morality of crime and punishment.    Review: “Don’t follow me too soon… Wait a good two minutes.” These are the first words heard in Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky’s…