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…

Badger

American Badger (aka The Badger) (2021)

American Badger first published by VODzilla.co The badger, we are told at the beginning of Kirk Caouette’s sort-of sequel to his Promiseland (2019), is a solitary, anti-social creature that will fight viciously when backed into a corner – the American variety more than its European counterpart. The hitman Dean (Caouette) gets his nom de guerre…

House of Bamboo

House of Bamboo (1955)

House of Bamboo first published by Little White Lies, as the 118th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Location is everything. In 1948, William Keighley made the monochrome The Street With No Name, a film noir full of infiltration and imposture, and set it on the Skid Row of a fictional ‘Center City’ (in fact…

Immortal

Immortal (aka Immortel (ad Vitam)) (2004)

Immortal (aka Immortel (ad Vitam)) first published by Film4 Summary: Enki Bilal brings the mannered universe of his own comic books to life, in a hybrid mix of real and virtual action. Review: New York, 2095. On the eve of an election, a giant stone pyramid has appeared, hovering over the cityscape, while Central Park has transformed…

Cercle

Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Le Cercle Rouge first published by Movie Gazette The French auteur Jean-Pierre Melville (1917-73) specialised in ‘policiers’, or crime films, tapping into a dark vein of pessimism which has always lain buried deep within classic American film noir, and refining it into an existentialist vision of the world and man’s place in it. Perhaps best…

Business

Trouble Is My Business (2018)

Trouble Is My Business takes its name from a 1950 collection of four short stories written by Raymond Chandler about the private eye Philip Marlowe. This is to say that, from the outset, the film advertises its status as hard-boiled detective pulp fiction, which, in its cinematic versions, means film noir: movies featuring Marlowe like…

Bluebird

A Bluebird In My Heart (Tu ne tueras point) (2018)

A Bluebird in My Heart first published by SciFiNow The feature debut of writer/director Jérémie Guez (who also co-wrote Dominique Rocher’s The Night Eats The World, 2018), A Bluebird In My Heart (Tu ne tueras point) is adapted from ex-con Dannie M. Martin’s hard-boiled novel The Dishwasher (1995). Its English title, however, is a refrain…

Rondo

Rondo (2018)

Rondo begins with the sound of five loud shots, and Paul (Luke Sorge) waking in sweaty shock on the couch in the home of his younger sister Jill (Brenna Otts). “Paul came home from the war with a fire in his head and a dishonourable discharge under his belt,” states the narrator (voiced by Steve…

Doulos

Le Doulos (1963)

Le Doulos first published by Movie Gazette ‘Doulos’ is French slang for a hat, and also for a police informer – and accordingly both hats and duplicity feature large in Jean-Paul Melville’s film Le Doulos, in a combination and quantity not seen again until the Coen brothers’ Miller’s Crossing (1990). Maurice (Serge Reggiani), fresh out of prison,…