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,…

Suture

Suture (1993)

Suture first published by Little White Lies as part 13 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column “How is it that we know who we are?”, asks psychiatrist Dr Shinoda (Sab Simono) in voiceover at the beginning of Suture. As he continues to discuss the deeply ingrained sense of personal identity, remaining in place no matter how confusing…

Third

The Third Man (1949)

The Third Man first published by RealCrime Magazine As Anton Karas’ zither leads in with its memorable theme, the title credits for The Third Man appear over a close-up of the instrument itself being plucked. Already director Carol Reed is playing us like a maestro, announcing from the outset that his film will be pulling our…

Renaissance

Renaissance (2006)

Renaissace first published by EyeforFilm When a talented and ambitious young geneticist called Ilona Tasuiev (voiced by Romola Garai) is violently abducted in a car park, the DA’s office turns to Barthelemy Karas (Daniel Craig), a cop unafraid to break rules or heads to solve a case. Helped both by Ilona’s older sister Bislane (Catherine…

Pale Flower

Pale Flower (1964)

Pale Flower first published by EyeforFilm Mid-ranking yakuza Muraki (Ryo Ikebe) has just been released from a prison stint for murder, and as he looks over the streets of Tokyo for the first time in three years, he muses in voice-over about how nothing ever really changes and how people are little more than half-dead, stupid animals,…