The Turin Horse

The Turin Horse (A Turinói Ló) (2011)

The Turin Horse (A Turinói Ló) first published by movieScope The Turin Horse (A Turinói Ló) opens with an anecdote, narrated to a plain black screen, about an incident that took place on the streets of Turin in early 1889. Seeing a horse being whipped by its enraged owner, Friedrich Nietzsche intervened, tearfully embracing the…

Monk

The Monk (La Moine) (2011)

The Monk (La Moine) first published by movieScope “Satan has only the power we give him.”  So says ‘model of rectitude’ Ambrosio (Vincent Cassel) in the opening scene of Dominik (Harry He’s Here To Help; Lemming) Moll’s The Monk (La Moine), when faced by his polar opposite, a licentious Debauchee (Sergi López) who has just…

Young Adult

Young Adult (2011)

Young Adult first published by movieScope In 2007, young director Jason Reitman and first-time screenwriter Diablo Cody teamed up to create whipsmart teen pregnancy comedy Juno. Now their latest collaboration, Young Adult, represents a reunion in more ways than one, as they revisit previous preoccupations (adolescence and parenthood) from the perspective of arrested grown-ups rather…

The Ozu Collection: Three Melodramas (2012) – Woman of Tokyo, Early Spring, Tokyo Twilight

First published by movieScope If the word ‘melodrama’ evokes shrill revelations, explosive reversals and over-demonstrative character meltdowns, then you might be surprised to see these three films united under that genre banner. Sure, all three of Woman of Tokyo (Tokyo no onna, 1933), Early Spring (Shoshun, 1957) and Tokyo Twilight (Tokyo boshoku, 1957) – the first separated from the other…

Excision (2012)

First published by movieScope “I don’t know of a teenager who doesn’t profile as a sociopath.” So says gawky, greasy-haired Pauline (the extraordinary AnnaLynne McCord), looking to all around her like the teen misfit from Welcome to the Dollhouse, even as her vivid dreams, merging sexuality and surgery, reveal she may be closer to the unhinged…

John Carter (2012)

First published by movieScope Accidentally transported to Mars, broken Confederate general John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) acquires miraculous powers, rediscovers his own humanity, saves others and transcends death itself  – yet despite this (and the hero’s messianic initials), the story comes less from the Big Book than from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 1912 proto-SF serial novel Princess of…

The Film4 FrightFest 2012 Post Mortem

First published by movieScope in parts One, Two and Three Big things, we are told, have small beginnings. When FrightFest first began in 2000, it was very much a niche festival, held in the Prince Charles Cinema on the margins, both literal and metaphorical, of London’s central cinema strip on Leicester Square. Over that August Bank…

Dredd

Dredd (2012)

Dredd first published by movieScope “Male – another Judge,” says mutant psychic Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), when asked to assess a stranger whom she cannot even see. “I can feel anger and control, but there’s something else, behind that control, something almost…” The male in question is Dredd (Karl Urban) who, as a Judge in…

Killer Joe (2012)

First published by movieScope Drawn, like William Friedkin’s previous feature Bug (2006), from a play by Tracy Letts, this bucket of southern gothic is a Coen-esque caper of small-town double-crosses that starts off trailer-trash tawdry, before steadily gearing down into truly unhinged realms—even for the Texas hinterlands. Owing big-time to a local gangster, Chris Smith (Emile Hirsch)…

Under The Skin

Under The Skin (2013)

Under the Skin first published in movieScope 37 We first meet Laura (Scarlett Johansson) near the beginning of Under the Skin in a room of uncannily pure white. Dressing her own naked body in the clothes that she has just stripped from a dead woman, she pauses, in a circumstantially odd, unexpectedly tender gesture, to…

Chapter

Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

Insidious: Chapter 2 first published by movieScope “It’s still happening,” declares Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne) near the beginning of Insidious: Chapter 2. “I heard the piano playing downstairs by itself, and I found Callie on the floor.” “I just want to move on,” replies her husband Josh (Patrick Wilson), with a resigned sigh. This exchange…