Category Archives: Film

Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne)

A long and involved French thriller, intriguing and violent. All about what-really-happened-that-night-all-those-years-ago. Spoilt by the ending, where one of the characters [SPOILER AVOIDANCE, SORT OF] gives one version – shown, with his commentary as a voiceover – replaced shortly after … Continue reading

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The Hunger Games

A great example of mythic cinema: a story which echoes, bounces round, firing grappling hooks to draw things together. The Imperial world is that of the Sun King, of Rome, of Brazil; the game arena is the world of Truman, … Continue reading

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The Shawshank Redemption

Why is this a bad film? Because it’s not true to life. The goodies are unrelentingly good, so it’s sentimental, and the baddies all bad, so it’s brutalised. Typical moronic box-office desperation: crank up the violence to make ’em feel … Continue reading

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“He’s Just Not That Into You”

The kind of set-up that you find in foreign films at Curzon cinemas: the lives of several young people come together in different ways; subplots cross over and merge, weaving a meditation on love and humanity. This one though doesn’t … Continue reading

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“Are We There Yet?”

Awful comedy with some very funny gross bits (man holding a boy who’s urinating in a woman’s face; boy (same one) causing a near-pile-up by projectile-vomiting over a windscreen; and the man fighting a deer is funny too, albeit ungross. … Continue reading

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“The Invention of Lying”

Ricky Gervais weaves together Gulliver’s Travels and the Midas myth to create a funny and provocative anti-religion story, yet as usual one which attacks merely the straw man of Sunday-School religion: no worries for the modern C of E… ;-). … Continue reading

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Fictional characters’ worlds

Sherlock Holmes lives in a London identical to the one in which Conan Doyle’s books about him were published, except that it contained no books about him by Conan Doyle. Doctor Who couldn’t watch Doctor Who. Novels, in the very … Continue reading

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“We Need to Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver, and film

The three of us sat in silence at the end and had to have a beer before going home. I’d read the book, another had read its beginning, the other none. Two significant changes: removing the epistolary form of letters … Continue reading

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“Tinker Sailor Soldier Spy” by John le Carré

As the later “A Most Wanted Man”, a slow-burning ascent, but different, and superior, in its significantly bathetic climax. There’s no real surprise when we see the traitor with Polyakov (a point made tellingly in the recent film), and the … Continue reading

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