LE CERCLE ROUGE

1970; written and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville; 135 mins

The penultimate film of Melville‘s career is a crime movie that precedes Fargo with it’s opening bullshit text. Utilising a made up story with Buddha saying something unfathomable; “Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, drew a circle with a piece of red chalk and said: ‘when men, even unknowingly, are to meet one day, whatever may befall each, whatever the diverging paths, on the said day, they will inevitably come together in the red circle.'” Continue reading

POOR COW

1967; directed by Kenneth Loach; adapted by Nell Dunn and Kenneth Loach; 101 mins

As we walked out of the screening of this film, my Mum and I were talking about the menu board outside the seaside cafe with all it’s offerings of offal and we started talking about the various accompaniments for chips such as curry sauce or gravy or cheese and then moved to the best meal of all time: faggots, chips and mushy peas! Continue reading

LE DOULOS

1963; adapted and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville; 109 mins

I’m not a smoker but neither am I anti-smoking and the amount of fag smoke wreathed around the mise en scène of this movie put me in mind of the low-hanging cloud that used to permeate so many pubs my family went to when I was a kid. I mean this is in a good, nostalgic way and also as a demonstration of how Jean-Pierre Melville‘s films still work so well… Continue reading

MILLER’S CROSSING

1990; directed by Joel Coen (and Ethan Coen); written by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen; 115 mins

One of those many films that I came back to after x number of years to find my opinion of it slightly more nuanced. I first watched this about the time I was catching up with the work of Jim Jarmusch and whilst a few years hence my appreciation of Jarmusch’s work went up, looking at this third Coen Brothers’ outing, it has holes in it. Continue reading

A LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN

1971; directed by Lucio Fulci; written by Lucio Fulci, Roberto Gianviti, José Luis Martínez Mollá and André Tranché; 99 mins

An exploitation film that explores exploitation itself with the tale of a bourgeois family torn apart by fear of sexual liberation, new freedoms and the hippie dream! The Telegraph DVD review says; “forget the story” but it’s also a murder mystery where the weirdness is intertwined with a vortex of double crossing and psychological games. It does, however, occasionally go a step too far in it’s desire to push buttons and falls over into male leeriness… we’ll get to that! Continue reading

CLOCKERS

1995; directed by Spike Lee; adapted by Spike Lee and Richard Price; 123 mins

The opening credits kinda tell you all you need to know with regards to the tone of this film. It’s clearly stating that this story will be a far more sobering one than Do the Right Thing. Whereas Lee’s 1989 classic was big, brash, confrontational and fleshy, this is mournful, bloody and just flesh now. Death after death after death of young African American men and women, caught in an unending battle on the streets over drugs that started with Nixon’s regime and still, in 2017, sees no sign of ever even getting better. Continue reading