Suburra: gritty, bitter Eurocrime

An Italian neo-noir thriller about organised crime in modern day Rome. Gritty, violent, explicit and enthralling, it depicts the semi-fictional events of a single week building up to its ultimate ‘apocalypse’. Suburra pulls absolutely no punches in its depiction of brutal, street level intimidation and corruption among politicians and the clergy at the highest level.…

The Deep: into the depth of human endurance

Typically reserved and inward-looking, this intriguing Icelandic docu-drama treads much the same water (sorry) as Robert Redford’s All Is Lost romp. But while the latter is a ripping yarn of high-tension on the high seas, The Deep is far more remarkable because it’s a credible re-telling of actual events. The Deep explores the unlikely survival…

Movie reviews: DVDs and downloads

Saturday night is movie night. It is in the MMM household at any rate. Mind you, so is Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night and… you get the picture. The motion picture. So we watch an awful lot of films; murder mysteries, sci-fi fantasy, noir (Nordic and otherwise); mainstream, indie, art-house and B-movies. Here’s just…

Inherent Vice: intrinsic instability

This gloriously shambolic, rambling psychedelic mess of a movie brilliantly captures a slice of 1970’s beach-bum life, mixing it with all the black paranoia of hard-boiled noir. Only an extremely ambitious auteur (or an idiot) would attempt to translate Thomas Pynchon’s loosely lucid perspectives in film form. Paul Thomas Anderson deserves credit for even having…

Cannibal: haunting, not horrific

Don’t watch this expecting to find Hannibal Lecter at his most gruesome. No fava beans were harmed in the making of this subtitled art-house drama (although I’m pretty sure that a nice Chianti makes a guest appearance). Instead you’ll be mystified, perplexed and intermittently entranced by a slow-burn psychodrama, one which explores human isolation and…

In Darkness: Schindler’s List in the Sewers

Based on true events which took place in the Polish city of Luvov in WW2, this gruelling arthouse film revisits the emotional and factual territory familiar from Anne Frank’s diary and Schindler’s List. It seeks out rare fragments of human integrity and benevolence which have been all but extinguished under the Nazi boot in occupied…

Alois Nebel: astonishing animated film noir

Bleakly beautiful, Alois Nebel is visually stunning and deceptively simple. It is perhaps the perfect film noir; well, it certainly takes stark monochrome to new levels. The plot seems fairly straightforward – a tale of revenge and redemption in Eastern Europe, set when the Iron Curtain was collapsing in the late 1980s with echoes back…