Writer-director John Maclean’s Slow West is like a mash up of the Coen Brothers and Wes Anderson, filtered through a wry European sensibility. (more…)
“I’m not going home poor!” shouts a sailor in Black Sea as he risks life and limb in the pursuit of gold. There’s an interesting subtext (that’s eventually brought to the fore) in this submarine/heist/action film about desperate men taking desperate measures to secure their futures in these times of austerity and financial uncertainty. (more…)
Starred Up (2014)
Dir: David Mackenzie
Prison’s long been a ripe setting for drama and The Prison Movie is a storied genre with many stellar entries. The past few years have seen some standouts from Europe, including the surreal Bronson from Danish auteur Nicolas Winding Refn, and the Godfather-esque Un prophète from French visionary Jacques Audiard. You can now add the incendiary Starred Up to that list, as it’s a first rate masterpiece of the genre that delivers a cracking blow to staid senses.
Jack O’Connell gives a star-making performance as the 19 year old inmate Eric Love who’s been prematurely transferred to adult prison (“starred up” in UK slang) after a string of mostly unnamed offenses. The inhumanity of the intake system of prison is laid out in deliberate detail in the opening scenes as you begin to (more…)