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Zettel Film Reviews » 2012 » January

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Birdsong (2) BBC – Philip Martin: superb adaptation of Faulks’ much-loved book

Tweet      Birdsong (2) – Philip Martin Superb. Within the constraints of the 3 hours Martin gave himself, this adaptation had everything including a wonderfully elegiac rhythm that adjusted subtly to the transitions between events in the War and peacetime scenes in Amiens. This structure worked perfectly for me creating a rare sense of […]

The Descendants – Alexander Payne Heart-warming pathos – laid on thick

Tweet          The Descendants – AlexanderPayne I have laughed as the world ends in a ballet of atomic explosions to the voice of Vera Lynn; at a Knight struggling to fight back having lost both arms, gushing blood, undeterred even when his legs are the next to go; even God help me, once, […]

J.Edgar – Clint Eastwood: the ends justify the means

Tweet      J.Edgar – Clint Eastwood Little Boy, Fat Man, Operation Ranch Hand, CREEP, Operation Geronimo: respectively – Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Agent Orange in Vietnam, Watergate and the killing of Osama Bin Laden. We are all, as people, organisations or nations, tempted by the subversive moral argument that ends can sometimes justify means: but perhaps […]

Haywire – Steven Soderbergh – Gina Carano kicks ass

Tweet        Haywire – Steven Soderbergh Soderbergh’s pacy little action thriller has three things going for it: a heavyweight cast; the most convincing woman Black Ops agent ever; and directly linked to the last – a chance for once for a woman to credibly kick some seriously deserving male ass. Real life champion […]

The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius. Silence is Golden

Tweet        The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius A film that unites critics; but I suspect divides cinema-goers. I find myself with a foot in both camps. The Artist is almost entirely silent throughout its 100 minutes running time. Cleverly and I think effectively, Hazanavicius has created an impressive blend of form and content: telling his Singin’ […]

Poem: Layin’ Down Trouble – Can’t beat the Man

Tweet    Layin’  Down Trouble they’re laying down trouble cos they can’t get ahead the Suits are all sagely noddin’ their heads you made it yourself now lie in your bed talk to the banker take out a loan you gotta be kiddin’ try blood from a stone they’re laying down trouble cos life is […]

Margin Call – J.C.Chandor Heads we win, Tails you lose

Tweet      Margin Call – J.C.Chandor Amidst all the Shame-ful noise,  Iron-Lady controversy and War Horsey hype, don’t let this superb little film slip under your radar. Shot in about 17 days for under $4m it has more tension and suspense than many films costing 50 times that amount. New Director J.C. Chandor has made best […]

Birdsong – Philip Martin (BAFTA Preview 11.01.12) Superb adaptation.

Tweet      Birdsong – Philip Martin (BAFTA Preview 11.01.12) Back in the day when the Rolls Royce was the iconic symbol of engineering excellence and ultimate emblem of wealth, a rich customer visited the Rolls Royce factory to check on progress with his personal, hand-finished car and was shown round by the chief engineer. […]

Shame: Steve McQueen – victimhood and the medicalisation of lust

Tweet    Shame – Steve McQueen In a secular world is there such a thing as sin? That is: behaviour which most people, most of the time will agree is wrong, bad; not just by reference to its consequences social and personal, but in itself. As implied religious narratives weaken and lose their historical force in […]

Poem: The Game – poker, risk, existential choice

Tweet  The Game Cut the crap the dealer said wanna talk – talk wanna play – play don’t talk and play don’t play and talk It ain’t just a game until you’re out you’re in deep Gimme no shit ’bout lousy cards ain’t no such thing just cards cards’ what you get hand’s what you […]