‘THE FIGHTER’ (2010): A FILM BY DAVID O. RUSSELL

December 22, 2012 Film Reviews

Director David O. Russell has a knack for making films about socially dysfunctional families. His cynical, sardonic but perversely hilarious directorial debut Spanking the Monkey (1994) seized on the loneliness, disillusionment, alienation and incest of suburban life in small town America.

In The Fighter (2010), Russell weaves three seemingly incongruous genres, the documentary, the sports drama and the biopic to scrutinise the lives, trials and tribulations of professional boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his older brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale in his audacious, brazen

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‘CINEMA PARADISO’ (1989): A FILM BY GIUSEPPE TORNATORE

November 15, 2012 Film Reviews

Some gifts have the power of stirring our deepest, most dormant memories by simultaneously conjuring the ghostly legacies of others.

In writer/director Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso (1989), Salvatore 'Toto' de Vita, a prominent Rome-based filmmaker, returns to his Sicilian hometown of Giancaldo after receiving news of the death of Alfredo, the projectionist of its eponymous cinema and his former childhood mentor. Arriving after a thirty-year absence, Salvatore encounters a landscape that has changed as much by the vicissitudes of time and technology as by the facility (and

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‘THE DICTATOR’ (2012): A FILM BY LARRY CHARLES

November 15, 2012 Film Reviews

In 2001 he burst onto the big screen as a boorish, uncouth, faux-pas prone gangster rapper from Staines in Ali G Indahouse. In 2006 he toured America as the sexist, homophobic and anti-Semitic Kazakhstani journalist Borat Sagdiyev in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. 2009 marked his resurgence as a gay Austrian fashion reporter in the mockumentary Brüno.

This year, British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen returns to the screen as Admiral General Aladeen in co-writer/director Larry Charles's The Dictator, playing the iron-fisted despot of

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‘MELANCHOLIA’ (2011): A FILM BY LARS VON TRIER

November 15, 2012 Essays on Film

When Danish Writer/Director Lars von Trier releases a new film, it is often marred by controversy - both for what transpires on the screen and off it.

When Anti-Christ premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, it divided critics and audiences with its explicit and graphic depictions of violence, misogyny and genital mutilation (including a grisly scene of a clitoris being sliced off with a rusty pair of sewing scissors). When a journalist, at a press conference for the film, demanded that von Trier justify why he made the movie, the director infamously retorted: 'I think it's a very

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‘INLAND EMPIRE’ (2006): A FILM BY DAVID LYNCH

November 15, 2012 Essays on Film

 

‘To me, a detective is the most magical type of character, because mysteries are to me the greatest thing. Puzzles and things like this are thrilling, clues, things like finding money. Everything is a mystery and we’re all detectives. Even scientists are detectives and they’re all looking for clues to solve the big mystery. There are so many detectives going around, and so many mysteries’.

This from David Lynch, a director whose films likewise force the viewer to assume the role of a cinematic sleuth. From his brilliant, enigmatic Eraserhead (1977) to the corrosive and confounding

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