Rare Beasts

Billie Piper

“I’m gonna go home and wank over your Instagram pictures, but not the ones with your mouth open.” Pete says to Mandy early on in Rare Beasts, Billie Piper’s patchily brilliant excursion into the ongoing joust that is male/female relations. Mandy (Piper, who also wrote and directs) has “big teeth”, big cartoon features generally, something both Pete (Leo Bill) and Mandy agree on. He puts the wank/Instagram remark to her at the end of one of those date evenings of semi-aggressive courtship conducted at one remove. Insults, put-downs, ribaldry, flirtatiousness and dirty talk have all been used as a way of avoiding mutual male/female honesty, or perhaps as a way of approaching it … Read more

American Perfekt

Fairuza Balk and Robert Forster in American Perfekt

It’s a good rule of thumb that road movies set out in any American desert and made on a low budget have a knack of turning out OK. There’s often something fairly oddball going on too. Made in 1997, the same year that its star would appear in Tarantino’s career-boosting Jackie Brown, American Perfekt sees Robert Forster playing a psychiatrist driving through the empty desert who stops to pick up a female hitchhiker (Amanda Plummer). She is clearly deranged but no matter how mad she apparently seems, he’s even madder – it’s only thanks to a coin toss that he’s giving her a ride, rather than killing her. Half an hour or so … Read more