The Room

Kate and Matt

Weirdo sci-fi The Room has plot to spare and every time it feels like it’s about to hit a dead end of genre familiarity, the cul de sac reveals itself to be a road to somewhere else. The first “dead end” comes early on. After a boastful credit sequence during which much has been made of the fact that this is an “original idea by Christian Volckman”, with “written by” input by blah, and “collaboration and dialogs” by blah and blah, a strangely familiar story appears to get going. A couple who have moved out of the city and bought a doer-upper in upstate New York. They unload boxes, they throw old furniture … Read more


Kevin Janssens as Patrick

So, Patrick (aka De Patrick), a film set in a Belgian nudist camp about a guy who’s lost his hammer. That’s it. He’s lost his hammer and he wants to know who’s taken it. Patrick has seven hammers which normally sit on the wall in their designated slots. Now there’s a space in the middle where one of them should be, and Patrick is upset about it. Or he would be if he showed any emotion at all, beyond a furious beetling of the brows. Patrick may be on the autism spectrum, it’s hard to say, or he might just be dealing with a long-term trauma. Either way he doesn’t go in for … Read more

Savage State

The family in the drawing room

Savage State is a western in French. Just that fact makes this film, also known as L’état sauvage, unusual and worth a watch. Is that enough though? Not quite, but as with Frenchness so with the rest of its many idiosyncrasies. This is a strangely bland film packed with unusual and often pungent elements. The setting for one. We’re in the teeth of the American Civil War, but rather than being on one side or another we’re with the neutrals, the French settlers ordered from afar by Napoleon III to take no part in the conflict. Early scenes establish a frontier setting of double-cross and gunfights, contraband and big characters, in particular the … Read more