The Iron Claw

Kevin flies through the air towards an opponent in the ring

The family is a cult and the cult a family in the films of Sean Durkin. After Martha Marcy May Marlene and The Nest, The Iron Claw continues Durkin’s excavations with a biopic of the Von Erichs, a famous wrestling clan whittled away by a tragic curse. After a quick black-and-white preamble sketching paterfamilias Fritz’s own career as a fighter who failed to win the big prizes, Durkin goes curtain-up on the era of the retired fighter’s sons, the sun-kissed 1970s and beyond. Fritz, now a ballsy uncompromising martinet of the old school, is in charge of training his boys and of the wrestling franchise they fight in. By this point the family … Read more

The Dig

Basil on the sofa, Mrs Pretty kneeling on the floor

The Dig re-imagines the events around a discovery so fabulous it needs no re-imagining – the excavation of the Sutton Hoo hoard. First unearthed in the 1930s, and originally thought to be Viking, the hoard turned out to be much older, Anglo Saxon, and eventually yielded up remarkable treasures made of gold, plus examples of everyday household objects that rewrote our understanding of the time, and perhaps most eye-catching of all, a 6th-century ship, buried in a mound as a funeral barque for its owner. You don’t actually learn an awful lot about the actual treasures of Sutton Hoo in The Dig, though the skeletal frame of the part-excavated ship acts as a visual … Read more