The Best Films of 2015

Caren Pistorius in Slow West

 

 

 

There’s a tendency among people who watch a lot of films to boost ones that stand out rather than ones that are good. This can lead to some perverse choices in the “best of” lists that proliferate at this time of year. So that probably explains the rogue nature of the list below – ha ha. If you’re expecting to find Spectre (not at all bad) or the latest Marvel movie or Jurassic World, look elsewhere. These are just the films, of the maybe 350 films or so that I’ve watched in the past 12 months, that jumped out and grabbed me. Some of them are 2014 releases.

 

 

 

 

Ten Best

 

 

Paddington (dir: Paul King)

Operating in Mary Poppins territory, this adaptation of Michael Bond’s books is charming, funny and clever, has jokes for kids and some more thoughtful though never intrusive observations for adults, integrates the animated bear from darkest Peru with the live action brilliantly and there’s even an action-star gag by support-playing baddie Nicole Kidman that’s aimed at ex-husband Tom Cruise.

 

Wild (dir: Jean-Marc Vallée)

The redemptive drama is a hard sell, but this one about a broken woman’s long trek to self-realisation works in every way. Reese Witherspoon is believably frail as the wee girl dwarfed by her huge rucksack (metaphor), director Jean-Marc Vallée uses music perfectly and does something many directors have forgotten all about – he structures his film visually, using the editing suite to full advantage. His compositional work is remarkable.

 

Ex Machina (dir: Alex Garland)

Just as we are realising that technology’s grip is icy, and Google might not be our friend, along comes Alex Garland’s directorial debut, a dystopian slab of hard sci-fi in which geeky Domhnall Gleeson falls for robot Alicia Vikander while hipster tech uberlord Oscar Isaac looks on. A three-hander – give or take – getting perfect performances from all concerned, and it glistens like a tiny, beautifully cut gem.

 

Kajaki (dir: Paul Katis)

A gaggle of British squaddies with names like Tug, Spud and Smudge wander into a minefield and suddenly their casually homophobic banter is replaced by focused professionalism and a sharp interest in staying alive. Gruesomely tense, horrific in its depiction of the damage inflicted by IEDs, is this the best British war film since Ice Cold in Alex? It’s a great war film by any standards.

 

It Follows (dir: David Robert Mitchell)

Sexual intercourse as an engine of death isn’t new in horror films, but It Follows finds a simple and brilliant new way of telling the story all over again – zombies who are “slow but not dumb” and might appear any time, any place, anywhere, dressed in nightwear or perhaps not very much at all. A lurchingly subjective camera, expressionistic framing and Disasterpeace’s Wendy Carlos-alike score help rack up the intensity even further.

 

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (dir: Ana Lily Amirpour)

The Muslim jilbab as a kind of vampire’s cape – what a brilliantly observed idea that is in one of the strangest horror films of recent times, which combines something of the mass-observation aesthetic of photographer Sebastião Salgado with the disjointed cool of early Jim Jarmusch. Shot entirely in California, yet clearly a film about and for Iran, it’s a fascinating, Middle Eastern take on the Let the Right One In “innocent vampire” genre.

 

Slow West (dir: John Maclean)

Michael Fassbender’s astonishing run continues with this out-of-nowhere debut by John Maclean, an exquisitely wrought western making clear its debt to old pulp novels and their love of hard-tack glamour and salty danger. Tense as hell, in fact the whole film is one long, slow build towards a great finale. And it looks the business too.

 

Aferim! (dir: Radu Jude)

There hasn’t been a great Romanian film for about ten minutes, but here’s a slightly different sort than what we’re used to – a historical picaresque following an 1830s cop and his son as they seek to capture a Gypsy and return him to his owner, a rich boyar whose wife has been too free with her favours. Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon inspires some of the look and pace of it, and Don Quixote is clearly also a reference, though Cervantes didn’t finish on as gruesomely gripping a high as this does.

 

Theeb (dir: Naji Abu Nowar)

It takes a while for it to sink in, but what we have in Theeb – as we follow the exploits of the youngest son of a Bedouin tribe in the Laurence of Arabia-era desert – is a story straight out of Rider Haggard territory. It’s the sort of ripping adventure that once upon a time emboldened Spielberg and Lucas to make Indiana Jones but is done without a cocked eyebrow here, with genuine danger, tough decisions, cruel fate and a bit of socio-economic background (the collapse of the Ottoman Empire) all adding spice.

 

Mommy (dir: Xavier Dolan)

With Tom at the Farm it became clear that Xavier Dolan was something of a genius. Mommy is further proof, a tough drama about the stumbling relationship of a flaky mother (Anne Dorval), her aggressive, firecracker ADHD teenage son (Antoine-Olivier Pilon) and their nervous neighbour (Suzanne Clément). It wears its emotions out there on a selfie stick – “fuck off” in this film often means “I love you” – and there are at least two scenes so powerful you might have to remind yourself to breathe.

 

 

 

Honourable Mentions

 

Victoria Almeida in What's Left of Us
Victoria Almeida drives the boys crazy in What’s Left of Us

 

 

Appropriate Behaviour (dir: Desiree Akhavan)

The life and times of a second generation Iranian, or of a confused bisexual, or of a girl in the big city, or of a struggling 20something – Desiree Akhavan gets it all just right in this through-the-fingers New York comedy.

 

Maps to the Stars (dir: David Cronenberg)

Still Alice won her the acting accolades, but Julianne Moore is actually better in this return to nightmarishness for David Cronenberg, as a fading star and member of a family for whom the term fucked really doesn’t cover it. The Player meets Sunset Boulevard.

 

Life After Beth (dir: Jeff Baena)

Aubrey Plaza gives it her absolute all as a newly dead zombie trying to have a relationship with old boyfriend Dane DeHaan – who finds her a whole lot more into him than she used to be – in a genuinely inventive comedy made all the better by the presence of John C Reilly and Molly Shannon as Plaza’s concerned parents. Dead funny.

The Tribe (dir: Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy)

Shot entirely in Lithuanian sign language, acted by first-timers and set in a school for the deaf where a new boy finds that the descriptor “sex and violence” barely covers what’s going on, this film sounds like a stunt – and it obviously is to some extent – but it’s a stunt that works. And the lack of dialogue is no bar to understanding when emotion this direct and action this unambiguous is concerned.

The Babadook (dir: Jennifer Kent)

There’s a touch of The Innocents in this highly atmospheric Aussie horror about a mother driven to desperation by her needy child. Or is it the child we need to feel worried for? Sure, it goes slack in the middle, and becomes over-focused on telling us that writer/director Jennifer Kent has seen a whole load of old horror movies, but wait for the finale – barking, scary and brilliant.

 

The Book of Life (dir: Jorge R Gutierrez)

A Mexican flavoured animation with a Day of the Dead theme and a plot with a distinct Orpheus and Eurydice flavour – she’s dead and he goes after her into the underworld (ish). The visuals are spaghetti western meets Ren and Stimpy, the songs are jaunty and mariachi-flavoured and the voicework (Ice Cube in particular) is exemplary.

 

Pictures of the Old World (dir: Dusan Hanák)

“The best Slovak film ever made”, the reputation of Dusan Hanák’s disarmingly simple documentary from the early 1970s – about the dirt poor lives of ancient peasants up in the back of beyond – is entirely deserved. “I’m going to die this year, I can feel it,” says one old timer. And that’s what it’s about – quite starkly. Death.

 

Two Night Stand (dir: Max Nichols)

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Pink Panther, It Happened One Night and The Dick Van Dyke Show are all in the mix in this subversive comedy about a girl (Analeigh Tipton) who has hook-up sex with a stranger (Miles Teller) and then gets stuck in his apartment. Old-school screwball romance follows, charmingly, smartly and at speed.

 

Predestination (dir: Michael and Peter Spierig)

Robert Heinlein’s sci-fi story All You Zombies provides the backbone for the Spierig brothers’ follow-up to the similarly idea-crammed Daybreakers, a “guy walks into a bar” tale of a hermaphrodite (Sarah Snook) who walks into Ethan Hawke’s bar and tells him a story about time travel and the paradoxes that erupt from it. Refreshingly hard sci-fi.

 

Frequencies aka OXV: The Manual (dir: Darren Paul Fisher)

Strip away the romance and what is human courtship about? Status, clearly, according to this lo-fi, highly fascinating film about “what happens when a high frequency meets a low frequency” – hot, smart girl meets average guy, in other words. It’s patchily acted and a bit speechy towards the end, but there are enough ideas in this bizarre film for about 12 Hollywood blockbusters.

Turned towards the Sun (dir: Greg Olliver)

A simple and revelatory documentary about 90-something poet and Second World War hero Micky Burn, a long-form visual version of a Daily Telegraph obituary whose power lies in the richness of Burn’s Zelig-like life. He was – just one for-instance – the guy in the secret radio room at Colditz.

 

What’s Left of Us aka El Desierto (dir: Christoph Behl)

A simple but powerful Argentinian zombie movie about a girl, a boy and another boy all locked up together in a house while the world goes to hell in a handcart outside. And inside, it turns out, once sexual dynamics and the fallout of a fetid love triangle start to exert themselves. Victoria Almeida is a powerful and provocative lead, the sexy counterweight to the hothouse atmosphere of death.

 

Tusk (dir: Kevin Smith)

Kevin Smith reminds us how good he can be with a film about a guy (Justin Long) being turned into a walrus by a demented surgeon (Michael Parks) while his much-cheated-on girlfriend (Genesis Rodriguez) searches for him. A simple film, it somehow manages to be funny and appallingly gruesome at the same time.

 

Face of an Angel (dir: Michael Winterbottom)

Michael Winterbottom’s drama takes the bones of the Meredith Kercher/Amanda Knox case and constructs a brilliant meditation on the modus operandi of the media, as well as a modern-day Dante and Beatrice tale in which film-maker Daniel Brühl is smitten by virginal Cara Delevingne, as anyone watching probably will be too.

 

While We’re Young (dir: Noah Baumbach)

Not-as-young-as-they-once-were couple Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts try to keep up with hipsters Adam Horovitz and Amanda Seyfried in a very Jewish New York comedy – smart, dry, a touch bitter – about the importance of being not just true to yourself, but of doing this absolutely and totally properly.

White God aka Fehér Isten (dir: Kornél Mudruczó)

Kicking off with a quote by Rilke, this unique Hungarian film is like a Disney animal flick about the adventures of a mongrel, except done as existential sci-fi – what exactly would happen if dogs had the same degree of consciousness that humans have?

 

The Salvation (dir: Kristian Levring)

Director Kristian Levring used to be a Dogme man, but shouts “I’m so over all that now” with this remarkable western that’s like a fusion of Sergio Leone, John Ford, Sam Peckinpah and Robert Aldrich, with a perfectly cast Mads Mikkelsen as a Clint Eastwood-alike quester after vengeance. If looks could kill…

 

Run All Night (dir: Jaume Collet-Serra)

Another of Liam Neeson’s geri-actioners, though this time he’s back with director Jaume Collet-Serra for a deliberately retro dash for the finish in which strong, silent Neeson takes on the good guys, the bad guys and eventually the whole of New York. Hugely overwrought, entirely satisfying, it’s genre done properly.

 

Still the Water aka Tutatsume no mado (dir: Naomi Kawase)

If Douglas Sirk had been Japanese he might have come up with this overheated love story about teenage lovers hedging towards full penetrative sex as the waves crash, storms rage and their families conspire against them. Leisurely, beautiful, lusty and lovely, an unusual mix of the entirely natural and the gigantically metaphorical.

 

Phoenix (dir: Christian Petzold)

The latest of a string of dark, intelligent films that director Christian Petzold and actor Nina Hoss have made together is a revenge drama set in the aftermath of the Second World War where Hoss, just released from a death camp, is recruited by her own husband to play his dead wife – he doesn’t recognise her, obviously – and she plays along. Oh deary deary me.

Marshland aka La Isla Mínima (dir: Alberto Rodriguez)

Stunningly good-looking policier about an ageing Franco-supporting cop and his younger more democratic sidekick investigating a murder out in the photogenic Guadalquivir marshes in 1980. Brilliantly acted and shot, with locations and music to match, it’s even got does a car chase in an entirely new way. Did I mention how good it looks?

 

Little Accidents (dir: Sara Colangelo)

Old school 1970s-style humane ensemble drama with a standout Boyd Holbrook as a survivor of a terrible mining disaster whose testimony about the event at an upcoming hearing are going to decide the futures of a whole lot of people in town. An ambling drawl of a movie, with Elizabeth Banks and Jacob Lofland almost as good as Holbrook, surely a star of 2016.

Turbo Kid (dir: François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoan-Karl Whissell)

Utterly on-the-nail pastiche of 1980s straight-to-VHS movie-making, a post-apocalyptic Total Recall meets Mad Max story of a BMX-riding kid, called Kid, gaining special powers, falling for a special girl (a special Laurence Leboeuf) and saving the world. Funny and gory, with in-jokes for nerds, and a fabulous John Carpenter-like soundtrack by Le Matos.

 

Mad Max: Fury Road (dir: George Miller)

Pedal-to-the-metal furious punk-funk madness, with a barely speaking Tom Hardy as Max, the road warrior on the road with badass Charlize Theron (the film’s real star) while director George Miller obsessively choreographs the relentless chase/action mayhem around them.

 

Tomorrowland (dir: Brad Bird)

Whatever happened to the futurism of jet packs and flying cars? Brad Bird answers the question with jaw-dropping visuals in a modern-day Wizard of Oz quest-adventure coolly received by critics with ass/elbow disassociation disorder.

 

Cop Car (dir: Jon Watts)

Another of those great Kevin Bacon movies he comes up with every few years, with our guy as a really bad cop on the trail of a couple of kids who have nicked his car, unaware there’s something in the boot they really don’t want to be discovering. A high-concept B movie of real distinction, lean, simple and with smart, believable dialogue, especially for the kids.

 

Palio (dir: Cosima Spender)

A remarkable documentary about the Palio, a horse race run in Siena, Italy, twice a year, which takes such pains to introduce us to its characters – chiefly, the young buck hoping to steal the grizzled champion’s crown – that when the race kicks off, you’re really in the medieval square with the riders.

Minions (dir: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin)

After the boring Despicable Me 2, who’d have thought that a spin-off – the backstory of Gru’s little yellow helpers – would have worked this well. Brilliantly animated and written, it’s a breathless, idea-packed, funny, inventive animated comedy.

 

I Believe in Miracles (dir: Jonny Owen)

Even if you have no interest in the 1970s, or British football, or managerial legend Brian Clough, this documentary about his astonishing success and idiosyncratic style will have you hooked. “The most charismatic man I ever met,” says one former player, part of the team of underdogs he willed to European Cup success, twice.

 

 

And if you want to watch or buy any of the films, this Amazon link will allow you to do just that – enjoy!

 

 

© Steve Morrissey 2015

 

28 September 2015-09-28

Asuka Kurosawa in A Snake of June

Out This Week


San Andreas (Warner, cert 12)

A disaster movie like they used to make in the 1970s, with Dwayne Johnson as a John Wayne kinda guy – a helicopter pilot whose extraordinary likeability and bravery is simply a case of “just doing my job, ma’am” (actual line from film). And as with the 1970s, there are also girls being bimbos: Carla Gugino as Johnson’s estranged wife – about to marry smirking, rich architect Ioan Gruffudd (his job a nod to Towering Inferno) – and Alexandra Daddario, hired not because she can easily pass for the minor she’s playing (in fact she’s 28) but because she has Hollywood’s most bounteous rack right now, and is happy to deploy it in the parts of the film not dominated by Johnson’s easy charm and manly manliness. Paul Giamatti aims for the “acting in the face of the impossible” Oscar as the seismologist who realises that the mother of all seismic shifts is about to lay waste to much of California – though it’ll take more than mere tectonic apocalypse to move Gugino’s frozen face – but really this is a case of “trust the Rock”, something I was more than happy to do.

The script is lean to the point of the perfunctory, all part of the decision to keep this thing moving, moving, as Johnson pilots his chopper between collapsing buildings and rescues the odd innocent person while thousands die in devastation imagineered out of 9/11-meets-the-2004-tsunami nightmares. Apply popcorn and enjoy.

San Andreas – Watch it/buy it at Amazon



Little Accidents (Praslin, cert 15)

Another old-school film, this time the sort of downbeat, blue collar affair which Sundance used to champion and which almost killed the movies – people want entertaining, not lecturing, and they’re right to want that.

However, this one stands above the pack, and I could point to all sorts of reasons – the acting, the several spiky dramas that are playing out simultaneously – but mostly I think it’s just down to the sheer innate film-making talent of director Sara Colangelo, who establishes an almost hypnotic rhythm using camera, performance, editing and soundtrack, all faintly reminiscent of David Gordon Green in George Washington mode.

Plot junkies need to know that there are two hooks. In one, Boyd Holbrook is the only surviving miner after an underground accident has killed all his buddies. In the inquiry as to what happened, is he going to toe the company line, or blow the whistle – as the union demands? In the other, Jacob Lofland plays a bullied kid whose “little accident” out in the woods will have a massive impact on the marriage of the mine boss (Josh Lucas) and his wife (Elizabeth Banks).

The three key players are Lofland, Banks and Holbrook. All are good, with Lofland reminding us that he was the kid who could act in Mud in a role that’s pretty much the same thing again, Banks reminding us there are wells of talent behind the dainty features, and Holbrook reminding us that Ryan Gosling isn’t the only charismatic actor in town.

Sara Colangelo, meanwhile, announces herself as a new director to follow. It sounds downbeat, drab and worthy – and, yes, Sundance-y – but I can’t recommend Little Accidents strongly enough.

Little Accidents – Watch it/buy it at Amazon


The Reunion (Soda, cert 15)

Whether you like The Reunion might depend on your attitude to the art of Tracey Emin – psychobabble made tangible, or raw honesty unmuddied by obvious theory? Swedish artist Anna Odell is an Emin-like figure, a woman with a confrontational stare who didn’t get invited to her class reunion a couple of years back and so used the snub as an anchor point for a film.

Part one reconstructs the evening, as if Anna had been invited. It’s a piece of fabulous, almost Festen-like through-the-fingers confrontational drama, built carefully to a screaming hysterical conclusion. Having had her fun as to how the evening might have gone, in part two we see Anna meeting various old class members, showing them the film (which has now become a film within a film) and asking them what they think, and why they didn’t invite her.

None of them ever says “This, Anna. This hysterical, everything-is-about-you, this turning of our downtime into your stock-in-trade, that’s why we didn’t invite you… not to mention that we can see the whites of your eyes around the iris the whole time and it’s unsettling.” Instead Anna takes control of the discourse, and turns the film into an exploration of her school years, when she felt bullied and friendless and low in status.

Watching middle aged people trying, while being filmed, to justify/excuse/condemn the children they once were is a grim and not particularly rewarding process. However, the fascination remains with Odell – hence the Emin reference – who never overtly points out that her entire film is a dish of revenge best served cold, about the low status girl who grew up to attain the very highest cultural status: the artist.

The Reunion – Watch it/buy it at Amazon


Results (Kaleidoscope, cert 15)

Mumblecore inventor Andrew Bujalski goes to Hollywood and loses a bit of himself on the way. His films – Computer Chess being the most recent example – are about two different types or modes or cultures of person rubbing up against each other, Bujalski shooting it all as if hanging back to watch the sparks fly, in the very lowest of lo-fi ways.

Here he collides professional fitness Nazis Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders with a pizza-eating dough boy, Kevin Corrigan. It’s a slo-mo crash, as Bujalski films tend to be, and Corrigan gets the best of it as his character takes these highly tuned fine specimens and tempts them with drugs and booze, fast food and bad living.

That they succumb at all is one of the film’s weaknesses – Bujalski doesn’t seem to understand there’s an entire philosophy behind people who obsessively train – and that none of the relationships between rich slob Danny (Corrigan), gym-owning loner Trevor (Pearce) and results-focused trainer Kat (Smulders) seem probable.

On a scene-by-scene basis, though, there’s lots to like. Bujalski’s strength is in writing little situations where what is said carries nowhere near as much weight as what is not said. And again and again we get beautiful moments where it’s clear to us what is going on, the fun being that the characters on the screen haven’t the faintest.

Results – Watch it/buy it at Amazon


52 Tuesdays (Peccadillo, cert 15)

We’re chucked in at the deep end with 52 Tuesdays, whose only real fault is that it’s 20 minutes too long, as teenage girl Billie is told by her lesbian mother that mum wants to transition to the male gender, that Billie’s going to be shipped off to live with her estranged dad for a year, and that the two of them are going to meet up once a week on Tuesday for some “us time”.

As a plot outline, this has all the trappings of the earnest afternoon movie, with misunderstanding being followed by tears and forgiveness. But maybe because this is an Australian film, there’s none of that (OK, there’s a bit) and instead we get a film about a teenager running to the wild side – becoming obsessed with sex and transgressive sexual relationships, taking up in a threesome with some cool kids she’s spied making out in the school theatre  props room. The mother, meanwhile, is taking testosterone and preparing to have her breasts removed and moving towards maleness in a matter-of-fact fashion.

Change, the film tells us, is what life is all about, and it drops in quick clips from the day’s news bulletin to remind us of that fact – whether it’s a street riot in Asia or the Costa Concordia becoming beached (which dates the film) – these inserts also giving the film a strongly episodic, 52-part structure.

Don’t bother if you want a film about the transition of Jane to James (the androgynously named actor Del Herbert-Jane just about perfect), because this film is only tangentially about that. Instead it’s about the daughter’s reaction to the process. And it really helps here that in Tilda Cobham-Hervey, director Sophie Hyde has found one of those faces that the camera loves. As Billie runs off the rails, we run with her, realising this isn’t delinquency as such, more a cack-handed attempt to come to terms with a situation. The woman becomes a man as the girl becomes an adult.

52 Tuesdays – Watch it/buy it at Amazon


Wasp (Matchbox, cert 15)

The classic three-hander has a happy couple whose relationship is disrupted by the arrival of a third person. The twist in Wasp is that the couple are gay, a shiny-skinned, gym-fit pair of successful British guys on a gite holiday in France, and the interloper is a woman – slightly needy and just off a spectacular break-up, and being comforted by old university friend James, slightly to the annoyance of the sardonic Olivier.

The film sells itself as a “can the leopard change its orientation” drama but then upsets this premise early on, as Caroline quizzes the two men about their sexual history. James has a 100 per cent record of only ever sleeping with men. Olivier also scores 100 per cent… but only since he came out. Ah haa.

Caroline muses at this point that she doesn’t really believe in all this “100 per cent gay” stuff, though the quick glances Olivier and Caroline have already been exchanging have rendered this scene and this dialogue unnecessary. That’s perhaps the problem with this film, which relies a little too much on chat, when it might have gone down a Claire Denis route of suggestion and insinuation – cinema rather than literature – and director Philippe Audi-Dor also doesn’t quite seem to know what sort of performances he wants from his actors, who respond with moments of dead air.

But Audi-Dor has an eye for an image, and drops in beauty shots between the escalating confrontations over drinks and games of Truth or Dare (where would films be without Truth or Dare?), and the relentless, almost mocking sound of the cicadas in Provence add their own Greek chorus too.

Wasp – Watch it/buy it at Amazon


A Snake of June (Third Window, cert 18)

When Shin’ya Tsukamoto made this monochrome noirish nightmarish erotic thriller in 2002, he was best known in the West as the director of the Tetsuo films, a brace of noirish nightmarish thrillers in which technology and organic forms fused to gruesome (and funny) effect.

A Snake of June eases back a touch on the machinery – though a man with a telescopic, snakelike penis does appear at one point, to little fanfare. Nevertheless, Tsukamoto’s fascination for the tech/flesh interface is apparent in his story about a pretty young woman called Rinko (Asuka Kurosawa) who works as a telephone counsellor, one of her clients thanking her for talking him out of suicide by taking up stalking her. This stalking leads to him taking a series of photographs in which our pretty young miss is caught masturbating outdoors in the pouring rain, a marriage to an older, hygiene-obsessed salaryman clearly not bringing home the conjugal bacon.

This is just the first five/ten minutes or so of a remarkably stylish film, now restored for its Blu-ray release, in which Tsukamoto teases the plot one way – her blackmailer sends the woman on a shopping trip to buy a dildo, insert it and then wander the rain-lashed streets while high on the ecstasy of prolonged orgasm – then flips it onto another track entirely, making us the voyeurs and him – the director/narrator/stalker (all Tsukamoto) – the concerned audience stand-in.

If the boring old “male gaze” is one concern – and if anyone is a master of the subjective camera it’s Tsukamoto – the director keeps it lively with laugh-out-loud scenes in which Rinko tasers herself to orgasm, makes interesting points about our culture’s almost fanatical reverence for breasts, drenches everything in persistent typhoons of rain – tears? vaginal gush? – and edits everything in a brutal, and now clearly highly influential style to a tight, asperger-focus rhythm. This frenzied “cinema du look” style is actually the film’s great achievement.

A Snake of June – Watch it/buy it at Amazon


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© Steve Morrissey 2015