The Hunt

Crystal led away by a military man

Very much a Trump-era movie, The Hunt is the story of a gang of the “elite” going on their annual “deplorables” hunt (spot the Hillary Clinton reference), with a ragtag bunch of gagged and tied rednecks as their quarry. Interesting concept. The idea is that the elite set the rednecks running and give them something of a head start before coming after them with an intention to kill. The reference point for this sort of thing is usually Kinji Fukasaku’s 2000 bloodfest Battle Royale, though it wasn’t the first movie to present hunting as some sort of bloodsport – 1987’s The Running Man springs to mind, or going even further back there’s 1965’s The … Read more

The Curious Return of Douglas Sirk

All That Heaven Allows original poster

  What is it about a film-maker who died around 25 years ago in obscurity  that fascinates a new generation of directors?         The director Douglas Sirk died in 1987 aged 90. Born in Hamburg as Detlef Sierck, he became well known for his string of lush melodramas made in Hollywood in the 1950s. Magnificent Obsession (1954), All That Heaven Allows (1955), Written on the Wind (1956), The Tarnished Angels (1957), A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958) and Imitation of Life (1959) are considered his key works. The French “auteurists” were the first to start the re-assessment of Sirk in the late 1950s – the distinctive look of … Read more

25 March 2013-03-25

Writers/stars Alice Lowe and Steve Oram in Sightseers. © studiocanal

DVD and Blu-ray out in the UK this week   Sightseers (StudioCanal, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Serial killing never looked so deliberately dowdy as it does in Ben Wheatley’s excellently funny and very British comedy about a couple (Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, who also wrote) whose tour of pencil museums and the like is interspersed with grim, impassive slaughter. Think Natural Born Killers, towing a caravan in the rain. Sightseeers – at Amazon     The Hunt (Arrow, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Thomas Vinterberg’s powerful 1998 drama Festen, the first of the pared-back Dogme films, examined the skeletons that rattle around in bourgeois closets and he’s at it again in this drama about a … Read more