sat 24/07/2021

violence

Riders of Justice review - revenge, coincidence and the meaning of life

All events are products of a series of preceding events. Or is life just a chain of coincidences? And if so, what’s the point in anything? Danish director Anders Thomas Jensen’s brilliantly inventive, genre-busting black comedy starts with a bicycle...

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Adam Mars-Jones: Batlava Lake review - pride and prejudice in the Kosovo War

For a slim book of some 100 pages, Batlava Lake by Adam Mars-Jones is deceptively meandering. The novella is narrated by Barry Ashton, an engineer attached to the British Army troops stationed with the peacekeeping forces during the Kosovo War....

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DVD/Blu-ray: County Lines

The website of the National Crime Agency offers the following definition of County Lines: “[it is] where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often across police and local authority boundaries (although not exclusively), usually...

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Saint Maud review - creepy and strangely topical psychological horror

It only takes a few seconds of Saint Maud – dripping blood, a dead body contorted on a gurney, a young woman’s deranged face staring at an insect on the ceiling, an industrial clamour more likely to score the gates of hell than the pearly...

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Savage review - an immersive look at gang culture in Wellington, New Zealand

Not to be confused with Savages, the Oliver Stone film of 2012 about marijuana smuggling, Savage is a story of New Zealand street gangs: how to join and how to escape, which, when you’ve got the words Savages and Poneke (the Maori name for...

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Selva Almada: Dead Girls review – the stark proximity of women to violence

Selva Almada’s newly translated work has a stark title in both English and the original Spanish: Dead Girls, or Chicas Muertas. That apparent bluntness belies the hybrid sensitivity that makes up the pages. Its subject matter is the murders of three...

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Random Acts of Violence review - study in horror lacks scares

The debate about whether violent films cause violent acts has been around for decades. From Mary Whitehouse’s puritanical crusade against films such as The Exorcist, to recent movies like Joker, pundits, columnists and even psychiatrists...

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Infamous review - Bonnie and Clyde for the digital age fails to deliver

Like a sub-par Natural Born Killers for Gen Z, director-screenwriter Joshua Caldwell’s latest film, featuring Disney-child-star-turned-porn-director Bella Thorne, tackles the perils of social media like a parent trying to navigate TikTok....

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Good Manners review - compellingly eerie

Stylish, eerie and unexpectedly moving by the time of its apocalyptic finish, the strangely titled Good Manners makes for a genuine celluloid surprise. Written and directed by Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra, this genre-defying Brazilian...

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The Old Guard review - serious silliness

It’s hard to take The Old Guard seriously — it’s an action film about thousand-year-old immortal warriors. Pulpy flashbacks and fake blood abounds. But The Old Guard doesn’t need to be serious or even memorable: it’s a fun, feel-good film, a rare...

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The Last Full Measure review - exceptional performances elevate middling Vietnam war drama

It’s impossible to deny the sincerity with which Todd Robinson has approached the true story of William H. Pitsenbarger, a US Air Force Pararescueman who was killed in action while rescuing over 60 injured soldiers during one of the bloodiest...

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Marieke Lucas Rijneveld: The Discomfort of Evening review - lovelessness, loneliness, bodies and their limits

“I was ten and stopped taking off my coat.” This bare beginning marks the opening of Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s startling and lyrical novel, translated from the Dutch by Michele Hutchison: an introduction to ten-year-old Jas and the dislocated world...

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