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  • The Doctor's Horrible Experiment

    The Doctor's Horrible Experiment

    ★★★½

    Jekyll and Hyde in a Parisian climate. There is more emphasis on the sexual elements of the story, and being Renoir lots on class (several are quite happy when not to expose Cordelier for shielding Opale when the latter's victims are lower class, they are outraged when he attacks someone posh). Jean-Louis Barrault gives a performance for the ages. It would be difficult to watch this and simply conclude that 'everyone has their reasons', its quite a dark thing.

  • Feel Like Going Home

    Feel Like Going Home

    ★★½

    A film which leans quite heavily on Alan Lomax's 'The Land Where the Blues Began' which is quite fortunate, as I'd read it quite recently. Film contains brilliant footage - archival shots of the great blues masters, sequences of Ali Farke Toure in Mali. But I am not quite sure that it is more than the sum of its parts, or even what the sum of its parts is meant to be...

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  • The Leopard

    The Leopard

    ★★★★★

    Seeing this for the first time remains a highlight: it was like being taken in to a different world for 3 hours, and it has stood up to repeated viewings, the latest with my in laws. It is one of the definitive recreations of the C19th on screen and one of the most beautiful films ever made (watch it and you will just have to visit Sicily). It is a cliche but Burt Lancaster really does have the grace of…

  • Cyclo

    Cyclo

    ★★★★

    A real genre bender. Starts off in neo-realist mode, with a clear nod to Bicycle Thieves, before transitioning to post modern gangster, with set piece sex and violence, albeit shot in classic arthouse mode with more emphasis on image than narrative. Ho Chi Minh City co-stars, a place of great vibrancy combined with poverty and threat. Life on these streets is hard (and for taxi rickshaw drivers it is literally life on the streets) and crime does not offer an easy way out.