Films of the Week: Boulting brothers' cruel confection is of the toughest variety
Saturday 30 June 2012
(John Boulting, 1947) The Boulting brothers' brilliant, cruel, noir-ish Graham Greene adaptation makes fine use of its locations: it takes place, not only in a jolly pre-war seaside town but in another Brighton of dark alleyways and festering slums; and most of all, inside the oppressively godless and paranoid psyche of its young hoodlum antihero, Pinky (Richard Attenborough).*****
12.40pm & 9.10pm Sky Movies Classics
(John Frankenheimer, 1966) A secret organisation offers the wealthy a chance to begin life again, by surgically altering them to look like other people whom it's recently bumped off. Thus, a middle-aged banker gets to look like Rock Hudson and slip into his life as a bohemian artist. What could go wrong? Another terrific paranoid thriller from the director of The Manchurian Candidate.****
(Larry Clark, 2001) This is the best of the studies in US teen anomie and violence that the photographer-turned-director Larry Clark has made the story since the controversial Kids in 1995. Based on a real case, it tells of a group of affectless teens who plot to kill the local bully. A film with no moral centre at all, it is disconcerting and depressing and very powerful. Bijou Phillips stars.****
(Abdellatif Kechiche, 2007) Set in the port city of Sète in the south of France, this is a feast of a film about family, work, love and food, centred on the newly unemployed 61-year-old patriarch of an extended French-Ararbic family and his plans to open a couscous restaurant. Leisurely paced, very real and very funny, it is a masterpiece of unforced naturalism. Starring Habib Boufares. ****
Went the Day Well?
(Alberto Cavalcanti, 1942) Brambly End is an ordinary, pretty, sleepy English village, until a fifth columnist invites a troupe of Nazis to stay and the villagers must take extreme measures to repel them. Ealing Studio's 1942 Graham Greene adaptation is a bracing if not downright subversive propaganda film, an endearing time capsule, and a still highly effective action thriller. Leslie Banks and Basil Sydney star. ****
X-Men: First Class
10am & 8pm Sky Movies Premiere
(Matthew Vaughan, 2011) A prequel about how and why, before they were arch nemeses, Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender), under the auspices of the CIA in the Sixties, recruited the young mutants who became the first X-Men. The stars are charismatic, the action scenes coherent and plentiful, and the period setting allows for a retro look inspired by the heyday James Bond films.***
(Bong Joon-ho, 2006) The same writer-director who reworked the Forties and Fifties melodrama weepie in the brilliant Mother had previously reworked the atomic-era monster movie, to similarly terrific effect. So this is far wittier and smarter stuff than you'd usually expect of a giant-sea-slug-thingy-attacks-downtown-Seoul movie. And it's got real human interest, as well as satirical bite. Kang-ho Song stars. ****
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 Kajieme Powell: Missouri police release video footage of second man killed by officers
- 4 Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Laughs go global as Eddie Izzard and Dylan Moran bring international comedians to the Edinburgh Fringe
The Top Ten: Horrible buildings
JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbuck
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Celebrity Big Brother 2014 line-up: Meet the contestants from Lauren Goodger to Kellie Maloney and Audley Harrison
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women