Films of the week: Paranormal life is backdrop for grave anxieties
Saturday 17 November 2012
Don't Look Now
(Nicolas Roeg, 1973) With its associative editing, temporal dislocations and ominous atmosphere, Nicolas Roeg's masterful Du Maurier adaptation gets under the skin in a way few other films can, and is all the more haunting for the fact that its supernatural element is secondary to its investigations of love and loss. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie star as a grieving couple staying in off-season Venice. *****
10.05pm Channel 4
(Zack Snyder, 2009) After 20 years in development hell, and unsuccessful attempts by Terry Gilliam and Darren Aronofsky, a version of Alan Moore's self-reflexive, ironic and playfully philosophical comic was finally put on screen by the director of 300. It is unwieldy, imperfect and a little humourless, but ambitious, clever, spectacular and likely still the best superhero movie ever made. ****
(Michael Haneke, 2005) In the first part of a Michael Haneke double-bill, Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche play a bourgeois Parisian couple who are sent videotapes of their lives by a stalker who may or may not be a figure from Aueteil's past. It is a characteristically enigmatic and austere psychological thriller; allusive, compelling, fascinating and frustrating in equal measure. ****
(Allen Coulter, 2006) Ben Affleck is well cast and very good as George Reeves, the actor who played Superman on television in the Fifties. But the version of Reeves he presents is a sad character; a kept man who thinks he's capable of much more – though we're not so sure. His story is told in flashback, while private eye Adrien Brody investigates his suspicious death from a gunshot wound. ***
(Roman Polanski, 1974) Jack Nicholson plays a Forties Los Angeles private eye who gets caught up in a Sophoclean drama involving femme fatale Faye Dunaway, tycoon John Huston and (historically accurate) corruption among the city's planners and water department. A masterpiece of neo-noir cinema, its ending doesn't get any easier to take no matter how many times you see it. *****
(Martin Scorsese, 2006) The film for which Martin Scorsese finally bagged a Best Director Oscar is only a remake of a slick Hong Kong action movie, and not his best work. Still, while the plot isn't strictly plausible (Leonardo DiCaprio's undercover cop infiltrates the mob while Matt Damon's crook infiltrates the police), the film is very persuasive, and Jack Nicholson is good value as a crime boss. ****
Singin' in the Rain
(Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, 1952) Gene Kelly stars in this graceful and clever insider comedy about Hollywood's awkward adjustment to the arrival of the talkies, as a Twenties matinee idol who falls for his co-star's vocal stand-in (Debbie Reynolds). It's the Technicolor MGM musical in which the song-and-dance routines are most ingeniously integrated into the narrative. And what sublime routines they are! *****
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 4 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 5 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
First Look at Bryan Cranston transformed into LBJ for HBO’s ‘All the Way’ film
Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
This little boy loves books so much that he cries when his mother stops reading to him
Prog rock finally comes of age with launch of the first Official Progressive Chart
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up