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! *****
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Angelina Jolie confirms retirement from acting: 'I've never been comfortable on-screen'
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage from Lana Del Rey rape video
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track