December 30, 2007
Director: Julian Gilby
Well, if violence doesn’t put you off and you like films like Goodfellas, this one might be for you. Extremely gritty, without a single BBC accent, this English gangster film is really pretty powerful stuff. True, it has its slow moments, and there isn’t really a whole hell of a lot of plot, but all the same it has some great acting, striking dialogue (I challenge anyone to find a film where the word cunt is used more often) and overall pretty decent cinematography.
But like I said, there is blood. Lots of it. Baseball bats. Teeth smashed in. Hatchet to the head. Pizza cutter to the face. So, this kind of thing might put some people off. But if you’re up for it, check it out.
December 28, 2007
I saw this lat night. The 2007 version. What a bad film. Indeed, 2007 has been a pathetic year for films, particularly in Hollywood. The script to this sorry attempt at a western is truly shameful and the only thing more shameful is that is appears to have received good reviews. How depressing.
December 26, 2007
Director: Sergio Grieco
A vaguely interesting historical drama starring the great Vittorio Gassman as Giovanni de Medici.
The costumes are quite nice and the war scenes, though they verge on the absurd due to the lack of extras (the French army is represented by about twelve men), are satisfying. There is also a fair bit of rape and pillage, if rape and pillage is your thing.
Probably the highlight of the film is towards the end, when Giovanni is confronted by Gasparo (Gérard Landry) who betrayed him. Giovanni spits out the ultimate insult: “Verme traditore carogna!” (roughly translated as “traitorous worm carrion” and then, after a brief struggle, proceeds to beat Gasparo’s brains out with a pyx.
This might not be for everyone, but I imagine it is a lot more interesting then the latest Die Hard film and is yet another example of something which would be nice to have available to an English speaking audience—though in truth, it is not even commercially available in Italian.
(Below is the German language poster.)
December 19, 2007
The Fix has a review of the new zine Diet Soap up here.
There is a brief mention of my metrophilia story Xi’an. But the mention is only slightly more brief than the story itself, so . . .
December 18, 2007
Director: Francesco Maselli
A number of wealthy young people in provincial town in Italy. Dissipation. Drinking. Talking. Leading empty lives. A young woman from a poor background (Claudia Cardinale) wants to become part of their circle. Such is the plot.
The cast is quite interesting, featuring Betsy Blaire of all people as Contessa Rita Cherè. I say of all people, because it seems rather bizarre that the same person who played the homely girlfriend in Marty, here plays an “elegant” contessa, with her voice dubbed in Italian. And we also have Tomas Milian, who, as is the case with just about all the films he is in, steals the show, as the spoiled and perverse Alberto De Matteis.
One scene in particular stands out, where Milian is blazing down a narrow road in his Ferrari, narrowly missing road workers, women on bicycles etc. and finds himself behind an ambulance, honking his horn savagely before passing.
The black and white cinematography is truly excellent and the script, as far as I am concerned, leaves nothing to be desired.
This film would be perfect for a Critereon DVD release, as it is certainly as good as most of what they have put out, and better than many.
December 12, 2007
This offer is still good.