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  • Pulp: a Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets

    Pulp: a Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets

    ★★★

    As much as I love Pulp and rank seeing them live at Primavera Sound 2011 as one of my all time favourite gig experiences (literally everyone was singing along to Common People at 2am, no exaggeration), I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed by this documentary, which just seemed kind of boring. Included are random interviews with ‘common’ people, most of them living in Sheffield. I understand what the idea was here, a glimpse of social realism within the rock star…

  • Hero

    Hero

    ★★★½

    This is at times a disarmingly mesmerising film, with beautiful cinematography that sweeps over the Southwestern deserts of the American dream gone insane and condemned to die in a fiery car wreck. The use of the Rolling Stones’ ‘Heaven’ reinvents the song as if it was written and recorded for this very film; the vast, rolling emptiness of sinister-looking craggy mountains, devil-conjured mirages and scorched deserts transporting us to an alternative surrealist reality, to which the misfit characters are more…

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  • Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?

    Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?

    ★★★½

    Sometimes a film is not 'boring', it's actually a study on boredom as societal satire; a disarmament of psychological setting -- a slow-motion, funereal-paced race to the ugly punchline. The funniest jokes require patience and an ability to listen.

    Fassbinder pulls it off marvellously in 'Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?', one of his best early films, from 1970. This particular punchline connects as hard as a blow to the back of the head.

    If a life can only be understood backwards, this film parodies the theory by emulating it.

    Fassbinder's nihilism knew no bounds.

  • Nico, 1988

    Nico, 1988

    ★★★★½

    Everyone involved in the creation of 'Nico, 1988' deserves a huge amount of praise and respect for creating a film so unflinchingly honest, so authentic. Nico, eternally dressed up in others' wardrobes, in others' colours and artistic mirages, has finally been depicted on screen for who she really was, and because Christa Paffgen was infinitely more fascinating than 'Nico' ('Don't call me Nico, call me by my real name', she says early in the film to her new Mancunian manager,…