Going to the cinema

Attack the Block (dir Joe Cornish 2011) was utterly wonderful – funny, touching and, apart from the man-eating, pheronome-seeking Cooky Monsters from outer space, completely believable. (TV download, 4th November)

Tyrannosaur (dir Paddy Considine, 2011) was MUCH better than the trailer suggested. Not at all the  ‘kind middle class lady reforms brutal working class man’ that I’d feared. Both are as fucked up as each other; both equally capable of change.  I think. (3rd November, Cubby Broccoli, National Media Museum, Bradford)

We Need to Talk About Kevin (dir Lynne Ramsay, 2011) cuts back on the novel’s frighteningly intelligent dialogue between Kevin and his mother (brilliantly played here by Tilda Swinton) but powerfully illustrates Lionel Shriver’s excellent conceit: there is no certain explanation of why Kevin should decide to massacre his father, sister and class-mates. You can make some intelligent guesses, but as Kevin says in the closing frame: “When I did it, I thought I knew why.  Now I’m not so sure.” (20th October, Hyde Park Picture House

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (dir Thomas Alfredson, 2011) is the most masculine film I’ve seen for a long time. The one woman with more than two lines (but not many more) gets summarily executed: perhaps she stands for all the women in John le Carré’s world of intrigue? Worth seeing for the furnishings, the halting homosexuality and the steady mounting of tension. (5th October, Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds)

Ben Wheatley’s Kill List (2011) starts well, moves into the killings quite promisingly, and then descends into Dennis Wheatley’s absurd satanic not very shock-horror. (21st September 2011, Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds)


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