Three thoughts about Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (McDonagh 2017)

Three-Billboards-poster1. All those comparisons of McDonagh to Tarantino and the Coen brothers are as lazy as they are wrong.
Yes, all three/four directors combine violence, black comedy and relishable dialogue being relished, but they all make films that are tonally very distinct. Tarantino and the Coens are, in their different ways, entirely superficial. Which is not necessarily an insult – and especially not in the first half of the Coens’ filmography. However, Three Billboards is a story of sexual violence, in which a woman who is not supposed to have a voice finds a way to speak out, and everyone tells her to shut up. That we now need to keep hold of Three Billboards‘ relevance (however unintentional) to the #MeToo conjuncture, while also needing to hear the growing criticism of the film’s treatment of race, suggests something deeper than mere surface. (As does, more trivially, its relative absence of obvious intertextual allusions.)

Also, Tarantino and the Coen brothers write, albeit in different ways, one-dimensional characters. They might be dazzling and memorable – again, especially in the first half of the Coens’ filmography – but they are fixed and incapable of change. McDonagh’s characters might not be fully rounded, but they do at least possess multiple conflicting aspects. They are little bundles of wrongfooting dialectical energy – which is why the coughing-blood-in-the-face scene works so well – unless they are dentists or priests. Or black. Particularly not if they are black.

2. Complaints about narrative incoherence miss the point.
Awww, diddums. Baby want a bottle? McDonagh repeatedly sets up formulaic situations then refuses the easy pay-off. You’d probably have been delighted if there had been a police cover-up, or if Dixon (Sam Rockwell) had accidentally overheard the killer in the bar, or if he had shot himself, or his mum, or his mum and then himself. (I suspect this is why people keep misdescribing his story as one of redemption. They want it to be as tediously familiar as that.)

3. This is yet another American film about lynchings that cannot bring itself to be about lynchings.
Like Fritz Lang’s Fury (1936), Mervyn Le Roy’s They Won’t Forget (1937) and Norman Jewison’s In the Heat of the Night (1967), among others. Despite all the violent crimes committed in the film, the only person to go to jail is black. On a petty charge trumped up by a racist cop. A racist cop who recently got away with torturing a black suspect in custody, and continues to get away with violent assaults. And Mildred (Frances McDormand) gets away with all manner of shit in relation to the rape-murder-incineration – but not quite lynching – of her daughter. Try doing that while being black. Hell, try quietly refusing to stand for the national anthem.

Meanwhile the three black characters are just there to signify moral dignity (Clarke Peters channeling The Wire‘s Lester Freamon as the new police chief) or to accessorise Mildred and thus deflect from, while also complicating, her racist language. (I’d like to think that when Denise (Amanda Warren) and Jerome (Darrell Britt-Gibson) inevitably hook up, it’s because they’re the only people in town who aren’t assholes. But that is not the reason.)

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Welcome to dulltopia and my two favourite angels

angelus novusMy essay ‘Dulltopia’ from the ‘Global Dystopias’ issue of Boston Review is now available online – it questions the claims made by Fredric Jameson and Slavoj Zizek about how boring contemporary dystopias are, then imagines these luminaries are right about how boring contemporary dystopias are, and then turns to slow cinema and the examples of Peter B. Hutton’s At Sea (2007) and Mauro Herce’s Dead Slow Ahead (2015), the latter of which I adore.

The essay ends with an allusion to Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus, every Marxist’s favourite angel thanks to Walter Benjamin, but in this context dismisses it in favour of an angel every bit as cool from Albrecht Durer’s Melencolia 1 – she is soooooooo bored and really pissed off and her dog is kinda funny looking.
Melencolia_I_(Durero)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Jake Kasdan 2017)

JumanjiWelcomeToTheJungleand so anyway it turns out that the best thing about Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) is not the presence and performance of The Rock, who is, as pretty much always, the main attraction of a film you can’t quite believe you’re paying to see (though more on this below), nor is it the absence of Robin Williams, who just as often was really fucking irritating, even more so than Jack Black, who here is surprisingly – and thankfully – kept largely in check, nor is it the interesting spectacle of the excellent Karen Gillan, who insists on wearing a coat, playing a three-dimensional rendition of a two-dimensional avatar who nonetheless much more closely resembles an actual character than the one she gets to play in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies (even if Jake Kasdan and his chums were too lazy to choreograph ‘dance fighting’, one of her ‘strengths’, reducing it instead to ‘dancing then fighting’), nor was it waving my debit card too close to the machine just as they were changing the seat reservations for us, thus locking the system in a loop that meant they had to reboot it, which meant we would miss the start of the movie, which meant they instead waved us in without us actually having to pay, no, the best thing about Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is the opportunity to see the reproduction of dominant ideology engineered with such precision, transforming Judith Butler’s arguments about the performativity of gender into tips on how to pick up guys, and throwing two actors of colour centre stage so as to pretend the colonial imagery and ideology underpinning it all has disappeared or is somehow magically no longer racist, cos seriously guys you really do need more than a little Hart and a big Johnson…

Tomboy (aka The Assignment) (Walter Hill 2016)

Cil8I9LWgAAOcRQand so anyway it turns out that the best thing about Tomboy aka The Assignment (2016), Walter Hill’s tawdry and exploitative story about a hitman, Frank Kitchen, played by Michelle Rodriguez, complete with facial (and other, more southerly) merkins and a prosthetic male chest and torso every bit as convincing as Nicolas Cage’s chest in Ghost Rider (Johnson 2007) and a prosthetic penis (cos yes there is a full frontal shower scene), who is double-crossed by the gangster Honest John (naughty Anthony LaPaglia!) who hired her and sold to the wealthy-genius-but-struck-off-female-surgeon-who-dresses-mannishly-and-likes-to-experiment-on-homeless-people-who-won’t-be-missed-and-whose-brother-was-killed-by-Frank-the-hitman, Dr Rachel Jane (naughty Sigourney Weaver!), who exacts her revenge on her brother’s killer while simultaneously trying to free Frank from the trap of toxic masculinity by performing unwanted and non-consenting sex change surgery on him, and who then – like the gangsters – becomes the target of revenge for the female Frank, also played by Michelle Rodriguez (who won an acting award for this shit, though admittedly a fairly obscure German one), again with some full frontal nudity, presumably to reassure the audience that the male body prosthetics caused no lasting damage to Letty, is not Hill’s unnecessarily complex nested narrative that jumps back-and-forth in time in order to cover up what looks like a collapsed budget and disastrous shoot while minimising anything resembling interest or suspense, nor is it that he also managed to trick Tony Shalhoub into appearing as Dr Galen (how long did it take to come up with that name?) in long and badly written dialogue scenes with the now-institutionalised Dr Jane, nor is it that somehow Walter Hill manages to make this tawdry and exploitative story so very bland that you are left wishing Abel Ferrara had directed it, or a young Jonathan Demme, or even a young Walter Hill, so as to make it properly tawdry, no, the very best thing about Tomboy aka The Assignment is that, despite Hill’s ploddingly pedestrian and mostly completely inoffensive treatment of this tawdry and exploitative tale, he nonetheless – and albeit by an extraordinarily circuitous route – manages to leave you feeling as dirty as you should by making you grateful  he has always resisted the urge to direct a movie in the Alien franchise he produces, which means you are grateful for films directed by Sir Diddley Squat…

My top 25 films of 2017

This year I watched 373 films. Of the 245 I saw for the first time, these are my top 25 (in roughly this order):
Dead-slow-ahead.0Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce 2015)
Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman 1975)
Salvatore Giuliano (Francesco Rossi 1962)
Kurôn wa kokyô wo mezasu/The Clone Returns Home (Nakajima Kanzi 2008)
La kermesse héroïque (Jacques Feyder 1935)
État de siege/State of Siege (Costa-Gavras 1972)
Il caso Mattei/The Mattei Affair (Francesco Rosi 1972)
Days of Hope: 1916 (Ken Loach 1975)
Days of Hope: 1921 (Ken Loach 1975)
Days of Hope: 1924 (Ken Loach 1975)
Days of Hope: 1926 (Ken Loach 1975)
Get Out (Jordan Peele 2017)
Goon: Last of the Enforcers (Jay Baruchel 2017)
Las Acacias (Pablo Giorgelli 2011)
The Soul of Nigger Charley (Larry G. Spangler 1973)
Grave/Raw (Julia Ducournau 2016)
Politist, adjectiv/Police, Adjective (Corneliu Porumboiu 2009)
Road Movie (Joseph Strick 1974)
Bílá Nemoc (Hugo Haas 1937)
Black Is…Black Ain’t (Marlon Riggs 1994)
The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye 1996)
Xiao cheng zhi chun/Spring in a Small Town (Mu Fei 1948)
Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven 2015)
Brothers of the Head (Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe 2005)
Top Five (Chris Rock 2014)

Best soundtrack Good Time (Benny and Josh Safdie 2017) – in stark contrast to the sheer ordinariness of the rest of the movie

Most amazing opening ten minutes La proprietà non è più un furto/Property Is No Longer A Theft (Elio Petri 1973) – to be fair, no film could live up to an opening like that

Most amazing final ten minutes So pat lo 2/Kill Zone 2 (Pou-Soi Cheang 2015) – almost made it worth sitting through the preceding hundred or so

Worst Rian Johnson movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson 2017) – but that doesn’t make it a bad Star Wars movie

Movie with tallest cameraman The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos 2017) – and most ominous spaghetti

Most woman-centred and yet most misogynist melodrama Mother! (Darren Aronfsky 2017) – if only Jennifer Lawrence had brought her bow and arrow to work

Least disappointing sequel to a cult classic with a date in the title Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve 2017) – though ultimately it was as empty as every Villeneuve film

Movie you finally rewatched after all these years and still can’t figure out what the fuck people see in it Withnail & I (Bruce Robinson 1987)

And should anyone care, here is the full list of 373 films:
7 días de enero/Seven Days in January (Juan Antonio Bardem 1979)
10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg 2016)
12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen 2013)
21 Jump Street (Phil Lord and Chris Miller 2012)
22 Jump Street (Phil Lord and Chris Miller 2014)

Las Acacias (Pablo Giorgelli 2011)
The Aerial Submarine (Walter R Booth 1910)
Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes/Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Werner Herzog 1972)
Ai Zai Shi Jie Mo Ri/Love After Time (Tsai Tsung-Han 2016)
All I Desire (Douglas Sirk 1953)
À Meia Noite Levarei Sua Alma/At Midnight I Will Take Your Soul (José Mojica Marins 1964)
American Honey (Andrea Arnold 2016)
Anime (Arnaud Brisebois 2016)
Anomalisa (Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman 2015)
Anonymous (Roland Emmerich 2011)
Anvil: The Story of Anvil (Sacha Gervasi 2008)
L’ariagnéléphant/The Spiderelephant (Piotr Kamler 1967)
Argo (Ben Affleck 2012)
Arrival (Denis Villeneuve 2016)
Arrival (Denis Villeneuve 2016)
The Assassination Bureau (Basil Dearden 1969)
L’Assassino (Elio Petri 1961)
At Sea (Peter Hutton 2007)
At Sea (Peter Hutton 2007)
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (John Korty 1974)

Baby Driver (Edgar Wright 2017)
Barbe Bleue (Catherine Breillat 2009)
Bastille Day (James Watkins 2016)
Beauty and the Beast (Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise 1991)
Becoming Cary Grant (Mark Kidel 2017)
Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grosstadt (Walther Ruttman 1927)
The Big Doll House (Jack Hill 1971)
Bílá Nemoc (Hugo Haas 1937)
The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker 2016)
Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da/Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan 2011)
The Bishop’s Wife (Henry Koster 1947)
Black Is…Black Ain’t (Marlon Riggs 1994)
Black Mountain (Nick Szostakiwskyj 2014)
Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut (Ridley Scott 1992)
Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve 2017)
Blood Simple: The Director’s Cut (Joel and Ethan Coen 2017)
Body and Soul (Oscar Micheaux 1925)
Bølgen/The Wave (Roar Uthaug 2015)
The Boondock Saints (Troy Duffy 1999)
Boss Nigger (Jack Arnold 1975)
El botón de nácar/The Pearl Button (Patricio Guzmán 2015)
The Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale 1935)
The Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale 1935)
The Bride Wore Boots (Irving Pichel 1946)
Bromo and Juliet (Leo McCarey 1926)
Brothers of the Head (Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe 2005)
Busanhaeng/Train to Busan (Sang-ho Yeon 2016)
Busy Bodies (Lloyd French 1933)

Captain America: Civil War (Joe and Anthony Russo 2016)
Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass 2013)
The Car (Elliot Silverstein 1977)
Il caso Mattei/The Mattei Affair (Francesco Rosi 1972)
Casque d’Or (Jacques Becker 1952)
Central Intelligence (Rawson Marshall Thurber 2016)
Un chien andalou (Luis Buñuel 1929)
Chikyû Bôeigun/The Mysterians (Ishiro Honda 1961)
La Chinoise (Jean-Luc Godard 1967)
Chronopolis (Piotr Kamler 1982)
Cìkè Niè Yinniáng/The Assassin (Hsiao-Hsien Hou 2015)
Citizen Kane (Orson Welles 1941)
City Girl (FW Murnau 1930)
Cleopatra Jones (Jack Starrett 1973)
Clueless (Amy Heckerling 1995)
Coeur de secours (Piotr Kamler 1973)
A Cottage on Dartmoor (Anthony Asquith 1929)
Colossal (Nacho Vigalondo 2016)
Contact (Robert Zemeckis 1997)
Contact (Robert Zemeckis 1997)
Crainquebille (Jacques Feyder 1922)
The Creation of the Humanoids (Wesley Barry 1962)
Crumbs (Miguel Llansó 2015)
Daphne (Peter Mackie Burns 2017)
The Darktown Revue (Oscar Micheaux 1931)
Daughters of Darkness (Harry Kümel 1971)
Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash 1991)
Days of Hope: 1916 (Ken Loach 1975)
Days of Hope: 1921 (Ken Loach 1975)
Days of Hope: 1924 (Ken Loach 1975)
Days of Hope: 1926 (Ken Loach 1975)
Deadpool (Tim Miller 2016)
Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce 2015)
Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce 2015)
Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce 2015)
The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci 2017)
Deepwater Horizon (Peter Berg 2016)
The Defiant Ones (Stanley Kramer 1958)
Délicieuse catastrophe (Piotr Kamler 1970)
The Dentist (Leslie Pearce 1932)
Dirty Work (Lloyd French 1933)
The Disaster Artist (James Franco 2017)
Disorder (Alice Winocour 2015)
Død snø/Dead Snow (Tommy Wirkola 2009)
Dog Shy (Leo McCarey 1926)
La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini 1960)
Double Whoopee (Lewis R Foster 1929)
Le Doulos (Jean-Pierre Melville 1962)
Down in the Delta (Maya Angelou 1998)
Down Terrace (Ben Wheatley 2009)
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Rouben Mamoulian 1931)
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Rouben Mamoulian 1931)
Dr Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick 1964)
Drum (Steve Carver and Burt Kennedy1976)

The East (Zal Batmanglij 2013)
East LA Interchange (Betsy Kalin 2015)
Eaten Alive (Tobe Hooper 1976)
The Emperor Jones (Dudley Murphy 1933)
Enemy (Denis Villeneuve 2013)
État de siege/State of Siege (Costa-Gavras 1972)
Evolution (Lucile Hadzihalilovic 2015)
Ex Machina (Alex Garland 2014)
Extase/Ecstasy (Gustav Machatý 1933)
Eye in the Sky (Gavin Hood 2015)

The Falling (Carol Morley 2014)
Fast & Furious 6 (Justin Lin 2013)
Fast & Furious 8 (F. Gary Gray 2017)
Fast & Furious 8 (F. Gary Gray 2017)
Fast Five (Justin Lin 2011)
The Fatal Glass of Beer (Clyde Bruckman 1933)
Fences (Denzel Washington 2016)
Fifth Avenue Girl (Gregory La Cava 1939)
The Finishing Touch (Clyde Bruckman 1928)
Die Flucht/The Flight (Roland Graf 1977)
Force of Evil (Abraham Polonsky 1948)
The Four Musketeers (Richard Lester 1974)
Free Fire (Ben Wheatley 2017)
Free Fire (Ben Wheatley 2017)
Friday Foster (Arthur Marks 1975)
The Front Page (Lewis Milestone 1931)
Funny Face (Stanley Donen 1957)

The Gentle Sex (Leslie Howard and Maurice Elvey 1943)
Get Out (Jordan Peele 2017)
Get Out (Jordan Peele 2017)
Ghostbusters (Paul Feig 2016)
Ghostbusters II (Ivan Reitman 1989)
Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett 2000)
The Golf Specialist (Monte Brice 1930)
Good Time (Benny and Josh Safdie 2017)
Goon (Michael Dowse 2011)
Goon: Last of the Enforcers (Jay Baruchel 2017)
Le grand jeu (Jacques Feyder 1933)
The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford 1940)
Grave/Raw (Julia Ducournau 2016)
The Great Man’s Lady (William A Wellman 1942)
The Green Butchers (Anders Thomas Jensen 2003)
Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier 2015)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (Jim Gunn 2017)

The Half Way House (Basil Dearden and Cavalcanti 1944)
Hallelujah (King Vidor 1929)
Hamlet (Svend Gade and Heinz Schall 1921)
Heart of Darknes (Nicolas Roeg 1993)
The Heat (Paul Feig 2013)
The Heisters (Tobe Hooper 1964))
The Help (Tate Taylor 2011)
Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie 2016)
He Never Died (Jason Krawcyzk 2015)
Her Broken Shadow (Dilman Dila 2017)
Highlander II: The Quickening (Russell Mulcahy 1992)
High Plains Drifter (Clint Eastwood 1973)
His Wooden Wedding (Leo McCarey 1925)
Hiver (Piotr Kamler 1964)
Hog Wild (James Parrott 1930)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sidney Lanfield 1939)
Howard the Duck (Willard Huyck 1986)
How to Be Human (Bruno Centofanti 2017)
Hugo (Martin Scorsese 2011)
The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow 2008)

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck 2016)
I, Daniel Blake (Ken Loach 2016)
Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk 1959)
L’immortel/22 Bullets (Richard Berry 2010)
In a Valley of Violence (Ti West 2016)
Das Indische Grabmal/The Indian Tomb (Fritz Lang 1959)
The Informer (Arthur Robison 1929) – silent version
The Informer (Arthur Robison 1929) – silent version
The Informer (Arthur Robison 1929) – sound version
Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson 2014)
Innocent Husbands (Leo McCarey 1925)
Internes Can’t Take Money (Alfred Santell 1937)
In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain (Larissa Sansour/Soren Lind 2016)
In the Heat of the Night (Norman Jewison 1967)
Island in the Sun (Robert Rossen 1957)
Isn’t Life Terrible? (Leo McCarey 1925)
Izbavitelj/The Rat Saviour (Krsto Papic 1976)

Jason Bourne (Paul Greengrass 2016)
Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman 1975)
Journey to the Center of Time (David L Hewitt 1967)
The Jungle (William Berke 1952)

Kenjû zankoku monogatari/Cruel Gun Story (Takumi Furukawa 1964)
La kermesse héroïque (Jacques Feyder 1935)
Kaputt (Volker Schlecht 2016)
Karl Marx Stadt/Karl Marx City (Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker 2016)
The Killers (Robert Siodmak 1946)
Killer’s Kiss (Stanley Kurbick 1955)
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos 2017)
King Dinosaur (Bert I Gordon 1955)
King Kong (Ernest B Schoedsack and Merian C Cooper 1933)
King Kong (Ernest B Schoedsack and Merian C Cooper 1933)
Knight without Armour (Jacques Feyder 1937)
Kong: Skull Island (Jordan Vogt-Roberts 2017)
Kong: Skull Island (Jordan Vogt-Roberts 2017)
Koroshi no rakuin/Branded to Kill (Suzuki Seijun 1967)
Kung Fu Hustle (Stephen Chow 2004)
Kurôn wa kokyô wo mezasu/The Clone Returns Home (Nakajima Kanzi 2008)
Kyûketsu dokuro-sen/The Living Skeleton (Hiroki Matsuno 1968)

Le labyrinthe (Piotr Kamler 1970)
The Lady Gambles (Michael Gordon 1949)
Legend (Brian Helgeland 2015)
The Legend of Nigger Charley (Martin Goldman 1972)
The Legend of Tarzan (David Yates 2016)
The Lego Batman Movie (Chris McKay 2017)
The Lego Batman Movie (Chris McKay 2017)
Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson 2008)
Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel 2012)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Wes Anderson 2004)
Lilies of the Field (Ralph Nelson 1963)
Little Nikita (Richard Benjamin 1988)
London Has Fallen (Babak Najafi 2016)
The Long Good Friday (John Mackenzie 1981)
Loong Boonmee raleuk chat/Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul 2010)
Lost Horizon (Charles Jarrott 1973)

Magic Mike XXL (Gregory Jacobs 2015)
The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles 1942)
The Magnificent Seven (John Sturges 1960)
Make Mine Mink (Robert Asher 1960)
The Maltese Falcon (John Huston 1941)
Mandingo (Richard Fleischer 1975)
A Man for All Seasons (Fred Zinnemann 1966)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Guy Ritchie 2015)
The Martian (Ridley Scott 2015)
Mary Poppins (Robert Stevenson 1964)
Mechanic: Resurrection (Dennis Gansel 2016)
Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt 2010)
Men & Chicken (Anders Thomas Jensen 2015)
Metropolis (Rintaro 2001)
Midnight Special (Jeff Nichols 2016)
The Mighty Gorga (David L Hewitt 1969)
Miles Ahead (Don Cheadle 2016)
Millions Like Us (Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder 1943)
Mindhorn (Sean Foley 2017)
Une mission éphémère/Ephemeral Mission (Piotr Kamler 1993)
Moonlight (Barry Jenkins 2016)
Mother! (Darren Aronfsky 2017)
Murder Ahoy (George Pollock 1964)
Murder at the Gallop (George Pollock 1963)
Murder Most Foul (George Pollock 1964)
Murder, She Said (George Pollock 1961)
The Music Box (James Parrott 1932)
Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven 2015)

The Naked Truth (Mario Zampi 1957)
Network (Sidney Lumet 1976)
The Nice Guys (Shane Black 2016)
The Night Before (Jonathan Levine 2015)
North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock 1959)
Nostalgia de la luz/Nostalgia for the Light (Patricio Guzmán 2011)
Nothing But a Man (Michael Roemer 1964)
Nothing to Declare (Will Adams 2017)
Nueve reinas/Nine Queens (Fabián Bielinsky 2000)

Oil: A Symphony in Motion (Artkino 1933)
Oklahoma! (Fred Zinnemann 1955)
One Million AC/DC (Ed De Priest 1969)
The Organization (Don Medford 1971)

Partie de campage (Jean Renoir 1936)
Le pas (Piotr Kamler 1975)
La passion de Jeanne d’Arc (Carl Dreyer 1928)
Penda’s Fen (Alan Clarke 1973)
Pendulum (Lauren Cooney 2017)
The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor 1940)
Il pianeta errante/War Between the Planets (Anthony Dawson 1966)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir 1975)
La planète vert (Piotr Kamler 1966)
Play Time (Jacques Tati 1967)
Politist, adjectiv/Police, Adjective (Corneliu Porumboiu 2009)
Princess Tam-Tam (Edmond T. Gréville 1935)
La proprietà non è più un furto/Property Is No Longer A Theft (Elio Petri 1973)
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock 1960)
Purlie Victorious (Nicholas Webster 1963))

Ragnarok (Nuopuolis) (Johan and Urtė Oettinger)
A Raisin in the Sun (Daniel Petrie 1961)
Rat Film (Theo Anthony 2016)
Razorback (Russell Mulcahy 1984)
Real Artists (Cameo Wood 2017)
RED 2 (Dean Parisot 2013)
Remember the Night (Mitchell Leisen 1940)
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Paul W.S. Anderson 2016)
The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu 2015)
Revolution: New Art for a New World (Margy Kinmonth 2016)
Road (Nick Driftwood 2017)
Road Movie (Joseph Strick 1974)
RoGoPaG (Roberto Rossellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Ugo Gregoretti 1963)
Rogue One (Gareth Edwards 2016)
Room (Lenny Abrahamson 2015)
Royal Flash (Richard Lester 1975)
Russkiy kovcheg/Russian Ark (Aleksandr Sokurov 2002)

Salvatore Giuliano (Francesco Rossi 1962)
Sankofa (Haile Gerima 1993)
Sankofa (Haile Gerima 1993)
Santo contra las mujeres vampiro/Santo vs. the Vampire Women (Alfonso Corona Blake 1962)
Sayat Nova/The Colour of Pomegranates (Sergei Parajanov 1969)
The Scar of Shame (Frank Peregini 1927)
Schatten – Eine nächtliche Halluzination/Warning Shadows (Arthur Robison 1923)
The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb (Dave Borthwick 1993)
Seven Chances (Buster Keaton 1925)
Shine ’em Up! (James Davis 1922)
The Shooting (Monte Hellman 1966)
La sirène des tropiques (Mario Nalpas and Henri Étiévant 1927)
Sky West and Crooked (John Mills 1966)
Slaves (Herbert J Biberman 1969)
The Social Network (David Fincher 2010)
So pat lo 2/Kill Zone 2 (Pou-Soi Cheang 2015)
The Soul of Nigger Charley (Larry G. Spangler 1973)
Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine 2012)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (JJ Abrams 2015)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson 2017)
Suicide Squad (David Ayer 2016)
Sunset Blvd (Billy Wilder 1950)
Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick 1957)
The Symbol of the Unconquered (Oscar Micheaux 1920)

Tamango (John Berry 1958)
Tangerine (Sean Baker 2015)
Technotajz – Edit i ja/Technotise: Edit & I (Aleksa Gajic, Nebojsa Andric and Stevan Djordjevic 2009)
Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (Abraham Polonsky 1969)
Ten Nights in a Barroom (Roy Calnek 1926)
Teströl és lélekröl/On Body and Soul (Ildikó Enyedi 2017)
There’s Always Tomorrow (Douglas Sirk 1956)
They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (Gordon Douglas 1970)
They Won’t Forget (Mervyn LeRoy 1937)
The Thing (from another world) (Christian Nyby 1951)
Thor: Ragnarok (Taika Waititi 2017)
The Three Musketeers (Richard Lester 1973)
Der Tiger von Eschnapur/Tiger of Bengal (Fritz Lang 1959)
To Die For (Gus Van Sant 1995)
Too Many Crooks (Mario Zampi 1959)
Top Five (Chris Rock 2014)
Touchez pas au grisbi (Jacques Becker 1954)
A Touch of the Sun (Frank Parry 1956)
Trainwreck (Judd Apatow 2015)
Triple 9 (John Hillcoat 2016)
Le trou (Piotr Kamler 1969)
True Romance (Tony Scott 1993)
Tsar to Lenin (Herman Axelbank 1937)

Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer 2013)
Upstream Color (Shane Carruth 2013)
Urufu gai: Moero ôkami-otoko/Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope (Kazuhiko Yamaguchi 1975)

Visages d’enfants (Jacques Feyder 1925)
Visages d’enfants (Jacques Feyder 1925)
Visages d’enfants (Jacques Feyder 1925)
Volcano (Mick Jackson 1997)
Voyage à travers le cinéma français/My Journey Through French Cinema (Bertrand Tavernier 2016)

WALL-E (Andrew Stanton 2008)
War on Everyone (John Michael McDonagh 2016)
Wasabi (Gérard Krawczyk 2001))
The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye 1996)
The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye 1996)
We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay 2011)
Westworld (Michael Crichton 1973)
What We Do In the Shadows (Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi 2014)
White Dog (Sam Fuller 1982)
Wings (William Wellmann 1927)
The Witch: A New England Folk Tale (Robert Eggers 2015)
Within Our Gates (Oscar Micheaux 1920)
Withnail & I (Bruce Robinson 1987)
The Wizard of Mars (David L Hewitt 1965)
Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins 2017)
The World, the Flesh and the Devil (Ranald MacDougall 1959)

Xiao cheng zhi chun/Spring in a Small Town (Mu Fei 1948)
xXx (Rob Cohen 2002)
xXx: The Next Level (Lee Tamahori 2005)
xXx: Return of Xander Cage (DJ Caruso 2017)

 

 

Thor: Ragnarok (Taika Waititi 2017)

obvgswamufrzand so anyway it turns out the best thing about Thor: Ragnarok (2017) was not the automatic ticket machines being out of action so we had to queue up at the box office to collect tickets we’d already paid for, nor was it the cinema’s decision to start a screening of Justice League (Snyder 2017) at roughly the same time so we had to queue among even bigger idiots doomed to even greater disappointment than me, nor was it the curiously Oirish-sounding music on the soundtrack every time the story took us to Norway, nor was it Tom Hiddleston’s always amusing inability to actually deliver lines of dialogue, which this time faced some tough competition from an oddly Americanised Frumious Bandersnatch, nor was it Karl Urban’s rather baffling but spot-on London cabbie accent, though it probably helped make Idris Elba feel at home during the two or three days he was on set, nor was it Marvel/Disney’s cunning ploy of bringing in the always vastly overrated mildly funny Taika Waititi to imbue an otherwise plodding-but-not-quite-as-plodding-as-usual late franchise entry with some mild and vastly overrated funniness, as well as to pay homage to Mike Hodges’ Flash Gordon (1980) while generating the shifts in tone necessary to clumsily staple the main franchise universe to the version in Guardians of the Galaxy movies, nor was it the disappointing absence of the Rock (Thor: RagnaROCK!!!!) whose trailered Jumanji  just looks better and better in comparison, while still looking terrible, you understand, no, the best thing about Thor: Ragnarok is perhaps almost the most ignominious, in that it fulfilled a long-held shamefully festive and object-cathecting  fantasy, that is, to see Cate Blanchett play Servalan in panto….