His Dark Materials
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Saxon's press notes boast of its adherence to, and playfulness with, the rules and conventions of the great American westerns, but it is a very pleasant surprise to observe just how subtle and shrewd those genre nods are.
The plot is appropriately simple: Eddie (Sean Harris) returns home to the grim, ghostly Saxon housing estate after both a brief spell in prison, and a visit from a sadistic loan shark. With his one functioning eyeball on the line, Eddie tries to make a fast buck by interacting with a succession of the estate's most volatile misfits, in an attempt to track down a minor local celebrity who has inexplicably vanished.
It is an irrefutable oddity for sure, but the plot's fiendish momentum does exert a palpable grip, and for a film shot for almost nothing, it looks outstanding; composed entirely of wide-angled handheld shots, it comes off (visually, at least) like a collaboration between Luc Besson and Andrew Bujalski. But the ominous, whacked-out aura is all its own.
This is simply perfect if you're in the mood for some impeccably crafted weird.
Fast Eddie has just returned to Saxon, a housing estate in Croydon after doing a stint in prison. At present he's missing an eye, and if he doesn't come up with a hefty sum of money, the other one's going too. In order to make the cash, Eddie turns sleuth to uncover the mystery of a missing gameshow contestant.
Saxon is a surreal modern day western, packing a punch to the gut from the opening scene. The limited locations and digital video photography expose Saxon's low budget, but the high energy of everyone involved rises above it with a witty script and a strong central performance from Sean Harris.