Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Tati's feature debut is charming, romantic and at times rather dull. There are very good physical sight gags but he hadn't yet finessed them into a particularly interesting scenario. The plot here is minuscule: a travelling funfair arrives in a sleepy village and local postman Francois (Tati) is inspired by newsreel of the American postal service to speed up his bicycle deliveries. Tati uses sound, music and mime but it wasn't until he introduced M. Hulot into the mix that his unique talents found their ideal showcase.
Richard Matheson wrote Duel, but this pedestrian and ludicrously implausible TV pilot for what became the series Kolchak is several notches lower, despite a clutch of reliable performances from established actors like Claude Akins, Simon Oakland and Carol Lynley. We're supposed to believe a modern-day vampire is stalking the streets of Las Vegas, and only maverick hack Darren McGavin has the nous to track him down. Nothing more than average, and no Columbo.
Dubious PR for the self-pitying and rather irritating Amanda Knox, who notoriously was charged/acquitted/charged/acquitted of the savage murder of fellow student, Meredith Kercher, alongside boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. The elephant in the room is the extraordinary lack of respect or sensitivity shown by most of the protagonists towards Kercher, nowhere more clear than in the glib strutting of a so-called journalist with the hilariously appropriate name Nick Pisa. The documentary this aches to be has yet to be made.
Parasite reminded me of Haneke's Funny Games, Chabrol's La Ceremonie, Peele's Get Out and others. A beautifully controlled black black comedy with a savage and violent climax, it's very well acted and operates on several levels - satirising class, manners, the way plans invariably go wrong. The camera glides, the music soothes, the blood flows and the sewage rises. Unusual and intelligent.
It slightly overstay its welcome, but the Coen Brothers' gorgeously stylised noir black comedy is studded with marvellous performances, several knowing references to Billy Wilder, Orson Welles and Charles Laughton's Night of the Hunter and luminous photography by the great Roger Deakins. The plot has elements even of their own Blood Simple and Fargo, but is more self-indulgent. And Billy-Bob Thornton is not quite right in the central role: a blank where arguably you need a little more nuance.