Adapted from Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoirs of the same name, 12 Years A Slave recounts his harrowing true story as a free man who is abducted and sold into slavery. He leads a pleasant life in New York with his family and it promises to be even better when he’s offered a lucrative job as a musician, but when Solomon wakes up in chains, his dark journey begins and Steve McQueen’s film never stops for breath. Continue reading 12 Years A Slave Review
“I like to kill them softly, from a distance. Not close enough for feelings”
Andrew Dominik’s third feature film Killing Them Softly is a loose adaptation of George V Higgins’ 1974 novel Cogan’s Trade and follows enforcer Jackie Cogan who is hired to restore order after a robbery at a mob-protected card game causes the local criminal economy to collapse. For his neo-noir crime thriller Dominik reunites with Brad Pitt and frees himself from the shackles of popular cinema convention to deliver a visceral piece of Americana.
“You had my curiosity. But now you have my attention.”
Quentin Tarantino follows the success of Inglorious Basterds with another outlandish historical revision, but instead of targeting the Second World War subgenre, the acclaimed director sets his sights on western mythology for his reimagining of the legendary Django. Amplifying the spaghetti western undertones that lingered throughout Inglorious Basterds, and free from the shackles of the original narrative, Tarantino delivers a powerfully wild, provocative and imaginative revisionist western.
“I’m a Bondurant. We don’t lay down for nobody”.
Much like his famed western, The Proposition, Hillcoat’s latest film displaces the conventional setting of the genre. While his previous film presented Australian history with the genre codes of the traditional western, Lawless occurs decades after the typical western setting, but once again indirectly, but deliberately criticises America’s past. Continue reading Lawless Review
British director Tony Kaye’s return to feature film was met with anticipation, but also some trepidation given the nature of his narrative. On the surface Detachment is another classroom drama where a tormented teacher struggles to cope with his uninterested students, as seen previously in Half Nelson, Dead Poets Society and The Class. The film opens with “a Tony Kaye talkie” and leaves you wondering if the director of American History X can carry through with such an authorial sentiment and offer something unique within an already popular subgenre. Continue reading Detachment Review