Thomas Edison once suggested that the body’s chief function was to carry the brain around. So too for Ron Jeremy. Though his function differs a little. He has to lug around his One Eyed Monster (Dv1). It’s a one joke film where whilst shooting a porn flick in a secluded cabin Jeremy’s enormous phallus is invaded by aliens, detaches from his body and goes on a murderous spree. It’s classy fun for the whole family.
Le Corbeau (Directors Suite), or The Raven is a paranoid 1943 whodunit from the French suspense master Henri- Georges Clouzot. A small town is torn apart by fear and suspicion as a campaign of mysterious poison pen letters reveal the dark secrets of all inhabitants. You can draw links to Clouzot’s experience of Nazi occupation as societies order quickly evaporates. It’s tense, sinister, and comes with Tarantino approval, having placed its poster in the lobby of his Inglorious Bastards cinema.
Black Dynamite (Hopscotch) is the Forest Gump of blacksploitation. The 2009 film steals every 70’s blacksploitation cliche and packs it into the impossibly smooth title character. He knows kung fu, was in Nam, hangs with the Black Panthers, and protects the hookers and orphans. He also beds seven ‘bitches’ at once and avenges his brother’s death to super slick wah wah guitar. It’s knowingly ludicrous. Like when his lady tries to leave. “You can go, or you can cum.” He offers. Cue wah wucka wucka wah. It’s probably when Richard Nixon attacks him with nunchuckas that you wonder how far over the top this film can go. The answer is further.
Timecrimes (DV1) is an intelligent Spanish time travel jigsaw. It begins in the middle and works its way out. You can’t afford to miss a single detail. It begins by asking who’s the creepy stranger wrapped in a pink bandage? And why is a women stripping in the woods? Winding up implicating the viewer in notions of voyeurism, causality and destiny whilst delivering a white knuckle thriller. Apparently Cronenberg is remaking it for us gringos.
If you thought suicide was the end then think again. Wristcutters: A Love Story (Dv1) is a bizarre parallel universe where everything is just a little bit worse than our own. Possessing a dark whimsical humour, it’s essentially a quirky slacker road-movie through purgatory, encountering mysterious offbeat characters like Tom Waits.
No one does bleak addictive crime TV like Denmark. First with The Eagle and now The Killing (SBS/Madman), a ten part series that begins with a violent sexual crime and follows the investigation through multiple red herrings and all levels of government. Apparently no one in Denmark tells the truth. It’s a cracker.
Finally Directors Suite have quietly been releasing a season of Japanese auteur Kenji Mizoguchi’s films from the 40’s and 50’s. Whilst Kurosawa always gets the acclaim, Mizoguchi’s films such as Street of Shame and the epic The Loyal 47 Ronin possess a raw humanist spirit tackling social inequality with a rare kind of beauty and understanding.