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  • Blow Out

    Blow Out

    ★★★★★

    A mouthwatering stew of politics, media, crime and the movies. This film is bursting with ideas, yet it somehow manages to be contained, concise and relentlessly dramatic - it carries the weight of three films with effortless ease. This is about America's late 20th century political culture of conspiracy, the weakness of poverty contrasted against the strength of fame or infamy, and an American fascination with grisly violence soaked in the red, white and blue. It also includes marvellously tactile…

  • Blood

    Blood

    ★★★½

    A remarkable late 80s debut from director Pedro Costa of Portugal, a country not often represented prominently in world cinema. The film focuses on brothers Vicente (Pedro Hestnes) and Nino (Nuno Ferreira), as they deal with the death of their father. Vicente is pursued by his father's creditors, a romance forms between Vicente and Clara (Inês de Medeiros), and an uncle (Luis Miguel Cintra) tries to take away Nino when it becomes apparent the father is no longer there.

    This…

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  • Blood Simple

    Blood Simple

    ★★★★½

    One of the greater debut films that I've seen. The Coens practically emerged nearly fully formed with this thriller, held up by grisly violence, clean noir plotting, and their now-characteristic doom-laden, dryly funny Americana.

    The key fact to know about this film is that it was thoroughly storyboarded before shooting, so the team knew in advance how they were going to edit the film. It's a window into how Coen brothers films have such smart pacing and plotting - they…

  • Blast of Silence

    Blast of Silence

    ★★★★★

    A lovable greaseball of a film, and one of the best of the noirs that I've seen. This film bridges the gap between the grim but confected studio noirs of the 40s and 50s and the street-level grit of famous later New York films like Taxi Driver (and other films that I'm sure I haven't seen yet). Clocking in at 77 minutes, its quite the revelation.

    Narrator Lionel Stander offers a parched-dry sense of humour as he describes the goings-on…