Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Critical Week(s): Censored!

Sorry about the delay, but sometimes you just need a holiday (and I needed sunshine after spending the summer months inside a cinema). And no, my sudden silence wasn't caused from watching the notoriously banned A Serbian Film (pictured), which the UK censors wanted to chop so harshly that it was pulled from last month's FrightFest. Yes, it's extremely full-on, taking a very graphic approach to its story, but it's also a surprisingly insightful horror movie.

More contained thrills were to be had with Buried, which locks Ryan Reynolds in an underground wooden box for 90 minutes of real-time squirming, although it's a little too mannered perhaps to really work. Burning Bright, meanwhile, traps Briana Evigan in a boarded-up house with a live tiger - all the more impressive and scary since it's not computer-animated.

From abroad, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest cleverly ties up the loose ends of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy; Olivier Assayas' ambitious Carlos tells the story of the notorious 70s terrorist with skill and detail (although at three hours long, I wondered if the full five-hour version told us even more); Chow Yun-Fat plays Confucius in a massive Chinese biopic that struggles to turn the philosopher into an action hero; and from Iran The Hunter is a chilling drama about urban angst.

But even with all of these thrills, Chris Smith's sharply well-made Collapse wins the award as the week's (or even the year's) most horrific film: a documentary that holds very little hope for the future of Western civilisation. So thankfully we also had the restored and reconstructed version of Fritz Lang's masterpiece Metropolis to make us gasp with wonder.

Coming up this week: Ben Affleck's The Town, Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, Julian Schnabel's Miral, animated hits Despicable Me and The Secret of Kells, festival fave Africa United, and Brit indie The Be All and End All.