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  • Dead Pigs

    Dead Pigs

    Cathy Yan's debut feature Dead Pigs follows the lives of a group of individuals impacted by cultural changes taking place in China that revolve around the corrupting influence of money as it erodes traditional values. It's an effective satire that at times verges on incendiary in its interrogation of the crassness of contemporary Chinese culture as it races towards progress at all costs. The image of a group of women dressed exactly the same, wearing identical hairstyles, and doing all…

  • The Fallen Idol

    The Fallen Idol

    Carol Reed and Graham Greene together provide a remarkably light touch to this suspenseful drama about a humble butler wrongly suspected of killing his spiteful wife. Ralph Richardson is well cast as the gentle butler Baines who works at the French Embassy in London and is beloved by his employers' young boy Philippe, played with immense nuance by Bobby Henrey. Baines' wife (Sonia Dresdel) is the officious and often nasty housekeeper of the opulent embassy mansion. Jealous of the relationship…

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  • The Gamma People

    The Gamma People

    This science fiction oddity dabbles in Cold War anxieties but without the hysteria that characterises some of the other films of the period. This may be due to its comedic undertones and lightness of touch that make its more dramatic moments all the more effective. Although parallels with the Soviet threat are clearly legible, the film cleverly collapses ideological differences between the extreme left and right to demonstrate that oppressive totalitarian regimes, regardless of what side of politics, are all…

  • The Haunted

    The Haunted

    I have noticed a number of YouTube reviewers who regard this film with positivity yet nevertheless remark disparagingly about its made-for-TV status. There are even those that want to see a big screen adaptation of this. For me, the strength and power of THE HAUNTED is made possible precisely because it was produced for TV and and didn't have to compete with the big screen melodrama, stylised performances, whiz-bang SFX and impressive soundscapes associated with major theatrical release films. James…