Of Freaks and Men (Russia, 1998)

Bonkers film that’s immaculately done. The narrative focuses on the corruption and destruction of a bourgeois household (sounds good to me) but maybe this film does it in such a disturbing way that it repels the bourgeois in me; or maybe it’s not very good; or maybe it’s not to my er taste. (DVD) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0156849/

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The Apartment (US, 1960)

As a ‘schnuck’ you can’t beat Jack Lemmon and he excels in this bitter-sweet comedy. Nicely satirical of the Organisation Man (isn’t MacMurray a bit too wooden?). Can’t understand its classic status though. (DVD, 3). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053604/

Junebug (US, 2005)

Marvellously observed clash of cultures with Amy Adams playing Ashley as a real force of life. Nicely avoids pat resolutions, there are weaknesses and strengths (apart from the brother!) all round. (DVD) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0418773/

Robots (US, 2005)

Fabulous visuals; witty. But… same-old Oedipal narrative and monstrous mother. (OAR) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0358082/

42nd Street (US, 1933)

Fascinating dramatisation of the New Deal so where you might expect jealousy we see cooperation. Unbelievable that Dick Powell would, a decade later, give one of the best hard boiled detective performances. The film’s worth watching if only for the amazing Busby Berkeley finale. (DVD, 2) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0024034/

Matewan (US, 1987)

Brilliant recreation of the miners’ strike in 1920s West Virginia. If, maybe, the bad guys veer toward caricature, Sayles brilliantly makes a ‘Red’ the hero. Sayles regulars (Cooper & McDonnell) give their usual fabulous performances (didn’t realise Will Oldham played the preacher kid). Must be seen. (DVD, 3) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093509/

At Five in the Afternoon (2003, Iran)

A film made in Afghanistan focusing on women has to be seen. However, a tad disappointed; found the repetition on shoes a bit tiresome. Possibly seeing it after Osama was the problem; but most films would pale in comparison with that. (DVD) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363303/