Crime

Lynne Ramsay – Morvern Callar (2002)

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Willow Maclay wrote:
In Ramsay’s close-ups on Morton’s face, you can see a woman who’s breaking under the pressure, overloading her life with potent but fleeting experiences. In doing so, she remains mired underneath the weight of her own grief, which is always creeping through the surface. In a brilliant, subtle performance, Morton conveys the deep loss that suicide leaves behind, while also tapping into a total sense of reckless abandon. Ramsay amplifies the performance with an understanding of image and aural effect; the movie at times feels like the unleashing of a torrent of despair that can only be drowned out by the blaring of pop music in cheap headphones. Anything to keep the reaper away. Read More »

David Greene – Bella Mafia (1997)

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IMDB plot summary : When Sofia marries into a Mafia family, she doesn’t know what she’s getting into. When her husband, all her brothers-in-law, and her father-in-law are murdered by a rival family, Sofia, her mother-in-law and her sisters-in-law swear to get revenge upon the family. Read More »

Georges Franju – Judex (1963)

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Quote:
Favraux, an unscrupulous banker, receives a threatening note, signed by “Judex”, demanding that he pay back the people he has swindled. He refuses, and apparently dies after a midnight toast at his masked ball. However, he is only drugged by Judex and locked away. Judex spares his life when the banker’s widowed daughter, Jacqueline, rejects the inheritance. Meanwhile Diana Monti, the former governess, kidnaps Jacqueline to try to get the banker’s money. But Judex is hot on her trail. Read More »

Shion Sono – Shinjuku suwan AKA Shinjuku Swan (2015)

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Quote:
Shiratori Tatsuhiko (Go Ayano) is a no-good bum and a loser. Wandering the streets one day, he meets Matora (Yusuke Iseya), a blond-haired devil who introduces him to a talent agency called Burst. Their specialty? Finding girls to work in the many hostess clubs, love hotels and lurid hole-in-the-walls of Kabukicho, Shinjuku’s infamous red-light district. It’s a dog-eat-dog world like no other, and in a neighbourhood where all sorts of bad people converge, and where sex, money and business mean life and death, Tatsuhiko finds himself in constant trouble. Struggling to stay on top, he soon finds himself caked in layer upon layer of greed, violence and lies, let alone the ever-looming threat of ruthless scouting rivals and the yakuza themselves! Read More »

Michael Curtiz – The Scarlet Hour (1956)

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Pauline ‘Paulie’ Nevins is cheating on her husband Ralph Nevins, a land developer, with his sales manager E.V. ‘Marsh’ Marshall. When Paulie and Marsh meet up for a secret rendez-vous in a lovers’ lane they manage to overhear three criminals planning a jewelry heist. They hatch a plan to rob the thieves and run away together but Ralph starts to get suspicious of them. Read More »

Jean-Pierre Melville – Bob le flambeur (1956)

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Bob, a middle-aged gambler and thief, plans a complicated heist. He deals with a number of underworld characters while planning the robbery of the Deauville Casino. Bob eventually hires a gang that includes an ace safecracker. Unfortunately for them, Bob’s nemesis, an old cop who Bob once saved from death, is tipped off after a money-hungry croupier’s wife betrays them. The police are waiting when the gang begins the seemingly impossible task of robbing the casino vault. Meanwhile in the casino, Bob starts to gamble. Read More »

Abel Ferrara – China Girl (1987)

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Janet Maslin from NY Times
SLEAZE has few champions, but Abel Ferrara is one of them, having made some of the liveliest exploitation films (among them ”Ms. 45” and ”Fear City”) in recent years. Mr. Ferrara has since gone on to direct some episodes of ”Miami Vice,” where his brand of lurid, high-style glamour fits in perfectly. His films are outlandish by their very nature, and what could be more so than ”China Girl,” a blatant mix of ”Romeo and Juliet,” ”Mean Streets” and ”West Side Story” played out among very young, barely verbal Chinese and Italian street gangs? It would be gratifying to report that Mr. Ferrara had made a coup of this, but the odds against it are daunting. Instead, ”China Girl” amounts to a cult item and a nice try. Read More »