Slava/ Glory (Bulgaria – 2016)

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for Cinetalk.net

From Bulgarian writer-director duo Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov comes Slava (Glory), a ferocious satire about state corruption.

Julia, a public relation official at the ministry of transports, must deal with a crisis over an in-house corruption scandal. When a poor and honest state railway worker named Tzanko finds a load of cash on routine checks and turns back the money to the authorities, she seizes the opportunity to use him as a diversion by trying to make him a circumstantial national hero. She soon discovers this simple man (who suffers from stuttering) doesn’t completely fit the bill.

Glory is an effective and cynical drama shot and edited with incisive care. It plays on the paradox between the personalities of its two main characters. Julia, in a way, is an empty speech specialist. She doesn’t have time, she doesn’t take time (her husband must constantly remind her about daily injections for fertility treatments). In spite of himself, Tzanko, with his Continue reading

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Atypical Serial killer Movies # 1

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1 – M (Fritz Lang, Germany, 1931)

for Cinetalk.net

The inevitable classic. Atypical if compared to what a young audience will think of when we talk about serial killer films.

In 1930’s Germany, the manhunt to catch a child-murderer…

Lang’s first talkie (shot by legendary cinematographer Fritz Arno Wagner) is, of course, a much celebrated classic from all artistic angles. But it also foresees the degradation of social climate leading to Nazi Germany by depicting a common resignation from ordinary people to let criminals take care of ‘things’. The bound linking criminals to officials in a race for the first to find a child killer with general acceptance (regardless of the fact we all agree they actually are abominable crimes) is still very contemporary.

As the child killer everyone’s after, Peter Lorre pushes acting to a level of genius rarely matched in the history of the film medium.

*** See All 13 here: https://cinetalk.net/tag/13-atypical-serial-killing-movies/

 

Atypical Serial killer Movies # 4

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4 – Dr Petiot (Christian De Challonge, France, 1990)

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Based on real life of Marcel Petiot. During world War 2,  pretending to help Jewish families to flee from the country to get to Spain under occupied France, Dr. Petiot violently disposes of them.

Leading man, Michel Serreault, once said he liked to play under De Challonge’s direction because he was one of a few French directors with distinctive style. Taking his word, the filmmaker choose to give a surrealist Nosferatu-like- feeling to this peculiar portrait of real War-time serial killer vampirizing people trying to flee German occupation. The second part of the story, with the liberation armies entering the city, bringing along sudden  resistance fighters, adds to the resulting atmosphere and overall treatment that is quite unsettling for the genre.

*** See All 13 here: https://cinetalk.net/tag/13-atypical-serial-killing-movies/

 

Atypical Serial killer Movies # 6

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6 – Seance on a wet afternoon (Bryan Forbes, UK,1964)

for Cinetalk.net

*** This is more of a kidnapping movie.

To achieve fame, a medium and her husband kidnap a young girl and pretend to solve the crime.

Careful directing, great framing , beautiful B&W cinematography (courtesy of Gerry Tupin), a top-notch John Barry score (far away from his James Bond entries). Kim Stanley received a well deserved Oscar nomination and we get one more celluloid proof of Richard Attenborough’s acting genius. Attenborough actually makes us care about a character that should be considered despicable in the first place. 1960’s movie-making at its best.

*** See All 13 here: https://cinetalk.net/tag/13-atypical-serial-killing-movies/

Atypical Serial killer Movies # 7

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7 – Ten Rillington Place (Richard Fleischer, UK, 1971)

for Cinetalk.net

A film as overlooked as it is good, based on real-life case of Post-War British serial killer John Christie.

Blockbuster director Richard Fleischer (Soylen Green, The Vikings, Tora!Tora!Tora!) abilities when on a more restrain budget offers one of his finest film. The depiction of London, just a few year after the War, is quite effective. Richard Attenbourough (of Jurassic Park fame, for younger audiences) shows once more what a great actor he was as he renders a sympathetic looking character with high psychological complexity out of a real life killer. Watch for a young John Hurt (1984, Elephant Man, V for Vendetta) in a supporting role.

*** See All 13 here: https://cinetalk.net/tag/13-atypical-serial-killing-movies/