DENIAL directed by Mick Jackson (UK/USA, 2016)
It is something of a paradox that in our fact check dominated world, liars and cheats continue to flourish.
A quick Google search will expose the most blatant of falsehoods but, as the campaigns of Brexit and Trump have proven, you can win votes simply by repeating lies ad infinitum.
Holocaust denier and credited British historian David Irving was and is a pants on fire specialist but he has never wavered from his position as a Hitler apologist. This film gives a clue as to what motivates him and how he is a potent (and pungent) example of someone who redefines the ‘truth’ to justify his own ends.
The movie is adapted from David Hare’s stage play which was in turn based on Deborah E. Lipstadt’s book ‘History On Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier’.
At its centre is the Irving vs Penguin Books Ltd trial which took place in 2000 at the High Court of Justice in London and gave judgement on Irving’s claim that Lipstadt had made libellous statements against him in her 1993 book ‘Denying The Holocaust’. Continue reading
SPECTRE directed by Sam Mendes (UK, 2015)
This movie is two and a half hours of pure Bond bunkum which starts promisingly but, unlike the superior Skyfall, is content to fall back on style over substance.
Daniel Craig with steely blue eyes and tight muscular body makes a good 007 and is as indestructible and unflappable as ever.
Realism is not the keynote of course but you would expect him to accrue a few designer scars or at least to get a few stains or rips in his clothes.
As it is, you cut him and he does not bleed, beat him and he does not bruise and he always gets the girl. Another unfathomable trick he pulls off is to be able to find an immaculate range of suits or elegant casual wear despite never carrying more than hand luggage.
His maverick mission is to crack Spectre (note the English spelling), a criminal organization which has infiltrated the heart of the British establishment with a cunning plan of using global surveillance via the Internet and wiretapping – sound familiar? Continue reading
Booze is god but takes Daniel Demoys (Christopher Eccleston) on a one way ticket to hell (and back again).
If you want gritty Northern drama,Christopher Eccleston is a go to actor. In Blackout he convincingly plays alcoholic Daniel Demoys embroiled in a web of violence and deception largely of his own making.
He’s a corrupt local councillor who is supplementing his income by selling information about tenders for lucrative service contracts. This extra cash funds his heavy drinking and occasional whoring. When he’s not on the dark side he is a loving father and devoted husband. Redemption is on hand but comes at a cost.
This is an entertaining three parter directed by Tom Green and written by Bill Gallagher who clearly fancied working on something meatier after his adaption of Lark Rise To Candleford.
The brooding ambient soundtrack, constant rain, noirish photography and stylised aerial shots all conspire to give a Bladerunner quality to the unnamed metropolis. The actual location is referred to only as ‘the city’ but ,as it’s somewhere ‘up North’ with awful weather, the smart money is on Manchester. Continue reading