I want a film that delivers a punch. Being winded can be… good. But throwing up probably isn’t.
I’ve seen films that made me switch off, walk out, pass out (only to wake with a crowd around me, thankful the floor was sprung and I’d had the sense to bring a nurse. No didn’t go anywhere. Probably seemed too much like work for her) and weep. And then there’s the one to which I always return.
I let (well, ok, kinda tricked) my Top Boy into watching the other evening at home). You might be able to work out the film title from our conversation over the opening titles and scenes.
HIM: “Wait a minute, you never told me it was black and white.”
ME: “It’s still good though.”
a little later…
HIM: “Aw no. You didn’t tell me it was all in French.”
ME: “It’s not all in French.” (No, some of it is in Arabic. – I didn’t say that bit aloud.)
HIM: “Are we going to have to read subtitles in English all the way through?”
ME: “It’s not all English subtitles.” (Some of them are in Italian. Shhh.)
Can you tell what it is yet kids? (As a certain entertainer, whose reputation is currently on a knife edge, might ask.)
Here are two more clues. The cast includes only one professional actor. Got it? And it was recommended viewing in the Pentagon in recent years. Now you’ve got it.
The Battle of Algiers is a rousing, sad, appalling and thrilling movie with a compelling soundtrack. It was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo. (I chatted to him once. Me = excited. Him = mind elsewhere on G8 protests.) The film covers events around insurgency and repression in Algiers in the 1950s involving the local colonial authorities, the French state, the insurgent FLN and the local residents of the European quarter and the kasbah. There’s atrocity and excuses for atrocity and evasion of responsibility for atrocity. (I’m really selling it here, huh?) I even saw it once in the Hackney Empire with Asian Dub Foundation providing the soundtrack.
But the new film I’d recommend you go see now – in festivals or wherever – is Calloused Hands – starring Andre (The Wire) Royo and Daisy (Doctor Who) Haggard. And by the way, you may have heard of the director Jesse Quinones before. That’s right baby, stick with me and I’ll keep you right about what’s up and coming.
By the way, I’m only telling you all this because the Loose Bloggers Consortium made me. You’ll find their favourite films by clicking on their names: Ramana, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Rohit,Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will.