Film Reviews by PT

Welcome to PT's film reviews page. PT has written 4 reviews and rated 78 films.

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Monos

Lord of the flies with guns

(Edit) 30/08/2020

What happens when you free a bunch of adolescents from any societal or parental constraints and put them in the jungle with access to heavy armaments, drugs, alcohol and a cow (Plot spoiler - it doesn’t end well for the cow)? Well this film confirms exactly what you would expect. Everything is going to go wrong and the film’s undeniable tension comes from anticipating just how bad that is going to be. The absence of any context for these events, an unidentified revolutionary (presumably) group of unspecified ideology in an un-named jungle, means that the word METAPHOR hangs heavily over the film.

That said, there is much to admire in the film’s construction. It is visually impressive and Mica Levi’s mostly abstract soundtrack really adds to the relentless drama. I would suggest that Alejandro Landes is a director worth looking out for in future.

To sum up: 4 in anticipation (Mark Kermode really liked it I recall), 2 for enjoyment and 3 in retrospect.

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Songs from the Second Floor

Black comedy left out on a beach to weather until bleached to a shade of long dead whale

(Edit) 30/08/2020

Probably the funniest film you will ever see without actually laughing. Is this even supposed to be a comedy? Terry Gilliam’s Brazil is frequently evoked in reviews of Roy Andersson’s films but I think the work of Chris Morris is more apposite. Like “Blue Jam”, but with the jokes taken out, its only really funny afterwards when the immediate unease at what you are watching has safely passed.

The film is comprises a series of linked vignettes in which the pallid occupants of an imagined Scandinavian city find themselves in the grip of a millennial crisis. The gridlocked streets are full of self flagellating office workers whilst church and state have united to try child sacrifice as their solution to the problem. Ghosts from the main protagonist’s past have come back to haunt him and to make matters worse so have unknown ghosts from the past of other people.

Much in the manner of Jaques Tati’s “Playtime” every scene is meticulously staged in the studio to create an alternative reality but here it is a doomed alternative Sweden which all the tasteful bentwood furniture in the world is not going to save.

I can’t think of any other genuine work of art to emerge from all the hullaballoo around the end of the last millennium and I can’t believe I have only found it 20 years later. This film deserves much wider acclaim.

To sum up: 3 in anticipation (I had previously seen Andersson’s “A pigeon sat on a branch reflecting on existence” which left me bemused and not exactly crying out for more) 4 for enjoyment and 5 in retrospect (this time I “go it” and learned to embrace the darkness) Unremitting gloom with frequent patches of despair - Book Early.

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The Consequences of Love

Paulo & Toni get their ducks in a line

(Edit) 20/05/2020

Early outing for the longstanding collaboration between director Paulo Sorrentino and lead actor Toni Servillo before the high water mark of “Il Divo” & “The Great Beauty”. Not in the same league as those 5* films but if you enjoyed them then this one is well worth your time. I would score it: 3 in anticipation, 4 for enjoyment and 3 in retrospect.

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Zazie in the Underground

Mal

(Edit) 04/05/2020

Bad day at the office for Louis only 2 years after the excellent “Lift to the Scaffold”, it seems comedy was not his forte. The foul-mouthed live-wire Zazie of Queneau’s novel (which I can recommend) is lost amongst cartoonish adults competing for her limelight. Goodies-lite surrealism does not excuse slipshod slapstick.

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