Saturday, August 13, 2011

Naked gangsters

In honour of the London riots, I'm holding a mini-season of films about British urban violence!

Get Carter: Seminal British gangster film, which Michael Caine does not so much star in as bestride like a colossus, looming through a series of tiny, dingy houses and bleak industrial landscapes as a Geordie gangster, returning to Newcastle from London to avenge his brother's death, only to find his London partners are implicated as deeply as his Newcastle rivals. Bleak, but curiously beautiful and poetical as well.

Sweeney!: Spinoff of the well-known British cop show, which continually drops visual namechecks to Get Carter (scenes in car scrapyard, scenes on industrial site, scene where protagonist appears in public stark naked....). Basically a cool Seventies political thriller exposing oil companies' attempts to influence international politicians and dealmakers through the corrupting actions of a supposed PR agent, though loses points for a ridiculously melodramatic ending and for some cringeworthy examples of Seventies fashion-victimhood.

Movie count for 2011: 99