July 22nd has a lot on offer (no, not that Paul Greengrass movie) from gross out cartoons to a dark Scandinavia (still not talking about that Greengrass film) and beyond.
Dare I say it’s one of the greatest musicals of all time? A jewel in the crown of “the greatest year in cinema”? Whatever you want to consider it, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut is a hilarious, smart and obviously silly feature length of the long running TV show. Deciding to tackle censorship, negative reinforcement, the harmlessness of profanity and America’s fear of all things toxic for their precious children. As the film works around a foul-mouthed, potentially harmful Canadian movie, South Park creates its own myth by becoming an offensive and controversial film itself.
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Hale County This Morning, This Evening is a beautiful and engaging documentary following people in a struggling black community. Director RaMell Ross understands how wordlessly holding people next to their familiar surroundings can sometimes say more than any interview or structured narrative would. The way he edits shots of sweat dripping onto the floor cutting to the rain beginning to fall on the ground or a time lapse of the moon making way for the sun cutting to a traffic light going from red to green can make for a poetic capturing of how people are inherently entwined with their surroundings. It’s a confident and artful piece of work thoroughly deserving of its Oscar nomination earlier this year.
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It’s best not to give to much away about Ali Abbasi’s (writer of Let the Right One In) strangely romantic new film Border. Tina, a seemingly odd looking woman, works at border patrol and is gifted with an ability to smell people’s emotions. When she meets a similarly odd looking man whose feelings she can’t pin down she finds herself uncovering new truths about her life. I recommend going in relatively cold to this one, but catch it as soon as you can.
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On Dangerous Ground is a 50s film noir with a classic set up. This tale of tough inner city cop (Robert Ryan) given a grizzly case in a rural setting has a premise as juicy as you could wish for. The film makes an effort to frame our protagonist as a heavy-handed, troubled soul in need of some lovin’. His commitment to his job is too much, showing the inhumanity involved in embodying the role of a police officer to the point of it being your life. Jump ahead and hoooo weeeee these country boys are even less concerned with the law than a gung-ho cop trying to solve a crime. If you’ve got 78 minutes to spare this week, this is as good an option as any.
BBC iPlayer can be accessed for free by any TV license holders here.
Festen, the first feature from Thomas Vinterberg and Lars von Trier’s Dogme 95 manifesto and perhaps the most well regarded of the Dogme 95 films is now on BFI. An awkward, tense and darkly funny film about a 60th birthday celebration taking a turn for the worse, it has a dense atmosphere throughout, with a familiar tone we’re used to seeing in British social realism. Where it differentiates itself is that the bite we’ve come to expect from the genre is even darker, with a particularly sinister edge that’ll give you plenty of pause before laughing.
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Featured image: Border
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Long and incompetent man who is being allowed to write about films you can watch from your bed.