I Could Murder A Belgian

Blog by Ray Philp | 18 Feb 2009

Have you ever been to Belgium and found yourself short changed by an underwhelming cup of coffee and a soggy croissant? Have you ever wondered why other people tolerate plastic patisseries and spittle in their espresso? Well, if you are a thinker of such thoughts with aspirations to do something about it, then naturally you might want to start your very own snackbar business. But here’s the rub; are you prepared to sacrifice anything to realise your dreams of sandwich omnipotence? Even if it means having your jakey husband bumped off, who cares not for your lofty ambitions to make it in the cutthroat pace of the panini market, and then marrying a Mafia mobster in order to raise money for said snackbar? One of humanity’s oldest dilemmas is explored in The Silence of Lorna at the Cameo from the 20th, as this Belgian flick directed by brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne breaks down the fineries of snuffing your other half to be overlord of green tea and choc chip muffins.

Ginseng is hardly considered rock and roll, true, but just lately it looks as if skag binges are suddenly old hat. If you had Anthony Kiedis, Keith Richards, and Joey Ramone sharing a green room in 1981 they’d be jagging up and lamenting the sad demise of the Sex Pistols. Stick them in a green room now and they’d be knitting cardigans with ethically sourced wool blend and swapping tarot cards whilst tutting at Vicious’ leanings toward twatdom. Whatever happened to the real rock and roll, man? Anvil! The Story of Anvil hopes to provide the answer, unleashing their hair metal strains this Friday. It’s important to note that Anvil are a real band, so Spinal Tap comparisons would seem redundant, but the inherent comedy value in 50 year olds going at it axe and tongs for one last hurrah is pretty obvious.

Speaking of auld bastards, Clint Eastwood stars and directs in what he’s billed as his acting swansong, Gran Torino. Released this Friday, Walt Kawolski spends his days pacing his porch, sneering maniacally at anyone brave enough to bother him. As a Vietnam veteran, his xenophobia is exacerbated when a young Asian teenager attempts to steal his car. By the end of the film, he finds an excuse to reprise his Dirty Harry persona by acting as protector for the neighbourhood that he once derided. Clint might be pushing 80, but no-one looks better holding an enormous cannon.

Cuba’s very own vigilante, Che Guevara, once again graces our screens in Che: Part Two this Friday following the excellent Che: Part One. In most other countries these films are known as The Argentine and The Guerrilla respectively. Therefore, it’s fair to suggest that the collective marketing and public relations bigwigs have colluded to stab the OMG button indefinitely, gripped by the fear that the patently moronic film-going public won’t understand that two Steve Soderbergh films about Che Guevara, headlined by Benicio Del Toro, and released within 3 months of eachother would bear some relation to one another.

Push, another indecipherable title for the intellectually challenged to mull over, also hits screens on the 20th. It follows the invariably exciting fortunes of lantern jawed Chris Evans, who not only has powers of telekinesis, but he can read your mind as well. Therefore, he’s pretty well prepared for your disappointment if this one isn’t for you.

If you’re keeping an eye on something more considered, the Dundee Contemporary Arts is screening another Sam Peckinpah classic, Junior Bonner. Screening on the 24th, Steve McQueen is Junior “JR” Bonner, an over the hill rodeo pro who visits his family in hometown Prescott, most of whom are preoccupied with aspirations of wealth and women. Junior Bonner’s anti-capitalism motifs at the expense of traditional values make it more relevant than ever, so give it a look if you like your social commentary with chaps on. The Man From London, also showing at the DCA, merits a mention. Hungarian director Bela Tarr’s austere noir is a morality tale underpinned by philosophical musings, with a mixture of British and Hungarian actors that includes Tilda Swinton. Catch The Man From London on the 18th and 19th in all of its monochromatic hipster glory.