In the Pitts

Blog by Ray Philp | 14 Aug 2009

The Film Blog is a scaredy cat. Far from playing up to any hardman credentials, we’re prepared to hold our hands up, much like a scholarly, milky faced wunderkind (or, better still, a scholarly, milky faced wunderkind caught up in a terrifying shootout between Strathclyde Police and balaclava-by–numbers bank robbers), and admit that the Film Blog is not game for a square go. That doesn’t mean that our taste in films is quite so timid; Inglourious Basterds, the much-hyped World War II Nazi-scalping splatter fest from Quentin Tarantino, is one that we’re very much looking forward to. Christoph Waltz’s rave reviews for his outlandish turn as arch SS Sgt. Hans Landa is especially worthy of note.

Sin Nombre, screening at the Cameo, also aspires to put the fear in us - a favourite at the Sundance Film Festival this year, Cary Joji Fukunaga’s South American thriller explores enduring themes of gang culture and romance with a fresh twist and a tactile touch. Casper (Edgar Flores) is a member of a violent Mexican street gang; after seeing his girlfriend raped and murdered by gang leader Lil’ Mago (Tenoch Huerta Mejia), he resolves to save Honduran emigrant Sayra (Paulina Gaitan), a girl he initially attempts to rob, after Lil’ Mago tries to have his wicked way with her.

More adrenaline fuelled excitement comes in the form of The Perfect Getaway. The improbably named David Twohy directs this Hawaii based thriller, where recently wed couple Cliff and Cydney (Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich) explore an apparently remote landscape (presumably ignoring numerous fat and garishly dressed Americans taking obtrusive holiday snaps nearby). Things start to go wrong when, soon after meeting a group of other adventurers that include the portentously evil mug of Timothy Olyphant, a dead body is discovered on the island. People start running, and most of them die.

Over at the Dundee Contemporary Arts, Yes Men Fix The World will enjoy a special run today, where co-director Mike Bonnano will be present at the majority of screenings over the coming days. You can seek your thrills vicariously through the daring escapades of Bonnano’s fellow directors Andy Bichlbaum and Kurt Engfehr, as they pull the wool over the eyes of profiteering corporations with various daring acts of comedic subterfuge.

Finally, The Filmhouse opts for a change of pace with Mid-August Lunch, a slow-burning Italian film that depicts Gianni (Gianni Di Gregorio, who also directs), a man in his 60’s who lives with his widowed mother (Valeria De Franciscis). Circumstances prompt Gianni to host three additional elderly ladies for lunch, all with their own foibles and gripes resulting from their autumn years. If approached as a wry observation of old age, this gentle comedy’s lack of thrills should be compensated for by some nuanced turns and a solid script.