The Unusual Suspects

Blog by Ray Philp | 22 Aug 2009

Today’s releases have been placed under arrest.  To be more precise, they’ve been placed under the arresting eyes of the truncheon wielding, protester thumping Film Blog.  What they’ve done to deserve a prospective spell behind bars beyond loitering in the hallways of Scotland’s cinemas is anyone’s guess, but that’s not our concern.  Our job is to protect and serve the film going public from the complexities of life and the shades of grey – we tell you what films to watch, and where to watch them.  End of.  Imagine a glaucoma ridden old age pensioner, carting a tartan trolley across Lothian Road and minding her own business, only to be set upon by a gang of garish film posters, all with sloping foreheads and arms covered in crudely scrawled Chinese tattoos (naturally not meaning what they're meant to). Who can she turn to?  Yeah, that’s right.  Once we round these films up, you, in a manner of speaking, are this allegorical old age pensioner, squinting your useless peepers beyond the one-way glass into a brightly lit room, identifying your assailants/film of choice from the assembled line-up of hoodlums and ne’er-do-wells.   

The gentleman to the far left, a 6’ 4” hulk of Nazi scalping muscle, is otherwise known as Inglourious Basterds.  By no means is this Jewish revenge fantasy a stranger to our line-up, but since Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti western war movie enjoys an official release from today, you should beware the shifty eyes and thick eyebrows. 

Next to him is a Danish film that witnesses alleged was lingering suspiciously at the Glasgow Film Theatre.  Just Another Love Story tells the story of Jonas (Anders W. Berhelsen), a married man with two children who grows weary of his anodyne family life.  After inadvertently causing a car accident that seriously injures a young woman, Julia (Rebecka Hemse), he goes to visit her in hospital.  In a spectacular twist, Jonas is mistaken for Julia’s new boyfriend Sebastien (Nikolas Lie Kaas) on account of the fact that Julia now has amnesia, and her family has not yet been acquainted with her real boyfriend.  Ole Bornedal is behind the camera for a tense film noir that depicts the downward spiral of Jonas’ increasingly perilous double life.   

Over at the Filmhouse, two more vagrant-like spectres that fit the profile of dangerous criminality complete our line-up, one of which isn’t a film as much as it is a multimedia collage of video and music from three Edinburgh bands; Mersault, Found and eagleowl, the latter of which clearly have no respect for the principles of avian breeding or capital letters.  Playing With The Past also splices clips from a variety of rare and experimental films, one of which includes footage of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy visiting the Playhouse and Edinburgh Castle 

The other Filmhouse gem and the last of our line-up has a calm, outwardly languorous demeanour, walking with a studied limp that betrays what is essentially this week’s Keyser Soze - a right bastard of a film.  Once Upon A Time In The West is widely regarded as one of Sergio Leone’s finest efforts, and also boasts one of Ennio Morricone’s most astonishing scores.  Henry Fonda is effectively cast against type alongside fellow luminaries Charles Bronson, Jason Robards and Claudia Cardinale in this utterly brilliant western.