Amy Lane

Dignity from the Gutter

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Review of the Complete Jean Vigo DVD box set, director Jean Vigo

Jean Vigo is best remembered for his masterpiece L'Atalante, a conventional romance presented in his unmistakably anarchic fashion. However, L'Atalante was a production whose plot was largely dictated to Vigo by his production company and distributors. It was chosen by these bastions of bourgeois censorship for its conventional sentimentality, which left little scope for any originality or controversy. It is a mark of Vigo's genius for presentation that such a plot has endured, and retains its vitality, 70 years after its first screening.

Bare-Faced Realities

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Review of 'Top Spot', director Tracey Emin

Emin's work is controversial, hard-hitting and often misunderstood. Top Spot, her feature-length debut, is no exception. Just days before the scheduled release date it was pulled by Emin herself, a protest at the 18 certificate it was given. It says much about the British system that a disco aimed at young people can be called 'Top Spot' (the act of hitting the neck of a woman's womb during sex) while a film documenting the impact of sexual experience on young women can be censored.

Getting the Angles Right

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Review of '1984', director Michael Radford

The opening scene: row after row of apathetic faces staring impassively at the despot before them. The speech delivered by the oblivious autocrat on the podium consists of vague threats regarding 'dark forces' and outside enemies... But this is not a review of Blair's speech to the Trades Union Congress - this is 1984.

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