Film

Uncut Gems

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There is a moment about half way through this panic-inducing film, where Howard Ratner’s (Adam Sandler) soon-to-be-ex-wife stares him in the face coldly and says, “I think you’re the most annoying person on the planet. I hate being with you, I hate looking at you, and if I had my way, I would never see you again.”

It’s funny because it takes you out of the film for a moment, to acknowledge that this is, indeed, how you normally feel about Adam Sandler.

But his performance in this relentlessly stressful tale about a needy, creepy, diamond dealer in New York is spot on.

Midnight Family

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There are just 45 public ambulances in Mexico City, serving a population of around 9 million. The rest of emergency care is provided by an informal system of private ambulances, competing to make profits out of their patients.

This observational film follows the Ochoa family’s fortunes as they run a private ambulance in Mexico City, trying to make a living out of attending to some of the many casualties that public ambulances don’t get to.

Uncut Gems

Issue section: 
Issue: 

There is a moment about half way through this panic-inducing film, where Howard Ratner’s (Adam Sandler) soon-to-be-ex-wife stares him in the face coldly and says, “I think you’re the most annoying person on the planet. I hate being with you, I hate looking at you, and if I had my way, I would never see you again.”

It’s funny because it takes you out of the film for a moment, to acknowledge that this is, indeed, how you normally feel about Adam Sandler.

But his performance in this relentlessly stressful tale about a needy, creepy, diamond dealer in New York is spot on.

A Hidden Life

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Auteur director Terrence Malick commemorates the life of Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter who, when called up for his second round of military service during the Second World War, refused to pledge allegiance to Hitler.

The film is a meditative hymn to commemorate Franz and the life he has with his wife, Franziska, and their young children on their farm in a stunning mountainous valley; a world away from the brutalities of the Nazi war machine.

The Irishman

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The Irishman, the latest film by the legendary American director Martin Scorsese, has been eagerly anticipated. Now that it has finally hit screens large and small (the movie is a Netflix production, and transferred to the online streaming service shortly after its cinema release), it reveals itself to be a genuine masterpiece.

Sorry We Missed You

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Ken Loach’s new film is a scrupulous investigation into the life of a delivery driver for the fictional Parcels Delivered Faster. Ricky, a Mancunian who has moved to Newcastle to build a life with his partner and young family, has been unable to get work in the construction industry. A friend suggests he gets into couriering and recommends him to the depot manager.

Ricky is partially sold on the myth of “self-employment” — really the idea that he will have more control over his work and therefore his life, on a decent wage.

Harriet

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Harriet Tubman became legendary in her lifetime as “Moses” who led so many of her people out of slavery to freedom. She was the leading “conductor” on the Underground Railroad escape route that ran in the 1850s.

Many risked their lives guiding or sheltering escaped slaves, but Tubman, who had escaped herself in 1849, went further — personally returning to Maryland to lead escape parties. She personally took at least 70 slaves out and gave instructions that allowed another 50 to escape.

Rojo

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Rojo is set in Argentina just before the right wing military coup that took place in 1976.

A man arrives in a restaurant and starts to attack and insult Claudio, a respected lawyer and the main character of the film. The altercation continues later in the evening. From that moment on Claudio will be dragged into a nightmare. And then a Chilean inspector arrives to investigate…

The film capably explores one the darkest pages in Argentina’s history.

Benjamin Naishtat on Rojo and the disappeared of Argentina

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Director Benjamin Naishtat spoke to Socialist Review about his new film Rojo and Argentina in the 1970s and now.

What inspired you to make this film now?

I wanted to make a film about the 1970s, but frankly there were already many films about those years and about the “desaparecidos” [disappeared], the torture and the political activism against all of this. I discovered, however, that there were not films about the silent majority of Argentinians that went through these times either without doing any political activity at all or being accomplices of the regime.

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