Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 253: Tue Sep 10

Miller’s Crossing (Coen, 1990): BFI Southbank, Studio, 8.45pm

This film, which is also being screened at BFI Southbank on September 22nd, is part of the Big Screen Classics season. Full details here.

Time Out review:
Like Blood Simple and Raising Arizona, this works both as a crime thriller and as an ironic commentary on that genre. With fast, sharp, witty dialogue and Byzantine plotting, it charts the gang war between Leo (Albert Finney) and Caspar (Jon Polito) in an American city during Prohibition. Tom (Gabriel Byrne), Leo's loyal right-hand man, is the lover of Leo's mistress (Marcia Gay Harden), whose brother (John Turturro) Caspar wants killed. Exactly how this and other complications are sorted out forms the hugely inventive, enjoyable narrative core of the film. But it is also a tribute to the crime literature (notably Dashiel Hammett) and movies of the '30s, artfully poised between 'realism' and a subtle acknowledgment of its own artifice. And there's yet another level, since it is composed - visually, verbally and structurally - as a series of variations on the themes of 'Friendship, character, ethics'. At times the criss-crossing of abstract motifs recalls the formal complexity of a Greenaway film. It's arguably the US mainstream's first art movie since Days of Heaven; and quite wonderful.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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