The Great Gatsby: Not the Film Tie-in

Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is to open the 66th Cannes Film Festival on May 15th. Toby Maguire and Carey Mulligan also star. Oldcastle Books, while not publishing the official tie-in, do have the next best thing – the Pulp!TheClassics edition costing only £4.99 – a bargain, £3 cheaper than the Picador film tie-in.



Lionsgate UK to release REBELLION

Rebellion features Mathieu Kassovitz (La Haine, Amélie) makes a powerful comeback in front of and behind the camera with this violent thriller, based on true events. It’s April 1988 on the Ouvéa Island in the French colony of New Caledonia. 30 police are kidnapped by Kanak separatists and in response 300 special-forces operatives are sent in to restore order. Continue reading

Devil’s Advocates: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre/James Rose & Saw/Benjamin Poole

Two more insightful and lively analyses of highly influential horror films from the quirky Devil’s Advocate series published by Auteur. If James Rose is more successful at strip-mining the elements that make the Texas Chain Saw Massacre such a provocative film (and more complex and ambitious than its gruesome reputation might suggest), than Benjamin Poole is in performing a similar feat with the first film in the Saw franchise, both writers nevertheless find new and unusual perspectives with which to address their censor-baiting material. Unsurprisingly, the effect of both books is to send the reader back to the films — but undoubtedly the best strategies is: watch the films, read these Devil’s Advocate analyses of them. In that order.

Devil’s Advocates: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre/James Rose & Saw/Benjamin Poole are published by Auteur

Varg Veum: Cold Hearts Trond Esper Seim, Director

Varg Veum: Cold Hearts Trond Esper Seim, Director
Barry Forshaw

Why hasn’t the accomplished series based on Gunnar Staalesen’s excellent Varg Veums private eye novels been picked up in the UK yet? The films are, however available (sub-titled) on DVD and (in some cases) Blu-Ray. Starring the charismatic Trond Esper Seim, the series captures a great deal of the feel of original novels. Cold Heart, a later episode, is helmed by Trond Esper Seim himself, and proves to be a very interesting outing. The episode tries to do something new and innovative with the format – and (as so often with actors who direct), he coaxes full and nuanced performances from his fellow actors, particularly from the wonderful Bjorn Floberg (as Varg Veum’s wry, long-suffering police colleague), who Seim encourages to really have fun with the part – even though it’s undoubtedly one the darkest episodes in the series.

Varg Veum: Cold Hearts/Misofilm Blu-ray/DVD