Re: RARA-AVIS: British film Noir(was: The Long Good Friday)

From: Etienne Borgers (
Date: 04 Aug 2000

I second the good ratings given by followers here to The Long Good Friday, an excellent film, not to be missed. It's not a top film but it stands well above average being really gripping, noir and even ironic at times. Bob Hoskins is perfect (we could say: as usual- he however is under used as film actor in recent years).

Somebody asked if there were other modern British Noir films of value. Well.. yes. But this is not frequent and Noir is not well represented in the modern British film (compared to the number of productions). But there are some gems.

-Mona Lisa (Bob Hoskins again), already cited by others
-Blue Ice (B style film with Michael Caine) - HB, fast and interesting, even if not a top realisation.
-Divorcing Jack : off-beat, surreal, ferociously ironic, black humor at its best... a really good film. Modernism with a purpose. Way from the emptiness of the Tarentinesque pasticcios and their affiliates.
-When I went Down: certainly influenced by the Cohen brothers' films, but... with some realism, social content, real time sequences and interesting plot. Skillful low budget film, with a style of its own.

-Stormy Monday: film with more intellectual pretension and unnecessarily convoluted at times. But still a very good Noir film.

- And now something different: it's Noir for sure, it's grim and horrible, but really fascinating... Totally iconoclastic. A great film! It's: 'Pig Boy'- if you really like cinema, you cannot skip this one.

OK, it's not British, but Australia was related to the Crown:
- Heaven's Burning -(Australia) : very good off-beat film with first class editing and film construction. Poetic, full of black humor, violent and borderline anarchist. My only regret are the last 3 minutes of that movie (too conventional to be genuine- maybe the Australian censorship wanted some cop triumph, who knows!) Russel Crowe has a leading part therein - that was before Hollywood tried to phagocytize him.

Oh, before I forget: I did not find Lock, Stock and two Barrels a very good film; self pastiche of Noir genre leads to nowhere, especially with artificial constructions produced by recipes(in plot and in filming) and with violence being the icing in hope to mask the deficiencies- as seen in that film. Same goes for most of Tarentino's. Yes I'm one of those...

E.Borgers Hard-boiled Mysteries

--- Chris Bahn <> wrote:
> The 1980 gangster movie "The Long Good Friday" is
> showing in Minneapolis in
> mid-August -- has anyone here seen it? Worth
> checking out, or tripe?

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