Just when you thought no one could come up with a fresh take on the Western, the Danes arrive with this astonishingly earthy and inventive film, shot in South Africa no less. Director Kristian Levring uses all of the usual elements without ever resorting to cliches, which makes the film strikingly involving. Not only are the characters people we can identify with, but their moral dilemmas are strikingly provocative. Especially as the violence escalates.
The story opens in 1871, as Danish immigrant Jon (Mads Mikkelsen) welcomes his wife (Nanna Oland Fabricius) and young son to the American prairie where he has worked for seven years. But on the way home from the station, they are ambushed by outlaws. After a desperate struggle, Jon manages to kill them, but this puts him on the wrong side of the local boss Delarue (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who enforces cooperation from the town's mayor-undertaker (Jonathan Pryce) and sheriff-priest (Douglas Hensall). So aside from his brother Peter (Mikael Persbrandt), Jon has nowhere to turn. His only hope of justice is to deliver it himself.
Adding an intriguing layer is the fact that Jon and Peter are veterans of Denmark's civil war, just as the locals are survivors of America's. So everyone has war in their blood. The Danish brothers have vowed to turn their backs on violence and build a lawful society, so the flurry of clashes, kidnappings and killings with Delarue's goons (including Eric Cantona) are tinged with regretfulness. And the script never lets the audience off lightly: in the Wild West, no one is safe. Civilisation has only begun to arrive in this isolated place, but the discovery of oil has replaced old world values with pure, unfiltered greed. Yes, there's a lot more going on here than the usual swaggering Western machismo. And the casting has as much to do with that as the script.
Continue reading: The Salvation Review
In the 1870s, Danish settlers travelled to the US following a brutal war with Germany. One of these people was Jon (Mads Mikkelsen), who travels to America to start a new life with his family. But, having travelled from the frying pan to the fire, Jon's world is ready to be rocked to its very core. When his family is murdered, Jon puts his military training to use, and hunts down and deals out western justice to his families killers. The problem is, one of the men his kills was the brother of a feared outlaw, who proceeds to terrorise a local town as revenge. Jon will be called upon to end the feud he started - but with nothing left, why should he?
Continue: The Salvation Trailer
When a young couple and their transvestite maid organise an orgy at their house with four guests, they never intended for it to turn out quite like this. The guests - consisting of The Slut, The Star, The Stud and The Teen - all have stories to tell and bring their own fantasies, culminating in an evening none will forget in a hurry. In a mixture of comedy and passion, the participants discover that they are part of something more; infinitely more than just the sensual and erotic party they originally expected; an intense blend of fantasy and reality, unfolding before their very eyes.
Continue: You And The Night Trailer
Surreal and over-constructed, this offbeat French drama often feels more like a stage play than a movie, with its pointed dialogue and a cast of "types". It's also a bit vague and hard to get to the bottom of, which leaves it a curiosity rather than anything more meaningful. But there's an undeniable intrigue to the plot, and some of the characters break out of their boxes to become oddly sympathetic, although that will depend on whether you can identify with one of them.
It's set in a super-modern house owned by Ali and Matthias (Kate Moran and Niels Schneider), who are holding a party with the help of their cross-dressing maid Udo (Nicolas Maury). Sex seems to be the main thing on the menu, so as each person arrives, Udo blankly asks them if they'd like "speed, poppers, cocaine, MDMA, something to drink". On arrival, the guests are given a title rather than using their names, to protect their anonymity. The Stud (Eric Cantona) defines his entire life by his genitalia. The Slut (Julie Bremond) wants everything on her terms only. The Star (Fabienne Babe) prefers the room to be dark, so she can feel and be felt without seeing or being seen. And the Teen (Alain Fabien Delon) is clearly hiding from something. Then the cops arrive looking for the runaway teen, and things take a turn.
Not that there's much of a plot here. The turn is inwards, as the film is much more concerned with the orgy of words than any sense of physicality. There's enough of that to earn the 18 certificate, although it's oddly choreographed to be eerily clinical. And this reflects the way each of the characters seems distanced from real life. Even Ali and Matthias are reluctant to face the truth of their situation (Matthias isn't well). And since these people sit around talking to each other in increasingly arch, stagey ways, the film begins to feel rather pretentious.
Continue reading: You and the Night Review
Cantona did a thing - it's probably not that bad. Let's all watch a compilation of his best assists.
Just a quick disclaimer here: Contact Music don’t condone violence of any kind, but this article will be littered with admiration for Eric Cantona, punctuated with a general bias for the ex-footballer and totally ignorant of any facts that paint him in a negative light. Why? Because Eric Cantona.
Look how Cantona says "I hate you" and "I love you" at the time time
In the interest of balance (Cantona is king and he literally didn’t do anything wrong*), here’s the official Metropolitan Police statement:
Continue reading: Once a Cantona, Always a Cantona: Ex Red Eric Arrested in London
Remember that kung-fu kick? Well this isn't nearly as exciting.
While Eric Cantona is no stranger to being banned, his latest is not really his fault. The advert in which he stars – one for Kronenbourg 1664 – has been pulled for misleading customers.
Eric Cantona's parody ad is not cool
The misleading part comes from the assertion within the advert that the beer is brewed in a particular French town, Alsace. But it’s not: it’s brewed in the rainy British city of Manchester. Which isn’t quite as glamorous. The ad sees Cantona parody the treatment footballers get, from fan adulation to superstar treatment in various establishments.
Continue reading: That Eric Cantona Kronenbourg Advert? Yeah, It's Been Banned
The Manchester United biopic is out now
Six of Manchester United's most famous player of the modern era - David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Phil and Gary Neville - star in their very own biopic, detailing the rise of one of the finest batch of homegrown players to emerge in Europe in recent years. Class of 92 chronicles the rise and rise of the six players, who guided Manchester United to glory in the 1990's and went on to influence a generation of would-be footballers.
Giggs, Butt, Becks, Phil Neville, Scholesy and Gary Neville star in the biopic
"There will be a few tears in there from my mum I'm sure," Beckham said on the red carpet for the film's premiere over the weekend (via Sky News). He continued, referring to the wider aspects covered in the documentary, "There was so much going on; there was Oasis, The Stone Roses, the Hacienda; all these great things that were going on in Manchester."
Continue reading: What Can We Find Out About Fergie's Fledglings In 'Class Of '92?'
The world of football in the nineties probably saw some of its most incredible moments, and that includes the enlistment of star players David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes on to the Manchester United football team. The team remains to be the biggest club in the UK and those six boys became unforgettable in helping to re-enforce that, perplexing the nation with their impressive athletic dexterity. The nineties also saw a genuine sense of unity amongst footballers - an attitude that improved the sporting world and made English football what it is today.
Continue: The Class Of '92 - Clip
The 90s was an era of change and positivity for the UK in terms of music, politics and film; a cultural haven of success and optimism. It was also the year that football was to take a huge turn with the enlistment of David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes; all star players that began their professional sporting careers in 1992 for the biggest club in the UK, Manchester United. Not only did they make their team bafflingly successful with their unique athletic dexterity, but they also showed genuine attitudes of unity with their real friendship that shaped football in England for the better.
Continue: The Class of '92 Trailer
Made by a fan for fans, this documentary explores the iconic English rock band through raw adoration rather than a detailed narrative. But Shane Meadows (This Is England) is a seriously gifted filmmaker, and his approach wins us over by focussing on the bandmates' personalities, their passion for the music and their fans' devotion to them.
Childhood friends Ian Brown and John Squire formed the Stone Roses in Manchester in 1984, then set about to show the world that they were the greatest rock band ever. It took five years and a number of rotating bandmates until the lineup settled down with Ian, John, Reni (Alan Wren) and Mani (Gary Mounfield), and their first album in 1989 was a landmark hit. It took them five more years to release their second album, and that period was marked with terrible battles both within the band and with their record label and management. The band dissolved shortly after Second Coming was released in 1994. Cut to 2011, when these four men reunited to announce their comeback, starting with a major concert in Manchester in June 2012.
Meadows has access to an astonishing array of archival material, including home movies and private photos, vintage TV interviews and performance footage. He pieces this together without narration, letting the bandmates recount their own story, so naturally they skip over the more uncomfortable elements, such as the seven other musicians who came and went over the years. And there are no details about the various fallings out between them. Instead, this collage astutely captures their lively personalities, the way they work and how they come together to play their most memorable songs.
Continue reading: The Stone Roses: Made of Stone Review