Talking Movies

September 25, 2012

Graham Greene Festival 2012

Filed under: Talking Books,Talking Movies — Fergal Casey @ 5:36 pm

I’m off to Graham Greene’s birthplace Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire (immortalised in his Kierkegaard-epigraphed first autobiography A Sort of Life) for the Graham Greene Festival 2012 which takes placethis weekend.

I’ve won the screenplay and fiction categories of this year’s creative writing awards, for my short film script ‘Sir Joshua’s Macaw’ and short story ‘For Whom H.R Tolls’ but this festival, which is only a half-hour train ride from London, is well worth the attention of any Greene fans in the Home Counties. The always interesting line up of talks and screenings this year notably includes Jack Gold introducing hissuspenseful 1988 Greene film The Tenth Man, and the book launch by Jon Wise and Mike Hill of their opus The Works of Graham Greene: A Reader’s Bibliography and Guide (London and New York: Continuum, 2012, 416 pages), which is the first thoroughgoing bibliography of his work since 1979. As it not only covers the full dizzying gamut of his work across such diverse fields as fiction, poetry, drama, travel writing, autobiography, essays and journalism, but also includes his published letters, major interviews and film adaptations, as well as surveying unpublished works in his archives and offering an extensive commentary with an imposing index, this looks set to become the definitive reference work for academia.

Thursday 27 September

16.30 – 18.00 A Festival Event for Berkhamsted School’s Sixth Form
Old Hall, Berkhamsted School
Sixth-form event with Neil Sinyard speaking to English A-level students. This event includes the announcement of the titles for the GGBT Creative Writing Awards for 2013.

17.30 – 19.15 Social Gathering and Buffet Supper at The Gatsby
Two courses and a glass of wine; vegetarian alternative.
Please order on the Ticket Application Form and pay by Friday 21st September if you intend to be present.
The restaurant is under The Rex cinema on the High Street.
Cost: £15

19.30 – 21.45 Film Night at The Rex Cinema
Film: The Human Factor (1979)
115 mins; UK; Director: Otto Preminger. Starring Richard Attenborough, Nicol Williamson, John Gielgud, and Derek Jacobi. Classification: 15.
Introduced by Richard Combs
Cost: £8

Friday 28 September

Talks at the Town Hall, Berkhamsted

Morning Session

9.45 – 11.00 Researching Greene: PhD scholars discuss their work on Graham Greene. Contributors include Creina MansfieldMartyn Sampson and Sarah Prescott

11.00 – 11.30 Break for tea and coffee

11.30 – 12.45 Professor Kevin Ruane
“The Hidden History of Graham Greene’s Vietnam war.”

Cost: £12.00

12.45 Break for Lunch

Afternoon Session

14.15 – 15.30 Professor François Gallix
“Greene, Spies and MI6”

15.30 Break for tea and coffee

16.00 – 17.30 Professor Adam Piette
“The Third Man, Underground Intelligence and the Freudian Cold War.”

Cost: £12.00

Evening Session: Civic Centre, Berkhamsted

19.30 – 22.00 Film: The Tenth Man (1988)

(100 minutes, UK; Director Jack Gold, starring Anthony Hopkins, Kristin Scott Thomas and Derek Jacobi)
Classification: PG
With an introduction by Jack Gold who will also lead a post-film discussion.

Cost: £10.00

Saturday 29 September

Talks and Events in Deans’ Hall, Berkhamsted School

Morning Session

9.45 – 11.00 Ian Thomson
“Graham Greene in Tallin”

11.00 Break for tea and coffee

11.30 – 12.45 Dr Christopher Hull
“Sex, Drugs and Communism: Greene’s visits to Cuba”

Cost: £14

12.45. Break for Lunch

Afternoon Session

14.15 – 15.15 Professor Peter Evans
“Belgravia, Vienna, Havana: Carol Reed in Greeneland”

15.15 Break for tea and coffee

15.45 – 16.45 Screening: “Dangerous Edge: A Life of Graham Greene” (2012)

A UK Premier screening.
Introduced by Prof. Thomas O’Connor
This is the first American-produced documentary on Greene and includes interviews with scholars, writers, critics and spies. The film is narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi, and the voice of Greene is provided by Bill Nighy.

Cost: £14

Early Evening Session

18.15 – 18.30 Book Launch
Dr Jon Wise and Mike Hill present The Works of Graham Greene

18.30 Birthday Toast
Proposed by the Principal of Berkhamsted School, Mark Steed

18.45 – 19.45 Quentin Falk
“Film adaptations of Greene”: An illustrated talk.

Cost: £12

Late Evening Session

20.00 Dinner
After-dinner speaker: Clive Francis

Cost: £33

OR

Saturday 29 September Alternative Event

9.45 – 15.45 A Creative Writing Workshop in Deans’ Hall, Berkhamsted School

A practical one-day course on Prose Fiction and Screenplay led by Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone and William Ivory. The morning sessions will be plenary. In the afternoon session delegates will select either Prose Fiction or Screenplay. Delegates will need to bring their own writing paper and pens or pencils. There will be breaks for tea or coffee, but lunch is not included.

 

Character and plot in prose-fiction: The Basement Room

F Scott Fitzgerald once said, “Character is plot, plot is character.” Is this true for all writers? Characters need to carry the movement of a writer’s ideas, themes, situations and events, so do they drive the plot or does the plot drive them? Or is this simply a matter of what the writer thinks of first? Through an exploration of Greene’s short story, The Basement Room, in conjunction with excerpts from other short stories, we will explore these questions and begin to build some tools necessary for the development of convincing characters.

How Character Drives Plot in Screenplay: The Third Man

What is the rôle of character in creative writing? Is character merely the personification of the writer’s need to tell story? Or, is character, in fact, the embodiment of the story’s theme and the primary driving force in establishing the plot required to tell that story? Holly Martins and Harry Lime are the diametrically opposed sides of Greene’s character. So, how he manoeuvres them, how he makes them behave and the plot he creates in order to reveal who they are, must expose what he believes as a writer and why he wrote The Third Man.

Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone’s first novel was Home (Social Disease, 2008); she teaches Creative Writing at City University (London), and she is a partner of Apis Books, an independent publishing company for shorter fiction. William Ivory wrote Made in Dagenham (UK, 2010), which was nominated for a BAFTA Award; and The Sins, for which he won The Edgar Allan Poe Award in New York presented by The Crime Writers Association of America for Best TV Drama Series. Advance booking is essential to guarantee a place on the Creative Writing Workshop.

Tickets £35.00

Sunday 30 September

Talks in Newcroft, Berkhamsted School

Morning Session

9.00 – 9.45 David Pearce
Founding Trustee and former director of the Festival: who better to show you around?
Prior registration is essential. Meet outside Old Hall for a tour of the School.

10.05 – 11.00 Dr Brigitte Timmermann
“Though never intended for publication, it had to start as a story”. The Third Man – A comparative text analysis

11.00 Break for tea and coffee

11.30 – 12.45 Professor Neil Sinyard
“Temple of Doom: some reflections on Graham Greene, Wee Willie Winkie and the Shirley Temple controversy.”

Cost: £14

13.00 – 14.30 Farewell Lunch in Old Hall
Buffet lunch with wine

Cost: £22

September 18, 2012

Culture Night: Jessica Casey

Arts & Disability Ireland are  presenting two related activities, readings and a film, in  Temple Bar as part  of Dublin’s Culture Night on 21st September.

From  5.30pm there will be readings from ‘Jessica  Casey and Other Works’, a  collection of poetry by Away  with Words, an  innovative arts project in which people with intellectual disabilities explore  creativity through  writing. The  readings will be given by well-known actors in locations across Temple  Bar.These  events will be followed at 7.45pm by a screening in  Meeting House Square of  animated short Jessica  Casey – The Film, which  brings to cinematic life one of the main characters created by the authors of  the book.There is  never a dull moment when Jessica Casey is around – with her long purple nails,  UGG boots, piña coladas, her dog Rosie and her  plans to go to Ibiza, or Australia,  or to invent a new lipstick, or to  become a farmer – or a  nun?

‘Jessica  Casey and Other Works’ is the first formal publication of Away  with Words, which  was conceived by  Claude and  Mary Madec, and established as a collaboration  between local writers and That’s  Life (an  initiative of the Brothers of Charity Services in County Galway to support  people with intellectual  disabilities engaging in the  arts life of their communities.) Mary  Madec says, “In the individual poems… you will get many insights into how these  writers see, feel, taste and hear the world they live in… Poetry also develops  an ability to observe and listen to others as well as to oneself. It  teaches empathy and compassion…” The book features the three  poems that won the First,  Second and Third  places in the  Inclusion Ireland Poetry Awards. The  12-minute animated short Jessica  Casey – The Film was  created thru the  collaboration of members of Away  with Words and  visual artist Aideen Barry, and  was brought  to cinematic life using stop motion animation and the  inspiration of silent film greats Charlie  Chaplin and Buster Keaton.Many of  the writers, artists  and stars of the Away  with Words  collective will be  in attendance for the Culture Night screening and readings.

These  presentations are part of Arts & Disability Ireland’s on-going and  internationally-recognised work creating lasting change in the way people  with disabilities are involved with, and engage in, artistic and cultural life  in Ireland. They champion the creativity of  artists with disabilities, promote  inclusive experiences for audiences with disabilities, and  work to enhance the disability-related  capacity of venues.

For  further information on Arts and Disability Ireland see www.adiarts.ie

Any Other Business: Part V

What is one to do with  thoughts that are far too long for Twitter but not nearly long enough for a  proper blog post? Why round them up and turn them into  a fifth  portmanteau post on television of course!

RTE  Heart Hans  Zimmer

Have you noticed a  tendency for everything to be drowned in Hans Zimmer music lately? I think it was when I  was watching a serious and rather good RTE documentary on the bank guarantee in  2008 that I  first got annoyed at the tendency to plaster Hans Zimmer scores over everything.  I don’t need the Joker’s musical theme shimmering over tales  of dodgy American sub-prime mortgages and CFD problems in Anglo-Irish Bank to know  that someone is engaged in villainous double-dealing. I don’t need to have the  pulsasting  Batman goes to war music playing over accounts of frantic meetings late at night  to know that action was being taken to avert a crisis. There has to come a point  where talking heads in a documentary are allowed to speak and the audience is  treated as intelligent enough to grasp the implications of what they’re saying without needing a musical cue  of the most bombastic sort. And that’s the other problem. Does everything need to  have The  Dark Knight  or Inception backing  it?These are  very recognisable and quite well-known soundtracks whose constant intrusion into  a serious documentary can pull you right out, as you think about the  Nolan movie instead of what you’re watching. The one free pass I’ll  give anyone regarding use of Hans Zimmer is TG4 booming Inception music for their rugby  coverage  because at least it’s a change from Kasabian (see below…). It’s time to stop  spoon-feeding the audience, and subsidising Mr  Zimmer.

Kasabian:  Born to Rock/Soundtrack Sport

Kasabian are one of  those bands who appear to have the stars aligned in their favour. I went to see  their show in Marlay Park a few weeks ago, only knowing the The West Rider Pauper Lunatic Asylum, and was taken aback at  just how many of their songs I actually knew. There is a story told that Richard  Linklater wanted to use ‘Immigrant Song’ for a scene in his 2004 film School  of Rock and  was taken aback to be asked for 10 times as much money as he’d had to fork over  to use Led Zeppelin for his 1993 film Dazed  and Confused; indeed the amount  asked for ‘Immigrant Song’ equalled the budget for his entire 1993 movie, and  only after much begging was he able to get the price down to a reasonable  level.  Kasabian emerged at a moment when industrial illegal downloading had so  decimated traditional revenue streams that licensing music for TV and cinema was  becoming not just a clever way of getting exposure (a la Moby with Play) but damn near the only  way you could be guaranteed getting paid when people listened  to your  music. Enter Kasabian, whose breakthrough single ‘Clubfoot’ was used on TV spots  for Smallville and 24 and damn  near every action film for a year. Since then they’ve carved out an incredible  niche. I  don’t know how they do it but damn near every song Kasabian release as a single  seems to have the potential to become the  soundtrack to TV sports. ‘Underdog’, ‘Vlad the Impaler’, ‘Fire’, ‘Days Are  Forgotten’, ‘Velociraptor’, and others have all popped up. They provide the  title music for rugby on RTE, the theme tune of football on Sky, and the  background music for fixture lists and league tables while pundits converse at  half-time on several channels. Kasabian have established their music as the  default setting for TV editors. This is both remarkable and financially  lucrative – how do they do it?

Any Other Business: Part IV

What is one to do with  thoughts that are far too long for Twitter but not nearly long enough for a  proper blog post? Why round them up and turn them into  a fourth  portmanteau post on television of course!

Thomas  Dekker Needs to Graduate

Thomas Dekker  desperately needs to graduate high school. It’s becoming a  problem.  In case you  can’t quite place the youthful looking actor, here’s a refresher. He  played the camcorder-wielding confidant  of invincible cheerleader Hayden  Panettiere’s Claire Bennett in season  1 of Heroes. He then took  on the role  of a teenage John Connor under the daunting protection of Lena Headey’s Sarah  Connor and  Summer Glau’s good terminator in The Sarah  Connor Chronicles. When that was unjustly  cancelled he finally managed a sojourn in college in  Gregg Araki’s typically eccentric Kaboom! But then came a return  to high school in The  Secret Circle, which has been mercifully cancelled after one  misfiring season during which it never threatened to equal let alone eclipse its  sister show The  Vampire Diaries. Dekker was actually  pretty good as a warlock in The  Secret Circle but his resume kept  intruding into your subconscious and wrecking his plausibility as a high school  student, even by the usual ridiculous Hollywood conventions. To reiterate, Thomas Dekker was in  high school on TV in 2006. He was still in high school on TV in 2012… Thomas Dekker Needs to  Graduate!

Quirky  McQuirke

I’m not sure exactly when it  happened but the three episodes of  90 minutes duration each format now seems to be BBC One’s preferred mode for  prestige crime shows, as, following in the wake  of Wallander and the  all-conquering Sherlock, John Banville’s  acclaimed Benjamin Black detective novels are being brought to the small screen with  Gabriel  Byrne cast as the titular Quirke. Quirke, the chief pathologist  in the Dublin city morgue, starts investigating  deaths in 1950s Dublin – in Banville’s imagining a place of smoky streets, damp  alleys, bars with peat  fires, and  Georgian houses with sexual tension. Each  episode sees Quirke investigate the death  of an unfortunate on his mortuary slab. Bleak  House  screenwriter Andrew Davies will adapt ‘Christine Falls’ and ‘The Silver Swan,’ while The  Seafarer  playwright Conor McPherson tackles ‘Elegy for April.’ I haven’t read any of  the Benjamin Black novels for two reasons. I find the patronising adoption of a  pseudonym to write mere thrillers to epitomise the Nietzschean snobbery that  characterised Banville’s dismissal of last year’s Booker jury, and I heartily  dislike the  novels he has written under his own name that I had to suffer thru at college.  I’ll watch the show with interest though because Davies is a great screenwriter  and I’ve come to appreciate McPherson more than I once did after teaching The  Weir and  having students enjoy its ambiguities immensely.

Hitchcock @ the Lighthouse

The  Lighthouse presents six films showcasing icy  blondes, blackly  comic moments, pure  cinema  suspense sequences, and  director cameos in a season  of films spanning over twenty  years of Hitchcock’s  career.

North  by Northwest

Wednesday,  September 19th 20:30

Sunday,  September 23rd 15:30

Hitchcock  and screenwriter Ernest Lehman abandoned a fruitless novel adaptation for a story dazzlingly showcasing  scenes Hitchcock had always longed to film; a murder at the United Nations, a  man attacked by a crop-duster in an empty landscape. Cary  Grant’s MadMan  (cough) Roger O Thornhill, a man as hollow as  his affected middle initial, blunders into spymaster Leo G Carroll’s elaborate ruse and  is ruthlessly  and lethally pursued across  America by the  sinister James Mason and his clinging henchman  Martin Landau, all the while  dallying with their dangerous associate Eva  Marie Saint. Hitchcock’s preoccupations were never explored more  enjoyably…

Rebecca

Wednesday,  September 26th 20:30

Sunday,  September 30th 15:30

Hitchcock’s last British  film  adapted Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica  Inn, and his  American debut tackled her magnum opus, and won Best Picture at the Oscars.  Timid unnamed narrator Joan Fontaine is rescued from employment as a companion  to an old battleaxe by marriage to the dashing Max De Wynter (Laurence Olivier).  When they return to his mansion Manderley, however, she finds herself haunted by  the memories of his dead wife Rebecca, continually pressed on her by Judith  Anderson’s malevolent housekeeper Mrs Danvers, and Rebecca’s rakish cousin, the  great George Sanders. Competing with a dead  woman for Max’s affections leads to tragedy…

Notorious

Wednesday,  October 3rd 20:30

Sunday,  October 7th 15:30

Hitchcock’s  1946 movie has a vaunted reputation but is hard-going in its initial stages as  the daughter of a spy, Ingrid  Bergman, is  recruited  by a government agent, Cary Grant, to  infiltrate a cabal  of wealthy Nazis  who have relocated to South  America. Bergman succeeds all too well with an eminent Nazi, a deliciously  sympathetic Claude Rains, arousing her hander’s jealousy. A  maguffin  involving smuggled uranium is an  excuse for a tour de force shot in which  Hitch zooms down across a crowded party to focus on a tiny key in  Bergman’s  hand, a  suspenseful sequence key to a  stunning finale.

Vertigo

Wednesday,  October 10th 20:30

Sunday,  October 14th 15:30

Hitchcock’s 1958 magnum  opus  recently toppled Citizen  Kane from  its perch as the ‘greatest film ever made.’ Hitchcock burned money perfecting  the dolly-in zoom-out effect so crucial for depicting Jimmy  Stewart’s titular fear; which Spielberg cheekily  appropriated it for one show-off shot in Jaws. The twisted plot from  the French novelists behind Les  Diaboliques is played  brilliantly by the increasingly  unhinged Stewart, Kim Novak as  the anguished blonde he becomes  obsessed  with, and a young Barbara Bel Geddes as the friend  who tries to keep him grounded. Visually gorgeous,  lushly scored, and dripping pure  cinema sequences without any dialogue – see this.

Psycho

Wednesday,  October 17th 20:30

Sunday,  October 21st 15:30

Hitchcock’s low budget  1960  classic boasted one of the drollest trailers imaginable  and his direction is equally parodic  in the first act, with its sinister traffic-cops and endless car plates,  because Hitchcock relished investing the audience  in a shaggy-dog story which sets up a number  of prolonged blackly comic sequences as well as some  chilling suspense. Anthony Perkins’s Norman  Bates emerges as a terrific resonant  villain, especially in the chilling final scene scored by Bernard Hermann with  full-on Schoenbergian atonal serialism.  The shower scene with Janet Leigh being slashed to Hermann’s bravura stabbing  violins orchestration remains an iconic ‘pure cinema’ scare.

The  Birds

Wednesday,  October 24th 20:30

Sunday,  October 28th 15:30

Hitchcock  spun out Daphne Du Maurier’s short story which had been inspired by her simple  thought when  watching a flock wheel towards her over a field, “What if they  attacked?,” into  an unsettling and  bloody film.  Socialite Tippi Hedren’s pursuit of the judgemental lawyer Rod Taylor to his  idyllic small town on the bay seems to  cause the local birds to turn homicidal, but  don’t look for explanations – just  enjoy the slow-burn to the bravura attacks. Watch  out for Alien’s  Veronica Cartwright as Taylor’s young sister, and a bar stool philosophiser  allegedly modelled on Hitchcock’s bruising encounters  with Sean O’Casey…

Tickets can be  booked at the  Lighthouse’s website  (www.lighthousecinema.ie), and,  as with the just finished Film Noir season there  is also  a special  season pass available only at the box office; which allows you see six  films for only €36.

September 12, 2012

The Sweeney

The beloved 1970s British TV cop show gets an appropriately tough makeover with Ray Winstone and Ben Drew (aka Plan B) stepping into John Thaw and Denis Waterman’s iconic roles.

Jack Regan (Winstone) is the chief of Scotland Yard’s Flying Squad, the slightly unhinged individuals who respond to armed robberies. These are police officers who, explicitly in the case of Regan’s right-hand man George Carter (Ben Drew), joined the force for the thrill of the chase that the Flying Squad provides – if there’s no Sweeney, then there’s no Detective Carter. Regan and Carter’s heavy-handed tactics, including the use of baseball bats, raise the hackles of Internal Affairs chief Lewis (Steven Mackintosh), who has a grudge as his wife (and Sweeney member) Nancy (Hayley Atwell) is sleeping with Regan. Regan’s hands-off boss Haskins (Damian Lewis) defends the Sweeney, until Regan becomes obsessed with pinning a senseless murder committed during a diamond robbery on old criminal nemesis Allen (Paul Anderson). Can Regan and Carter unravel the mystery linking a bank heist, a diamond robbery, and an execution before they’re thrown to wolves?

This is not a warm nostalgia trip infused with energy because Nick (The Football Factory) Love is directing. This is a quite brutal thriller with tons of energy. There is an edge of the seat high-speed chase along a narrow country road that conveys the insane drive of these officers to catch criminals. The action highlight of the movie is a truly spectacular gun battle in Trafalgar Square. The geography of the shootout is impeccably set up from an earlier reconnaissance trip, and the choreography of the fight spilling towards the Tube before being diverted into the National Portrait Gallery is equalled by the suspense generated by the cat and mouse chase within the Gallery. Love’s use of aerial night-shots of London is also astounding because by focusing on the skyscrapers of the City he makes this feel like a glossy Michael Mann crime movie.

Love is a better director than a writer though as the dialogue displays a bit of a cloth ear despite the best efforts of his co-writer; Trainspotting scribe John Hodge who recently won an Olivier for his play Collaborators. There are some very funny lines, and a hilarious sequence of ordering delicious food as mental torture, and there’s also a wonderful cockney geezer in Regan’s informant Harry (Alan Ford), as well as delightful usages of the “You’re Nicked” catchphrase. But too many characters are left totally undeveloped like Allen Leech’s Irish Sweeney member Simon Ellis, while the critique of 1970s style brutal police tactics being out of date in the modern world but also sometimes necessary feels a bit heavy-handed.

Overall this is an enjoyable and visually impressive British film which deserves plaudits for eschewing the glib irony that infects TV adaptations for a realistic and nicely savage updating.

3/5

September 5, 2012

Lawless

Director John Hillcoat reunites with his The Proposition screenwriter Nick Cave for another brutally violent piece of period film-making about savage brothers.

Virginia in 1931 finds the real-life Bondurrant brothers Forrest (Tom Hardy), Jack (Shia LaBeouf), and Howard (Jason Clarke) thriving in the wettest county in Prohibition America. Boardwalk Empire’s bootlegging looks understated by comparison with the Christmas tree appearance at night of this locale as illicit stills fire up to make liquor with the full conniving permission of the local law. A tough federal agent Rakes (Guy Pearce) arrives to stamp out bootlegging, or rather restrict it to those who pay off the new and viciously corrupt DA. Local legend Forrest is unwilling to do so, and, being reckoned indestructible, doesn’t think Rakes can force his hand. But when Rakes declares war Maggie (Jessica Chastain), the new waitress at the Bondurrant diner, and Jack’s polio-stricken friend Cricket (Dane DeHaan), as well as Jack’s girlfriend Bertha (Mia Wasikowska) are more vulnerable targets…

John McGahern said that fiction operated under the burden of having to be plausible, when life could be as implausible as it liked because it was real. Despite being based on a true story it is implausibility that sinks this film. What appears to be a huge shock killing, in a scene worthy of The Godfather, transpires to be a truly bizarre refusal to shock. The finale is then marred by the equally unlikely survival of another patently fatal injury. Cave inserts some delightful touches in the soundtrack, listen for the bluegrass version of The Velvet Underground’s ‘White Light/White Heat’ sound-tracking a bootlegging montage, and his interesting collapsing of time with the new preacher’s flock, who could as easily be a flock from the 1860s, is reminiscent of Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead. This film’s problems, however, largely stem from his screenplay.

Lawless is inhabited by ciphers rather than characters. Jason Clarke’s Howard is totally undeveloped, while an oddly-made-up Guy Pearce is underused as a psychotic dandy. Gary Oldman’s gangster Floyd Banner really only has three scenes, as if his sole purpose was to remind us, with a machine-gunning scene and a good rant, that Oldman used to be the crazy villain of choice once. Hardy’s character is given to grunting rather than talking, and, while Hardy actually makes this expressive, it leads to a ridiculously gratuitous scene with Jessica Chastain which feels like a dramatic jump-start for a romance Cave couldn’t be bothered to write. And that’s before the film loses interest in Forrest in favour of young Jack’s attempts to both romance the preacher’s daughter Bertha and outdo Forrest in the bootlegging stakes with the help of his friend Cricket who has an unexpected talent for souping up car engines…

Lawless prioritises unrelenting violence over character development and leaves very good actors trying to flesh out characters the script has left un-nuanced.

2.5/5

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