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September 28, 2014 | by  | in Arts Film |
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A Neo-Noir Wunderkind [Film Review]

Only true film connoisseurs could grasp the beauty of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. A journey into neo-noir, the postmodern contemporaneous form of film noir. ‘Noir’ meaning ‘black’ in français. ‘Black’ meaning ‘dark and dangerous’. ‘Dangerous’ meaning ‘treacherous’. ‘Treacherous’ meaning ‘the repulsively enigmatic Sin City where everyone is enslaved to the temptation of their inner monster’. “Death is life in Sin City: it always wins.” It’s deep. Let me launch into a panegyric.

Replete with abhorrent nuances, the film sweeps you into twisted reconnaissance. Riddled with complicated symbolism hinting at overarching themes such as revenge, unreciprocated love and power balances, it took even me some ponderous post-film reflection to realise its profoundness. It brilliantly avoided being histrionic and overheated. Dense with graphic detail and dynamic cinematography, Jessica Alba’s confused inner turmoil truly lept out at you from the screen (possibly facilitated by the presence of 3D glasses). The black-and-white visual commitment was positively resplendent.

Eva Green is an illustriously seductive femme fatale with successful sultry cajolery of besotted vulnerable men using those bewitching emerald eyes. The men were tripping on lust with her every husky word and nudist rendezvous. The unfortunate circumstance of editing meant these scenes were short and sharp. Mickey Rourke, a fantastical embodiment of the city’s twisted brutality. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was born to play his role, a natural at naïve pursuance of power. Bruce Willis was a phenomenal ghost; he had even me fooled, initially. We are also blessed with the surprise appearance of a pop genius that bolsters the film’s representation of bad romances.

People may say this film fails to live up to its predecessor; however, this is simply farcical. The vile corruption of this violence-ridden city continues to overwhelm, with the audience swept away by the monochrome form of this visual spectacle. “Sin City’s where you go in with your eyes open, or you don’t come out at all.”

The Italian Film Festival

The Italian Film Festival comes to Wellington on 9 October, and will run until the end of the month at the Embassy theatre. The programme contains many prolific, critically acclaimed films. Particularly recommended is Honey (Miele) (director Valeria Golino), which collected a variety of prizes at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. It intimately explores the work of Irene, who helps those with terminal illness to ‘pass on’ outside the law, and the challenges posed to her rigid compliance with a personal set of ethics when a client is suffering from depression rather than life-threatening illness. Others to watch out for are A Special Day (Un giorno speciale) and The Unlikely Prince (Il principe abusivo).

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