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Monday’s Suggestion

In Matt, Monday's Suggestion on October 11, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Firm (1988)

Written by Al Ashton; Directed by Alan Clarke; Starring Gary Oldman.

 

This aired February 26, 1989 in the fifth season of Screen Two, which was a TV series that broadcast films on England’s BBC Four, so it was sort of like what you would get if Scorcese made a movie on Lifetime, except way more British and dry. It was the final film of Alan Clarke, who was famous for unflinching portrayals of violence with brutal central characters.

The actual fight scenes are not very bloody or involved and the violence in the movie doesn’t really come from them, but from what is implied by Gary Oldman, who plays the leader of a soccer hooligan firm in suburban London named ‘Bexie’. The bulk of the scenes throughout the movie glide along lengthy camera shots that sort of trail him while he rushes steadily to move past its view. He seems partly kind, in an edgy, older-sibling who wants to keep his bad behavior private but not because of shame so much as possessiveness kind of way. He seems consistently bothered but never angered by the camera’s presence (and so by your presence as the audience) which feels like the perplexed younger sibling that he never acknowledges, for whom he has a very forced, stunted affection, and then also guilt that is weighty, but that he has concluded (and is resigned to the fact) will not stop him from doing what he wants. Sometimes the camera rushes to keep up. Other times it stops and pivots like a shocked bystander.

The whole movie is on YouTube under the account Twilight141090; about 70 minutes in all, split in eight parts that are just a little less than ten minutes each. You can watch one a day during breaks or little moments of weird down time when you’re just dicking around…or looking at other random videos on YouTube.

-Matt

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