Film Screening 8th March, 2013

Poster for Gangster Squad

Gangster Squad 

8:00 PM, 8th March, 2013

  • MA
  • 113 mins
  • 2013
  • Ruben Fleischer
  • Will Beall
  • Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte

Gangster Squad is an historic crime drama directed by Ruben Fleischer, who previously directed 2009’s Zombieland. The film is based on Paul Lieberman’s seven-part Los Angeles Times series “Tales from the Gangster Squad”.

The film is based on actual events and shows the LAPD fighting to keep the East Coast Mafia out of Los Angeles in the late 1940s and early 1950s. It has a stylish atmosphere, and a star-studded cast with Sean Penn owning the screen as violent crime boss Mickey Cohen while Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling are the heads of a hard-boiled police unit trying to take Cohen down. Emma Stone is perfect as the sultry femme fatale. The chemistry between Stone and Gosling is once again clear for everyone to see, as it was in 2011’s Crazy, Stupid, Love.

This is an action-packed story of redemption and of correcting wrongdoing – men taking back what belongs to them. Men with the belief and commitment required to make a difference and to save the city they love. The irony being that they must become like their violent and lawless adversaries in order to save their beloved city.

As in L.A. Confidential, Public Enemies and American Gangster, one of the questions put to us is: when it comes to dealing with relentless and undaunted criminality, do the ends justify the means? I don’t have the answer but when it is examined in such an engaging and powerful way, it is a ride well worth taking.

Robert Bourke

Poster for Bonnie And Clyde

Bonnie And Clyde 

10:08 PM, 8th March, 2013

  • M
  • 112 mins
  • 1967
  • Arthur Penn
  • David Newman, Robert Benton
  • Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty star as the prettier-than-life titular characters in Arthur Penn’s well-received work. Occasionally criticised for its deviations from historical fact, this is still a very well made and engaging film. The story is of the famous American criminal duo Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow and their gang.

During The Great Depression, Bonnie is bored and frustrated with her lot in life. When she meets small-time ex-con Clyde, adventure and excitement enters their life in an escalating crime-spree of robbery and murder across the US South-West. The depression-era backdrop explains both the characters’ motivations and the growing media interest in the gang’s exploits as it gathers momentum.

What begins as a spirited adventure and love affair grows darker as the gang’s actions and the law’s reactions both get progressively more serious. As reality begins to close in, the gang’s numbers dwindle and the core duo’s liberty is increasingly curtailed until the inevitable grim conclusion. Arthur Penn was fascinated by Akira Kurosawa’s depiction of violence and this influence is most apparent in its groundbreakingly gruesome final scene.

The soundtrack from Earl and Scruggs also sets a fitting mood for the story.

Look out for several famous and fresh-faced actors co-starring including Gene Hackman as Buck Barrow and the debut of Gene Wilder as Eugene Grizzard.

Miles Goodhew