2 items from 2013
Scarecrow and The King of Marvin Gardens – quirky, unstylised films made in the 60s and 70s that refused to smooth their rough edges. This bravery, Adam Mars-Jones argues, is what film-makers are missing today
The label "independent film" doesn't mean what it once did, and the Sundance festival is part of the reason. The moment aspiring film-makers realised there was a potential shortcut to distribution and acclaim, they started smoothing off their rough edges – consciously or without even noticing – or at least they began to stylise themselves. Either way, the overall effect of the festival has not been to promote individuality but to erode it. So it's a mild beneficial shock to watch two American films of the early 1970s on re-release – not because they're masterpieces, exactly, but because they give the flavour of a different set of assumptions.
- Adam Mars-Jones
Iron Man 3 (12A)
Fears of post-Avengers superhero blowout fatigue are briskly swept away by Marvel's latest epic, whose snappy, poppy script packs in twists and quips between the bludgeoning (but technically seamless) action. It's Kingsley's Bin Laden-esque Mandarin and Pearce's creepy scientist who are out to de-swagger Tony Stark this time round, but there are surprises in store for everyone.
The Look Of Love (18)
Despite the Soho excess, the retro kitsch, the racy subject matter and the great cast, this biopic of Britain's pornographer-in-chief Paul Raymond somehow never feels like it's telling the full story. »
- Steve Rose
2 items from 2013
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