Originally a 55 minute film for BBC released in 1992, Alex Cox had hoped to expand it into a full length feature film but BBC was not interested. However in 1993, Japanese investors gave Alex $100,000 to shoot the film but the film went over budget allowing no funds for production. Alex decided to make The Winner (1996) in order to get funds which worked and he was able to complete Death and The Compass in 1996. See more »
It's possible, but it isn't interesting.
What has interesting got to do with anything? We're police officers. We deal in absolute reality.
Reality may avoid the obligation to be interesting, but a hypothesis may not.
See more »
Another fascinating but flawed movie from Alex Cox, Britain's most underrated director.
I've been looking for 'Death and the Compass' for quite some time, as I'm an admirer of the Borges story that inspired it, and I thought it would be another piece in the puzzle of Alex Cox's frustrating career. Unfortunately I didn't manage to watch it on DVD and wasn't able to listen to Cox's commentary, one which I really could have done with! On top of that I watched it in two sittings, something I don't usually like doing. I really would like to watch it a second time as I feel my concentration was wavering. Anyway, it's yet another fascinating but flawed movie from Cox, a description which describes almost all his output since 'Repo Man', which to me is still his most completely satisfying work. Peter Boyle stars as the enigmatic detective Lonnrot(he had previously worked with Cox in the unfairly maligned 'Walker'), with Christopher Eccleston ('Shallow Grave') and Cox regular Miguel Sandoval supporting. Another comment mentioned 'Element Of Crime' as a stylistic reference point and I can see that, only on presumably a much smaller budget. Of course '...Compass' isn't anywhere near as good as Von Trier's film, but it does give you some idea of what to expect. I can't say I don't have some reservations about this movie, but if you like offbeat films that play with genre and require a bit of thought, then give this a shot. Me, I want to watch it a second time and hear what Alex Cox has to say about it before I make up my mind.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?