The characters are complex and cannot be just categorised into "good" & "evil". Even Severus has repressions which have festered into hatred by being internalised. Saint Sebastian shines on his journey towards piety & to the iconic image of his body pierced with arrows. But Jarman always retains the realistic humanity of this playful, loving and courageous character.
Don't want to harp on the bodies beautiful, but as a general comment it is a rarity to be able to enjoy the male nude. Male film-goers are oversupplied with boobs, bottoms & pubes, while women (half of humanity) usually have to make do with "tastefully posed" shots. Thank God for directors like Derek Jarman, Ken Russell, Pasolini, Fellini & most European film-makers who don't believe the audience will be struck dead if they see a penis.
Tho' shot in colour, the drab settings and costumes often give the impression of black & white, till a bright handbag or scarf pull us back to reality. The mood is edgy and challenging. Caroline Proust and Philippe Duclos give particularly outstanding performances. Although a police lieutenant, the stunning Proust (as Laure Berthaud) has the direct wide-eyed look of a bewildered naïf. Duclos' Roban, looking somewhat like an ironic vulture, is the judge determined to unearth the truth despite sinister political pressures.
Spiral is uncompromising in its presentation of violence including sexual paraphilias (tho' I thought the French might have had their own word for Laure's "fist-f**cking?") Despite the graphic violence & frequent coarse language, which is only noticeable in programmes with sub-titles, this 8.30 pm free-to-air show - competing with the very tame "Gil Mayo Mysteries" still only attracts an Aussie M (parental guidance), not an MA (over 15).
Richard Roxburgh gives a sensitive and detailed performance as the cop still torn up by the horror of his previous case and Essie Davis walks a fine line as the Scottish psychiatrist fighting her own demons. For me, a joy of this picture is the presence of Emily Barclay (In My Father's Den) as Richard's Goth assistant. This girl is in line for a fantastic career.
The other character that cannot be ignored, whatever the era, is Sydney. The pubs, the low life, night time ferries, boxing rings, the Cross & the Pyrmont wharves become a living presence (and this from a Melbournite).
Thought this was brilliant the first time around. Realized it was a repeat last night but just could not find the moment when I could turn it off.
Simon & Minty are hilarious as they disturb,distress & interrogate their ingredients; teaching us very little about cooking but a great deal about their marriage. As the series progresses, the subtlety with which their desperate disfunctionality is revealed is of the type that can only be achieved by the British.
Lower middle-class Minty, hoping to climb the social ladder by marrying into the Marchmont family, but whose every utterance discloses her background is complemented beautifully by "born to the aristocracy" Simon, who undercuts her with his withering sarcasm at every turn. Simon's motive for marrying Minty is a little less clear - possibly to deflect attention from his relationship with his dog and his tanned tennis coach Jose-Luis, and to acquire a wife prepared to be chained to his beloved mother's Aga forever.
The accuracy of the satire is increased by the promotion of the compulsory range of Posh Nosh "products". There is also an actual website where one can obtain every recipe used in the programme.
Writer Arabella Weir and Richard E. Grant are perfect in the roles of this couple, who delineate fine social distinctions through the use of cuisine.
This show will leave you laughing helplessly. A gem. And please, why only one series? Like all good food, Posh Nosh cries out for seconds and even thirds.
Regrettably, this strong foundation is undermined by the failure of the film to shine any light on the personalities of the victim or his abducted companion - elements that are essential to understanding the fate which overtakes them. And sadly the denouement is glaringly obvious - a limp ending to what should have been a superb thriller.
Ozzy is in terrific form, speaking with candour & clarity about all areas of his life, both funny & serious, and recounting anecdotes with the dry wit that is his trademark. No mumbling or stumbling here - this is an articulate man with a sharp mind, a quick tongue & full control of his coffee cup. There appears to be little editing, giving the audience a chance to compare the real Ozzy with the "Ozzy" character created by MTV manipulation.