Officially, there is one film you need to see this week. It is In the Loop. Now, we know you’ve heard about nothing but Inglourious Basterds for weeks—if not months—by now, and I admit it’s easy to be swayed by such an obvious option: a clever, entirely fictional take on a defining moment in history, from a director well known for his skill with dialogue.
But when I say it like that, am I not in fact describing In the Loop? Armando Iannucci’s big-screen take on his BBC comedy In the Thick of It, the film follows a group of British government officials as they attempt to deal with the fallout from a mis-timed statement as America and the U.K. attempt to launch a war in the Middle East. We are well aware of how boring that sounds when compared to “Nazi murder-a-thon,” but stick with us. You see, anyone who has seen even a second of In the Thick of It will already be familiar with Malcolm Tucker—the dark heart at the centre of the series (and film)—but if you’re looking for a hook into In the Loop, Tucker is it: such a completely glorious bastard that it does him a disservice to put him into words. We’ll just point you to this clip of the film with the warning “very strong language.” But there’s far more to Iannucci’s work than just some big and very clever swearing; as far as satire goes, there is nothing to compare to it. Quite genuinely this is probably the strongest recommendation we’ve given to a film in ages—you owe it to yourself to see In the Loop. It’s playing the Cumberland (159 Cumberland St.) all week at 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 9:50 p.m.. You now know exactly when and where it is playing. You have no excuse.
You might still want to see Inglourious Basterds. So if you’re looking for someone’s critical opinion, NOW‘s Norm Wilner says “Roughly one-third of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds is so good that it very nearly excuses the other two-thirds.” Sounds like all of Tarantino’s films, doesn’t it?
Coincidentally Tarantino’s Grindhouse pal, Robert Rodriguez, has a film out this week too: Shorts. A fantastical film about wish fulfilment (unlike Tarantino’s fantastical piece of wish fulfilment), Shorts is aimed at children and is, apparently, quite successful. Linda Barnard at the Star calls it a “a smart and funny kids’ flick.”
Also out this week: The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story and Post Grad, while the After Dark Film Festival closes tonight with Grace and the Bicycle Film Festival (mentioned in our Urban Planner) and the Shinsedai Cinema Festival open.