MEANER STREETS

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While the 2014 Oscars were dominated by the likes of The Imitation Game, Birdman and The Theory of Everything, Nightcrawler also hit the cinemas. Available on DVD and Blu-ray now, Nightcrawler portrays Louis Bloom (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), an LA resident with a directionless life who gets attracted to filming the underbelly of the city. He finds an affinity for capturing the horror of the crimes that are committed in the city each night and begins to sell his video footage to minor TV station manager Nina Romina (Rene Russo). But as the film progresses, we become to realise that the true horror is that Bloom’s personality mirrors the violence and the amorality of Los Angeles. Nightcrawler is also a dark commentary on the desperate nature of media as it turns out that Romina is so desperate for ratings for the minor station she works for that she is prepared to overlook things like the facts of a story. It is a brilliantly satirical film, a true work of proper cinema, director Dan Gilroy has done a wonderful job creating a very very hyper-real LA and Gyllenhaal is mesmerising as Bloom. Fans of real cinema which has something to say should check Nightcrawler out, a film which is destined to be a cult classic…

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FESTIVE BEHAVIOUR 2012 PART THREE
The last film I saw at this year’s London Film Festival was End of Watch, which is a gritty police drama set in South Central Los Angeles starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. Directed by David Ayer, Gyllenhaal and Pena make a very decent team and the hand-held feel, which lasts for most of the film, is well-handled. Ayer wrote Training Day, so he definitely has the right pedigree for this. Alright it’s not that different to what you’ve seen before but it is well-made. What makes LFF an interesting festival is its diverse raft of films and End of Watch doesn’t feel out of place here. I am glad I saw it as Gyllenhaal is always watchable and in fact, he is turning into a very decent character actor. Recommended…