Robert Tanitch reviews the latest DVDs
God’s Own Country (Picturehouse Entertainment) A young Yorkshire farmer (Josh O’Connor) employs a Romanian migrant (Alec Secareanu) on his dad’s farm and falls in love with him. The farm, run on traditional lines, is failing and needs new modern ideas. Perhaps the Romanian can help. The farmer is a moody, remote and totally unsympathetic person. Perhaps the Romanian’s love can improve his character. Interestingly, the villagers accept the gay relationship. It’s not homophobia that motivates them but xenophobia. Director and screen writer Francis Lee’s sensitive and sexually explicit film, nicely acted, will be seen by some as a subtle argument for remaining in Europe, emotionally and agriculturally.
Alice in the Cities (Eureka). Wim Wenders 1974 low-budget road movie, very low budget, starts in New York and ends in Germany. Alice (Yella Rottländer) is dumped by her mother and a photographer/journalist (Rüdiger Vogler), they have just met, feels obliged to look after her and find her grandmother. The girl is an irritating and obvious liar. The man‘s Behaviour is stupid and unbelievable. Wenders seems to be making it up as he goes along. The film drifts like the leading character and might have been more appealing if the relationship between the 9-year-old and the 31-year-old been more appealing. Was the man’s Behaviour really acceptable in 1974? It would be totally unacceptable in 2018. It is easy to imagine the outrage were it premiered today.
New World (Eureka) is a violent South Korean thriller directed by Hoon-jung Park with lots of double-crossings and torture. The favourite weapons are baseball bats and knives. The thugs are dressed like businessmen and have meetings in boardrooms. The chairman of the syndicate has just been murdered. Who will take over? An undercover policeman (Jung-jae Lee), who has been undercover these last eight years, looks a likely successor. His rival is his best mate (Jung-min Hwang), a very loose cannon. There is an absurd melee in an underground garage and in a lift.