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La Haine review – effervescent classic radiates with rage and comedy | Film

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Mathieu Kassovitz’s classic of banlieue rage has been rereleased after 25 years with a new urgency and relevance in the Black Lives Matter era. What comes across now isn’t the “hate” of the title, more the aimless, directionless comedy of three guys hanging around, bantering and squabbling about things such as which cartoon character is the most badass. It is touches like this which make you realise how very 90s it all is, similar to Tarantino and Trainspotting (with a nod to Taxi Driver’s “You talkin’ to me?” scene) but it also has a little something of the French New Wave, the world of Jacques Rivette’s Paris Belongs to Us, all of which influenced the later Americans. It’s a film about which I’ve had fluctuating views. Perhaps as a result of having watched it so much, I greeted the 10th-anniversary rerelease with some grumpy contrarianism. Now I think it simply looks superb.

The age of Jacques Chirac’s presidency dawns uneasily (an official portrait is glimpsed in one scene) and in a tough inner-city estate outside Paris, the neighbourhood is waking up to the grim aftermath of a violent protest against police brutality, which has put a man in hospital in critical condition. His friend Vinz (Vincent Cassel) is simmering with rage, threatening to kill a cop with the police-issue gun he’s stolen, a gleaming snub-nose Smith & Wesson revolver; meanwhile, he is hanging around with his friends Hubert (Hubert Koundé) and Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui) with nothing much to do but wait for the next explosion of rage. There’s a gallery of well-known and (then) up-and-coming French actors in smaller roles: Vincent Lindon is a drunk bloke who turns up just as the trio is trying to steal a car; Philippe Nahon (who worked on Melville’s classic policiers and later became the totemic “Butcher” in Gaspar Noé’s movies) is the grizzled police chief who tries to break up a rooftop barbecue, Karin Viard is a Parisian art-lover – a rare female presence – and Kassovitz himself has a cameo as a neo-Nazi skinhead.

The effervescent energy of this film keeps foaming away under everything; especially under its most amazing sequence: as one guy blasts out music from his decks at the high window of a tower block, Pierre Aïm’s camera ethereally floats out over the rooftops looking down, a moment that departs from the tense mood of the scenes either side of it and has surely influenced the drone camerawork of Ladj Ly’s new banlieue film Les Misérables. (But Kassovitz didn’t have drones in 1995. How did he get that shot?)

Of all the figures in La Haine who stand out, the most startling is Vincent Cassel, making his breakthrough in his late 20s, a man on a hair-trigger with a face like an inverted triangle, sharp as a blade. The late critic Philip French described Cassel best, calling him “fiercely uningratiating”. It is Cassel who supplies the rocket-fuel of resentment; without him, Taghmaoui and Kounde might have been simply too laid-back, although again I’m not sure that Cassel is projecting “hate” as such. Our three musketeers are to come across some bizarre things on their travels, including a cameo from Tadek Lokcinski as an elderly Pole in a public toilet who emerges from a stall to tell them all about the importance of defecating regularly. There is also a very shrewd and disturbing scene in which two cops school a younger colleague in violent interrogation and the art of not going too far.

The movie is bookended with the famous non-joke about the guy who falls off a skyscraper and, as he falls, people can hear him optimistically murmuring: “So far, so good … so far, so good…” A brutal landing is imminent, the movie implies, a horrible violent reckoning of racial injustice. For 25 years since La Haine came, it seems as if the fall has been continuing and the definitive landing has still not happened, or rather that we get the fall, the landing, then another fall. The violent descent has been contained and normalised. It’s more a case of “So far, so bad … so far, so bad…” La Haine is an unmissable response to an unending emergency.

La Haine is in cinemas from 11 September.

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Judge Disney Princesses To Discover Your True Personality

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  • Quiz badge

  1. Which princess is the whiniest?

  2. Which princess has the worst sidekick?

  3. Which princess has the worst outfit?

  4. Which princess makes the worst decisions?

  5. Which princess seems the least fun to hang out with?

  6. Which princess has the worst hairstyle?

  7. And finally, which princess sings the worst songs?

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The Mandalorian Chapter 13 Fan Reactions

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This! Post! Is! Only! Spoilers! Beware!

So, Chapter 13 of The Baby Yoda Variety Hour (aka, The Mandalorian) dropped this morning, and y’all…it is giving us everything we could possibly want!

OH, HOLD UP, before we get too into this — I better throw one of these up. Please heed this very serious warning*:


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*No, seriously…this post is ONLY spoilers for Chapter 13 of The Mandalorian, so please click away until you’ve had a chance to watch it!

Everyone who doesn’t want to be spoiled gone now? Good. ANYWAY, Chapter 13 was a DOOSEY. We received some incredible cameos, and even got some new information about our beloved baby boy!

We finally got to see a live-action version of fan-favorite Jedi, Ashoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), and — predictably, given the character’s history — she kicked all sorts of ass.

We also received quite a bit of new information and teases through Ashoka, one stand out being that Grand Admiral Thrawn is still very much on her mind — and, as such, may be making an appearance on the show in the future.

But perhaps the biggest piece of new info we got (which also came directly from Ashoka) was the Child/the Asset/”Hey, Stop That!”/Baby Yoda’s true name: Grogu. His name is Grogu.


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It sounds like a Neopet, and I’m here for it all day.

As I’m sure you could’ve guessed, fans positively LOST. THEIR. COLLECTIVE. MINDS. OVER. THIS. EPISODE.

Fans have been waiting (im)patiently for a live-action interpretation of Ashoka for so long, it was truly a rewarding experience to behold.

She! Even! Dual! Wielded!

Plus, the high-energy and overall ~mysterious vibe~ of the entire episode felt like a true return to form for Star Wars.

And so many new things were teased, we’re all going to need to take some time off of work before the next chapter to process everything.

I’m sure our bosses will understand.

ALSO, GROGU?! BABY YODA (who, yes, was never actually a baby version of Yoda…but, come on, it was still a pretty fun name to use to annoy those fans) IS ACTUALLY NAMED “GROGU?!”

IT’S ALMOST TOO MUCH TO HANDLE, TBH.

So, uh, yeah. There you have it. Chapter 13 of The Mandalorian is certainly the wildest episode yet, and is now streaming on Disney+!

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Black Beauty review – gender-swapped classic makes Beauty a ‘mare | Film

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The children’s classic Black Beauty gets another screen adaptation, this time from Disney: a modern-ish take in which the young human heroine is seen writing stuff in her school exercise book about climate change and horses are shown as therapy for disabled young people. But it’s a sonorously well-meaning film that bathes everything in the bland, buttery sunlight that Disney always produces and in which the human performances are as opaque as the ones given by the horses

Jo (Mackenzie Foy) is a teenage girl whose parents have been killed in a car wreck and she’s sent to live on the farm owned by her rough-hewn, honest uncle, the resonantly named John Manly (Iain Glen). John breaks and trains horses, and one of these is a magnificently proud mustang, which lonely Jo names Black Beauty (Black Beauty’s cutesy-wise narrative voiceover is performed by Kate Winslet in a twangy American accent, this being an American horse.) Only Jo can tame this horse, and only this horse can heal Jo’s grieving heart.

The big change in this new version is that Black Beauty is now a mare, and the gender-switch perhaps changes the emotional dynamic, especially in the scene where – how to put this? – Jo ecstatically barebacks with Black Beauty for the first time. From there, the story becomes episodic as Jo and Black Beauty are parted and the horse has lots of different owners, some good, some mean, but proud Beauty always mutely keeps her spirits up, and Jo always dreams that some day she will find Black Beauty again. (The Call of the Wild and War Horse were both, in their ways, influenced by this story.)

Fundamentally there’s something pretty uninspired and corporate about the way this film is presented, more like motion-capture than real humans and horses.

• Black Beauty is released on 27 November on Disney+.


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