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Features Live Action Movies

Hard Miles

Director – R.J. Daniel Hanna – 2023 – US – Cert. 12a – 108m

****1/2

A youth facility social worker takes a group of troubled young men on a transformative team bicycle ride – out in UK and Ireland cinemas on Friday, May 31st

Day-to-day life is one thing after another for Colorado medium-security correction school staff member Greg Townsend (Matthew Modine). He is in court defending, failing to get the court to see one of his charges as a human being rather than someone who committed an offence. Leaving, he finds someone has stolen his bicycle (it later gets found by the police, having sustained only minor damage). He is fielding calls from his prison-incarcerated brother about their father, who is in a care home and may not have much longer to live, and with whom Greg has not had contact for years. He is at the school, pulling boys apart as they attack each other for the most trivial remark.

However, not everything is about work and family responsibility. Greg is a cycling enthusiast, and is looking forward to taking his booked holiday of a week or more off cycling 1 000 (well, 762) miles to the Grand Canyon.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

Winny
(Winny)

Director – Yusaku Matsumoto – 2023 – Japan – Cert. tbc – 127m

*****

Based on a true story; the state attempts to prosecute the software developer of the file sharing programme Winny for copyright violation – plays UK cinemas in the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2024 between Friday, 2nd February and Sunday, 31st March

2003. After programmer Isamu Kaneko (Masahiro Takashide) creates a file-sharing programme Winny, the media reports that people are using it to illegally download movies. Across Japan in late November, a series of police raids on flats leads to the arrests of several Winny users, along with its creator. In custody and being questioned, Kaneko is very bad at paying attention. Believing the cops have his and society’s best interests at heart, he cooperates by copying into his own handwriting a confession they have written and signing it, on the verbal understanding that he can change or tweak the document before it is used in court. The interrogating cop, however, has deceived him into making a statement that will stand as evidence in court.

Defence attorney Toshimitsu Dan (Takahiro Miura) agrees to take on Kaneko’s case and is horrified by the computer programmer’s naivety about all things legal.… Read the rest

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

La Syndicaliste
(lit. The Union Rep,
US: The Sitting Duck)

Director – Jean-Paul Salomé – 2022 – France – Cert. 15 – 121m

***1/2

After a smart and tough-talking woman union rep in the nuclear power industry is attacked, tied up and raped in her own home, the police suggest she may have staged the attack herself – out in UK cinemas on Friday, June 30th

Or, as its opening title states in the English subtitled print shown to press, La Syndicaliste Based On A True Story. That title comes after an opening in 2012 in which police are called to the home of Maureen Kearney (Isabelle Huppert) where her cleaning lady has freed her from a chair to which she was tied before being raped by an intruder. The forensic team are all over the premises, taking away evidence. At the police station, she requests a pad and pencil to write down the details of what happened. The police will later accuse Kearney of fabricating the whole incident herself.

The next half an hour or so is a flashback leading up to the incident. Immediately after the titles, it sets about establishing its heroine as a tireless campaigner for employee rights at French state-owner nuclear power company Areva, standing up for ruthlessly exploited workers in an Hungarian subsidiary and well in with Anne Lauvergeon (Marina Fois), the one female executive in an otherwise male boardroom who despite her reliability and excellent track record is being forced out, with as she later tells Maureen lots of dirty tricks used against her.… Read the rest