James Sallis, ‘Drive’

First published on Spike Magazine (21st December 2011) //

If Camus had been at all interested in the crime or noir genre, then you could imagine he might produce something vaguely comparable to James Sallis’ novel, Drive. Trotting in at a similar duration to Camus’ classic, The Fall, Sallis also plays with the unfolding napkin of time in this narrative, in what he might be hinting is the only time-signature we’ve come to understand, that of film; intercuts and reversals, flashbacks and action sequences. Cinematic, in a word, which seems understandable that it was made into “a major motion picture”, as my copy reminds (yes, I’m five years too late). But that word ‘cinematic’ wouldn’t really give enough of what is due when considering Sallis’ steady metronomic delivery. He is far less erratic than a camera-toting Hollywood director, or his subsequent intercut-loving editor.

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Blue Valentine (2010) Review

First published on Snipe for London Film Festival 2010 //

If you’ve happened upon any of the interviews with director and co-writer Derek Cianfrance talking about his 12-year project, Blue Valentine, you’ll notice there’s a through-line to all of them. As wearied as his two main characters become of each other, Cianfrance, in his routine exchanges with the press, generally refers to his film as a ‘duet’. Probably because that’s the perfect way to describe it.

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