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Shadow Dancer

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Shadow Dancer - 27/8/2012 6:56:26 PM   
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belfast? - 27/8/2012 6:56:26 PM   


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Joined: 21/10/2005
good film,altho not shot(no pun) in belfast,as a belfast resident this was easy to spot,more like dublin

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RE: Shadow Dancer - 5/9/2012 5:45:36 PM   

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Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Belfast
Simply a very, very, well made film I thought.

The prospect of films concerning "The Troubles" usually fills me with dread, sometimes nausea, always apprehension. There's always the potential that they stir up more controversy, perhaps they show a revisionism that glorifies one political persuasion therefore inciting the demonised. Sometimes, it's just because a lot of them are crap, and when a detail goes wrong they're just bloody toe-curling.

So it's a better thing in this context that the film is made well, this is infinitely more important than if it's compelling which is a hard fact for most film makers to take and that's probably why day-job documentarians usually score the best results. So we have James Marsh working in tandem with, you have to assume, a legion of consultants. Consultants from all over the shop; historians of the recent, experts from the security forces, ex-paramilitaries, and of course, don't forget the humble interior decorators from the time. This film is also manfully served by a writer doing sparse believable dialogue, which is mercifully, mercifully bereft of any attempt to do ideology. This isn't a film about "why people do what they do" but an often-than-not elucidating instruction on how things worked between the shady worlds of counter-intelligence and the Provisionals in the early nineties. It's an interesting period of the history that hasn't really been covered before in cinema and Marsh's film, almost as a commendable side-effect, charts the creep toward a cease-fire, which here is due to to the failing infrastructure of the IRA. The film correctly doesn't suggest that the cessation was to do with over-arching feelings of conciliation.

Indeed everything is pragmatism here and although we are camera-intimate with the main character it is strictly obvious that we are not, and not meant to be, watching any sort of "rehabilitation". It's just "this is the kind of thing that went on, and this how these scenarios happened". Speaking of scenarios, I think that you can also identify each sequence of events depicted as being completely and absolutely typical of what occurred and recurred in the history. When put together into one story this can look like those di rigeur "twists and turns" which are the concessions to genre film-making. The familiarity of certain happenings could also appear as film cliches, like the prologue which describes the motive of the family's involvement in the Provos, or perhaps the denouement is something that one can see coming. But these are more truisms than cliches. I think a film that can so expertly propose to the audience that it's not meant to be a thriller can uphold that claim of truism rather than cliche. The fact so that so many of these documented scenarios occur in one piece of fiction could make Marsh's film appear too packaged, to some too convenient. But it's rather a one-stop seminar elucidating a small place in the world at a small and very particular point in time. The fact that it does this often with a lot of informed detail that you've never seen in movies of this subject matter can at times make this fictional account much more believable than filmed depictions of so-called true stories.

I haven't yet mentioned Andrea Riseborough's not just near-perfect accent, but perfect accent. Her performance is achingly expert. I found a lot of the actors decent but she was incredibly believable in every word, look and gesture.

Final word? Shadow Dancer may be a consultant's dream and as such is never going to be an emotional tour-de-force, superficially speaking you might have seen some of this before, but with its seamless gather of eye-opening events and high-end quality control it's probably one of the top depictions of our Norn Iron bunfight. I'm relieved once again.... until someone makes another one

< Message edited by demoncleaner -- 5/9/2012 5:59:56 PM >

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fifty dead men waking RIP OFF - 1/11/2012 2:09:42 PM   
bill the butcher


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i like jim sturgess and i like ben kingsley They were in a great thriller called 50 dead men walking it was like donne brasco only instead of going undercover in the mafia sturgess was undercover in th IRA .... now we have more or less the same drama here only instead of jim sturgess working for ben kingsley.. it is andrea riseborough working for clive owen

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Spoilers and Questions........ - 21/5/2013 9:13:15 AM   


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Joined: 3/11/2005
I thought this was a solid film which I also found pretty informative. I'm not usually a fan of Clive Owen but I thought he was good in this. I do have a couple of questions for anyone who has seen it.
- Did the mother give herself up to protect her daughter?
- What was the point in killing Clive Owen. Surely killing a senior police officer would only draw attention to the fact that they had now gone on the run?
- At the end were ther brother, sister and her son leaving the IRA for good and going on the run?
Any answers would be greatly appreciated.

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