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49Th parallel

The Testament Of Dr Mabuse

Eleven years after his original expressionist classic, Dr Mabuse The Gambler, this 1933 sequel from Fritz Lang, banned by the Nazis for its political undertones (Mabuse/Hitler parallels), follows the titular crime lord's activities from beyond the grave, and features the original Lynchian'creepy velvet curtain' scene, plus one of cinema's first breakneck POV car chases.

The Weight Of Water

That a Kathryn Bigelow movie starring Sean Penn and Liz Hurley's gone straight to video tells you much: it's a muddled attempt to carry two parallel stories, one ancient (with Sarah Polley), one modern (where Penn recites bad poetry while Hurley rubs ice cubes over her nipples). Confused, pompous.

Pillows & Prayers – Cherry Red

Shoehorned onto this page because there's now a parallel DVD, which means this compilation of Volumes 1 and 2 (Cherry Red 1982-84) counts as a soundtrack, okay? The label's reissue of its golden age revels in the courage to be slightly twee. It's the sound of Englishness, only without the mindless violence. Art-rockers like Monochrome Set and Fantastic Something stand up well, having first politely checked that nobody minds if they do. Morgan Fisher's version of "Un Homme Et Une Femme" shrugs coolly, while Felt's "Penelope Tree" carries a torch for Television.
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