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Movie Monday!

Spivs is highly recommended for people who enjoy action films that tackle topical and  socially unacceptable issues in direct ways.   It has some subtle humour and emotional swings built in,    This is not a film that drives smiles.   It does capture, and move, your emotions with subtle and powerful effect. The online reviews I found  were more  harsh than my experience, they may more adequately reflect your experience.   Here’s the BBC review.

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ratings explained


A  London based film, Spiv  has the mood of a classic London based Gangster, or wide-boy,    films such as ‘The long good friday‘,  Layer Cake,   Lock Stock and two smoking barrels.    It tackles fundamental, international,  human rights issues.   There is a reasonable review posted on “Eye for film’.   The review doesn’t adequately acknowledge  the disturbing topic matter of the film: humans, children as a commodity for trade in Western capitalistic culture.   Life and sex as something that has monetary, tradeable value.  

Beautiful lighting and attention to photographic details.   For example,   during the opening credits we see the Spiv dressing.   Smart 3-piece suit, classic style  with  the last button of the waistcoat undone.   Inbetween the calm attention of his dressing we see and hear loud scenes from racecourse.  We swiftly move to the  spinning a yarn.    We watch the Spiv talk in one screen frame while simultaneously viewing the story he is recounting  in an  inset.   This technique of multiple frames is used sparingly,   to good effect.   The ending is clever and leaves enough to feed your imagination.   It’s more of a turning  point in a story than a ‘wrap up all major themes’  ending.

For Anglophiles there are some excellent scenes of  London,   Docklands,   Victorian red-brick terraced streets, slummy high-rise flats, gray skies, the London underground.    Jack Dee plays a significant bit part as a builder called ‘Nige’ with impressively powerful perception and subtlety.   Summary?   This is half way between a well constructed art film and a socially conscious film.   It doesn’t hit the heights of either,   it does meld the experiences well.   It is worth watching if either genre moves you.

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