Here’s my review of “White Material” and “Le Cercle Rouge,” out on Tuesday in deluxe Blu-ray presentations from the Criterion Collection. This review originally appeared on KTKA-49.
A white woman refuses to give up her coffee plantation during a civil war in an unnamed African country in “White Material,” an unforgettable new movie out on Blu-ray and DVD this Tuesday.
Told mostly from her point of view, it’s a disturbing perspective to have, especially in light of the uprisings happening all over the world right now. French actress Isabelle Huppert is absolutely unwavering, and it’s fascinating to watch her refuse to see things as they are as her world crumbles around her.
Director Claire Denis is known for her vivid snapshots of contemporary culture and “White Material” is shot with an immediacy that’s hard to ignore.
Also out from Criterion is a re-issue of Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1970 classic “Le Cercle Rouge,” which translates to “The Red Circle.”
A thief, an alcoholic ex-cop, and an escaped convict make up the circle—three outsiders who band together for a jewel heist. Melville views it all at a distance and with a slow kind of precision that is missing from modern movies. There’s no flash here, just criminal behavior observed with an eye for detail.