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ALBINO ALLIGATOR

USA, 1996 (MIFF 1997, International)

Director: Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey's (Usual Suspects, Seven) shatter­ing directorial debut. Albino Alligator takes the familiar frame of a heist gone wrong/hostage drama and hangs upon it astonishing perfor­mances from the entire cast, innumerable plot twists and a dazzling visual style. In the grand tradition of Dog Day Afternoon and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Dova (Matt Dillon), Milo (Gary Sinise) and Law (William Fichtner) bungle a burglary, coincidentally interrupt a Federal stake-out on an arms dealer and wreck their car in the getaway. Stumbling into 'Dino's Last Chance Bar', the trio are soon surrounded - psy­chologically by the barflies inside and physically by the cops outside.

Surface detail is all that links Albino Alligator to other films of this ilk. Spacey's approach is to lead the viewer into familiar situations and then tug the rug. It is refreshing to note that although there are a handful of moments where tempers flare and violence erupts, it's not until the film is over that you realise that none of it is ever shown on-camera.

Michael Brooks pulsating score, a stellar cast fleshed out by Fay Dunaway, Joe Mantegna and M. Emmet Walsh and a truly gob-smacking cli­max mark this as one of the year's most grip­ping, suspenseful and accomplished films. What are you willing to sacrifice in order to survive?

See also...

MOON

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2009
The directorial debut of Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie), this claustrophobic sci-fi feature stars Sam Rockwell and the voice of Kevin Spacey. ... Heralding a fresh renaissance in indie sci-fi flic… More »

LOOKING FOR RICHARD

USA, 1996
... ... A master class in Shakespeare, Al Pacino's Looking For Richard is simultaneously a telling of the classic drama. Richard III. and an exploration of the artistic and practical battles to under… More »

ORDINARY DECENT CRIMINAL

Ireland/USA/UK/Germany, 1999
The escapades of notorious Irish criminal and folk hero, Martin Cahill, have spawned three films in as many years. John Boorman's excellent The General, followed by Vicious Circle and now Thaddeus O'… More »

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