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UK, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Dominic Anciano, Ray Burdis

Jude (Jude Law) is dead. Eleven of his closest friends gather at the wake to reminisce, grieve and comfort his distraught widow, Sadie (Sadie Frost). Sadie has a secret to reveal: prior to his death, Jude had been working on a video. Forced to sit back and watch, bemusement quickly gives way to outrage and anger as Jude's video reveals the group too intimately and far too honestly. What begins as a fond farewell erupts into violence, recriminations and shattered lives. But the biggest revelation is yel to come: little by little, the truth comes out about the circumstances of Jude's death, his own part in it, and the role played by his friends.

Co-directors Dominic Anciano and Ray Burdis have taken the friends-galhering-post-funeral film genre-typified in the 1980s by The Big Chill (1983)—and inverted its crisp white exterior to reveal an uglier, far more honest, side of human deception and greed. Sardonic, dry and biting, Anciano and Burdis cleverly exploit the potential of their cast to deliver characters readily stripped of pretension and dignity.

Filmed partially on video, the result is a wildly outrageous, extremely proiane and funny film, where the actors use their own names and play fictionalised versions ol their real personalities. Guaranteed to offend some and inlrigue others, Final Cut is an ambitious and entertaining low budget film featuring some of the cream of young British acting talent.

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