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AMERICAN PSYCHO

USA, 1999 (MIFF 2000, International Panorama)

Director: Mary Harron

Based on Bret Easton Ellis' controversial novel, American Psycho is a film that dares you to watch it. Taking place in New York City in 1987, this is the story of Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street player and status whore, who dedicates his time to a lifestyle of material gain. "I have all the characteristics of a human being," he warns us in voice-over narration, "but not a single clear identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust". His contempt for society takes on a murderous form, as the bodies pile up beside his designer sheets. Christian Bale, in a star-making turn as Bateman, is a Calvin Klein poster-boy with a nail gun behind his back and the velvet voice of Satan's DJ. Director Mary Harron has assembled a stellar cast, drawing strong performances from Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon, Chloe Sevigny and Samantha Mathis. Equally horrifying and hilarious. American Psycno is Fight Club's bastard first cousin, an assault on the senses that leaves you mesmerised.

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