#FIN2018 reviews — The Guilty, Bad Reputation

That enormous wooshing sound you may have heard around 3:30 on Sunday afternoon was my exhalation of relief for having survived the Script Development Program Pitch Session. All my fellow workshop participants were terrific, and people say I did OK. It’s all a bit of a blur right now.

Then I went to see a couple films.

The Guilty

A Danish film that reminded me quite a bit of Steven Knight’s Locke, though in some ways director Gustav Möller has set himself an even more challenging dramatic scenario, because at least Knight could shoot something in motion, and Knight also had the immense charisma of Tom Hardy to work with. Möller’s film takes place entirely in two rooms, and 95 percent of the imagery is his lead’s face.

Jakob Cedergren is Asger, an emergency response operator, basically who you get when you reach Danish 911. He gets a call from a woman claiming to have been abducted by her ex-husband with a criminal record. Asger oversteps the boundaries of his job and starts investigating this couple’s past and children, and before long we understand his motivation to help is driven by the guilt he feels over an incident that happened when he was a patrol cop.

It’s suspenseful stuff, with extraordinarily fine sound work deftly creating the world in those phone calls. Props to Cedergren, who has to do a lot of heavy lifting with his face.

Bad Reputation

A solid, informative doc about Joan Jett, the rock legend who rose to fame in late 70s Los Angeles with The Runaways and fought, clawed, and hustled through the years to remain relevant, long after her 1980s MTV heyday. I had no idea she was such an activist, and had such an impact on the careers of other musicians. The key relationship in the film is between Jett and her manager, Kelly Laguna, and their decades-long friendship that’s survived multiple hardships, from selling records in the trunk of his 1976 Cadillac, to vindictive record labels, to changing trends in the industry. The breadth of testimonials is especially impressive, from Debbie Harry to Kristen Stewart to Miley Cyrus, as is how the doc, while feeling beyond comprehensive on Jett’s accomplishments, deftly avoids any discussion of her personal life or intimate relationships. Also, this week Jett turns 60, born in the same year as Prince, Kate Bush, and Madonna. Rock on.

About the author


Carsten Knox is a massive, cheese-eating nerd. In the day he works as a journalist in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At night he stares out at the rain-slick streets, watches movies, and writes about what he's seeing.