36 & Pierrepoint

36 is a dark and typically morally-confusing French film with Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu, among others. It was quite thought-provoking: just how far do the ends justify the means and how does one distinguish the ‘good guys’ from the ‘bad guys’ when both sides are violent, ruthless and oddly loyal. But mostly I found myself thinking about how Daniel Auteuil does not age. He has looked exactly the same for 20 years, since Manon Des Sources. The same goes for Depardieu.

Perhaps, the classically good-looking age faster than those with charisma but irregular features – the asymmetrical depredations of time make less difference to a face which was never flawless to begin with? God, I hope so šŸ™‚

Pierrepoint follows the career of Britain’s most successful and famous – notorious? – executioner, Albert Pierrepoint. It unflinchingly shows both his initial pride in the speed of his hangings – he set an unbeaten record of 7 and a half seconds from the moment of walking into the cell on the stroke of 9am to the condemned prisoner’s death – and his insistence on the respect with which the corpses were then treated, through the factory-like efficiency of the Allied executions of dozens of Nazi War Criminals at the end of the war, to his growing unease with the usefulness of capital punishment as any kind of deterrent (he eventally said it was nothing but revenge) and his ultimate resignation from the list of executioners. Fascinating and understated central performance by Timothy Spall.

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2 Responses to 36 & Pierrepoint

  1. psychocandy says:

    I’ve never seen either of these, but they both sound intruiging. Netflix doesn’t have either, but I’ll check the couple of local video rental places we frequent. Do you know who directed “36”? I can’t find it listed anywhere!

    Are you a movie fanatic, too?

  2. truce says:

    I am a complete movie fanatic! The director of ’36’ is Olivier Marchal. I hope you manage to find it šŸ™‚

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