The Square

"The Square" is a tense Aussie noir exercise that delivers

For those of you who have not yet been down to the Sunshine or up to the AMC Empire to see “The Square,” go.  While I am usually wary of movies claiming to be modern day exercises in film noir this Aussie entry gets it.  First time writer/director Nash Edgerton pulls the rug out from under us, and then the floor.  Edgerton (a movie stunt man) knows when and how to ratchet up the tension, throw in a few well-placed “red herrings” and then hit us with the real thing.

Anyone who has seen “The Postman Always Rings Twice” or “Double Indemnity” knows the set-up: A wife and her lover want to put something over on her boorish clod of a husband.  In the latter and former they want to kill the husband.  Here they just want to take his large, hidden stash of no doubt illegally obtained money.  They don’t want to kill anyone but a cell phone losing power and a few wrong conclusions later all Hell breaks loose as fate intervenes, as it always does in film noir.  “The Square” is a tense “nail biter” where even the most innocuous conversations take on incredible tension.  The film is a cross between “Indemnity,” “Postman,” “Blood Simple,” “A Simple Plan” and “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.”  Edgerton knows their rules well and bends them into a story that is original, suspenseful and terrifying.

“The Square” is preceded by “Spider” a diabolical, funny short film, also made by Edgerton.

The Square, Director Nash Edgerton, 2008,

Apparition, 105 minutes


About unpaidfilmcritic

Up until 2009 Seth Shire spent nearly two decades in the New York film industry as a post production supervisor of feature films. Highlights include working on the films of Martin Scorsese, James Toback and Spike Lee. Since leaving the film industry Seth has expanded into new and varied areas where he has found a great deal of satisfaction. Seth currently teaches in the Sociology Department of CUNY Queens College. His courses include "Mass Media and Popular Culture," "Introduction to Sociology," and "Sociology of Cinema" where he is a very popular teacher. Seth is also the film critic for "Town & Village," a Manhattan weekly newspaper, a position he has held for the past six years. Seth gives back to his community through volunteer teaching at Manhattan's "The Caring Community," a center for senior citizens, where he teaches a very popular course on documentaries called "The Golden Age of the Documentary. In the fall of 2010 Seth taught "Critical Reading and Writing" at Parsons School of Design. He has also taught "Cinema Studies" at the New York Film Academy. Seth lives in Stuyvesant Town, in Manhattan.

Posted on April 12, 2010, in Film Noir, New. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Seth,

    This is really great stuff here, NYT, here we come!

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