The Living End

From the directors of Suture comes a new film noir that's more deep than dead

Fans of the outrageously bold Suture may be disappointed at the essentially conservative style of The Deep End. (Those who considered Suture's "trick" story to be nothing but an attention-getting gimmick will doubtless be relieved.) But Suture, while a wonderfully entertaining and provocative film, was almost an end more dead than deep.

With this new film, McGehee and Siegel have made an engrossing, often enlightening character study -- which most great noir films are, under the surface. And they've done something else of value: They've shown that it's possible, in the 21st Century, to make a film noir that isn't (in the usual sense) "neo-noir." That is, there is no whiff of "retro" about the project, no homages or self-conscious harking back to a beloved set of conventions and stylistic touches. In that, they have been more faithful to the spirit of the original noir directors: They've simply approached the story on its own terms, letting that determine the style.

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