Using Bazin as our critical compass we put a contemporary acclaimed film under scrutiny and speculate what the influential critic would make of the film and by extension of contemporary film culture. Lynne Ramsay (We Need To Talk About Kevin, Ratcatcher) made a long-awaited return with this brilliantly executed minimalist noir starring Joaquin Phoenix as a gun-for-hire who specialises in saving victims from child sex rings.
Joe (Phoenix, who won the Best Actor prize in Cannes for his brilliant performance) is a Gulf War veteran turned assassin for hire who rescues young girls who have been kidnapped into the sex trade. When Nina (Ekaterina Samsonov), a senator's daughter, is taken, he's contacted to take care of it - but Joe's escape plan suddenly derails, unleashing a maelstrom of violence… An intense journey into a heart of darkness with a tremendous electronic score by Jonny Greenwood, that is a meticulous meditation on repression and abuse that will haunt you long after the credits roll.
Introduced by Mark Cosgrove, Watershed Cinema Curator