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CHRISTINE (1987)

RARE short film from director Alan Clarke (MADE IN BRITIAN). "Drug abuse is the subject of CHRISTINE, but once again neither the characters nor the approach would be too familiar to viewers. Christine (Vicky Murdock) is a pasty-faced teen in a windbreaker and ill-fitting striped shirt who walks endlessly from one peer-aged client to another during the deserted daytime of the suburbs. Needless to say, from the first shot, Clarke is on the trail: steadicam shots of Christine walking take up the majority of screen time, with the journeys culminating in affectless shoot-ups in empty homes. Some seem to be her friends; they conduct small talk about a party. A caring young woman but for her destructive habit, she repeatedly quizzes a friend whose parents are fighting as to her well-being and housing options. Nothing happens, much less anything glamorous (no close-ups of shooting up), and the movie ends just as vacuously: the camera rests on Christine’s face as she watches a cartoon of Paddington Bear wind to its insipid close. No one has gotten hurt that we can see, but then again the pattern of behaviour and environment looks to repeat until someone does, a willed wasteland."

picture: 7/10

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