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Ordeal cinema

By Tom Chatfield  

I haven’t yet steeled myself to watch 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days—Cristian Mungiu’s film about the experiences of a couple seeking an illegal abortion in Ceausescu’s Romania—but, reading Peter Bradshaw’s admiring review of it for the Guardian, found one phrase in particular stuck in my mind:

…it is part of that emerging 21st-century phenomenon, ordeal cinema: a cinema that with great formal technique makes you live through a horrendous experience…

This is because I recently went with my wife to see a very different film: I am Legend, a blockbusting remake of The Omega Man (1971) and The…

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