In Woody Allen’s 2005 movie Match Point, Londoners saw the London Eye, Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament—their city as tourist metonym. Those who attended the glitzy premiere of David Cronenberg’s latest movie, Eastern Promises, which opened the London film festival, were confronted by a very different city: dank alleyways, a fetid bit of the Thames, a nondescript hospital and service entrances instead of front doors—monumental urbanism.
It’s tempting to see the former as fake and the latter as real, but as you watch Cronenberg’s vision unfold, you realise that Eastern Promises is not a response to Woody Allen’s…
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