Nightbirds

1970

Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6 10 130

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
July 22, 2020 at 10:34 AM

Director

Cast

720p.BLU
715.36 MB
968*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 17 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lonchaney20 7 / 10

A surprisingly nuanced and sensitive film from Andy Milligan

I've long read that this is one of Andy Milligan's most uncharacteristic works, but I was nonetheless quite stunned by what I saw. The gritty drama (one of several films he made in Britain) follows the relationship between Dee (Julie Shaw) and Dink (Berwick Kaler), two London hippies living in squalor. The film's themes are consistent with Milligan's horror output, but the execution is on an entirely different level. While I love the campy misanthropy and handcrafted Grand Guignol excesses of his horror films, there's no denying that Milligan did not have a natural eye for composition. To put it bluntly he could also be quite sloppy, careless, and just plain artless in his capacities as a cinematographer. Here, however, the grittiness of Milligan's style (or perhaps anti-style would be more accurate) is especially suited to its subject matter. At the same time, his camera-work here is also far more disciplined than usual, with some surprisingly pleasing compositions and (dare I say it) some astonishing visual metaphors. The dialogue certainly has its share of mean-spirited stingers, but generally it's more restrained, naturalistic, and at times quite poetic. As a result this drama of seduction and psychological abuse proves to be quite poignant. Special mention must be made of the two lead actors, who play their parts quite convincingly. Shaw is particularly memorable as the sociopathic Dee; in one chilling moment, after she sends away Dink's only friend (a maternal figure called Mabel) with a series of venomous profanities, we see her mask her sadistic glee with a caring look as she goes back to nursing the injured Dink. Overall it's an impressive work across the board, and shows us a side of Milligan too rarely indulged in his films - perhaps one closer in spirit to his gritty theatrical work.

Reviewed by tomgillespie2002 5 / 10

Interesting, if plodding, drama from schlock favourite Andy Milligan

American director Andy Milligan is best known on the cult circuit for the numerous trashy exploitation movies he put out during the 1960s and 70s, namely the likes of Bloodthirsty Butchers (1970), The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here! (1972) and, most famously, the video nasty The Ghastly Ones (1968). His work isn't fondly remembered, and his horror pictures are perhaps only worthwhile for their unintentional comedic value. However, Milligan occasionally dabbled in art-house movies, and Nightbirds - made in Britain - is one of the most interesting, if plodding, things he's ever done. Thought lost for years, the combined efforts of Nicolas Winding Refn and the BFI have allowed the film to be pieced back together and re- released after decades in the wilderness.

On the grainy streets of late 60s London, a young homeless man named Dink (Berwick Kaler) is discovered puking his guts up by the striking Dee (Julie Shaw), who takes the hapless mummy's boy back to her decaying flat. While Dink is clearly socially inept and inexperienced with women thanks to years of mental abuse at the hands of his overbearing mother, he strikes up an intensely sexual relationship with Dee. The good times soon give way to jealousy however, as Dee disapproves of any woman Dink strikes up a conversation with, and Dink becoming increasingly frustrated at the frequent presence of Dee's creepy Irish neighbour. As they gradually attempt to control one another, the once blissful and sexually- charged relationship turns to cruelty and bitterness.

It barely saw the inside of a cinema screen during its release back in 1970, and its somewhat difficult to see how it will find an audience all these years later. It's a deliberately provocative piece, full of sexual imagery and foul language, but it's also incredibly slow- moving, even at a measly 74 minutes. While Kaler does well as the timid, neurotic Dink (who went on to have a successful career on British TV), Shaw struggles to emote much at all. Her character is manipulative and sexually dominant, and calls for a performance capable of handling such complexities, but Shaw barely manages to convincingly switch between happy and sad. Still, it's a nice change of pace from the usual free-loving and swinging 60s the movies usually inform us it was, and suggests that there was a little bit more to Milligan than the schlocky output he was best known for.

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