peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2023 11 06 ThePigeonTunnel

The Pigeon Tunnel (2023)

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Another Apple Original. Errol Morris interviewed David Cornwell aka John le Carré not too long before the latter's death. The title is a motif from childhood and shared with Cornwell's autobiographical book of 2016. Most of it is about his relationship with his shyster father which I felt could've involved more incidents and less psychologising. (Yes, my expectations are off base and that is probably why I haven't read too many spy novels.) Cornwell presents a simplistic nation-above-all morality that lacks any political analysis; to him it seems it was always about individuals playing in teams whose membership is fixed by birth, excepting the traitors who are into betrayal for the kicks or the lolz. It falls a long way short of Morris's best (consider The Fog of War) where he peels back a few layers to the benefit of all. Overall I didn't get much from it.

Jeannette Catsoulis made it a critic's pick. Richard Brody. The bulk of it does not live up to that playful beginning. The various movie clips and reenactments detract from the interview. The motif: "think Sisyphus but with bullets". Peter Bradshaw: "Perhaps there is nothing very new in this film, but it's a very civilised experience." He points to where you can find the dirt. And of course Morris is a mate of Herzog's.