Cinema: Rheum at the Top

The Guest. Into a junk-filled room atop an otherwise empty house in West London totters an old derelict named Davies. Clothes flap on his bony frame like weather-beaten posters on a board fence. A bristling compendium of social evils, he is dirty, mephitic, bigoted, violent, treacherous. "I been left for dead more than once," he rasps. For 15 years he has been trying to make a trip down to Sidcup "to get my papers. They prove who I am, I can't move without them papers."

While waiting for a break in the weather, as he puts it, Davies—played with uncluttered perception by...

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