O’Byrne has been called Salford’s Scorcese, but if anything he has more in common with Martin McDonagh – both writers share a skill for combining dark wit and ugly violence with a certain… not post-modernism, exactly, but... knowingness.
...the mercurial, malicious femme fatale, fresh over from Belfast, and intimately familiar with Sean's dark history, is named Cassandra, after the Cassandra of Greek mythology, who foresaw the fall of Troy; a name meaning “deceiver and entangler of men”. Nobody with that name is ever going to embody anything good.
But this is a very, very contained and controlled piece, all of it taking place within the increasingly claustrophobic confines of the eponymous Deli, as the Noir themes gradually unfold, then peel back to reveal a tragic final irony worthy of the ancient Greeks.
Steve Balshaw is a film programmer, curator and events manager. He is currently film programmer for GrimmFest and co-ordinator of the thrice-yearly Filmonik Kabaret, and former programme manager of Salford Film Festival, and the Manchester KINO Film Festival.