★★★☆☆ British director Peter Strickland returns to screens with his fifth feature, a typically bizarre black comedy. Strickland’s signature dish of fetishism, Argento-esque horror, and British idiosyncrasy is served piping hot, even though Flux Gourmet sadly lacks something of the bite of his previous work.
★★★★★ After debuting at Cannes last year, celebrated Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo’s In Front of Your Face arrives on UK screens. A typically minimalist outing, director Hong’s film is a devastating drama whose affect creeps up on the audience so quietly that it is barely noticeable until after the final blow has landed.
★★☆☆☆ With a title like Don’t Worry Darling the reviews really write themselves. “Worry, Darling” will no doubt be used in at least half of them. Booksmart director Olivia Wilde’s sophomore feature arrives in cinemas amidst a flurry of negative press and PR missteps which have little to do with the film.
★★★★☆ South Korean-born American director Kogonada’s After Yang is a moving, subtle and grounded work of science fiction that doesn’t necessarily get to the core of its myriad issues, but certainly hits the heart. How refreshing to see a version of the future not dictated by the grim pessimism that Black Mirror revels in.
The streaming landscape just isn’t the same as it used to be, with Disney+, Amazon Prime, and others vying for people’s attention and wallets with their own high-quality, exclusive content. As a result, Netflix’s own value for money has come under increased scrutiny as it has shifted away from curating externally-produced films and TV to an emphasis on its own content.
★★★★☆ On 10 January 2016, everything went wrong. It was reminiscent of the poem The Day Lady Died by Frank O’Hara: “everyone and I stopped breathing”. In the years following the death of David Bowie we’ve had Brexit, Donald Trump as President, a global pandemic killed millions of people and we are now on the brink of a third world war.
★★★★☆ Aspiring comic artist Robert (Daniel Zolghadri) has just graduated from high school with long-suffering friend Miles (Miles Emanuel). After witnessing the death of his esteemed, unconventional art teacher, Robert leaves home, gets a job and sets out to make his name as an artist in this idiosyncratic, unsettling and very funny coming-of-age story.
★★★★☆ Written by first-time screenwriters Darren and Jeff Allen Geare, The Retaliators is a rock ‘n’ roll ride into the freaky side of vengeance. Bridget Smith and Samuel Gonzalez Jr’s bloody thriller transgressively argues for violence as a rejuvenating force, a great problem-solver, and eye-for-an-eye revenge being a righteous act.
★★☆☆☆ Television director Tom George makes the leap to big screen features with quirky 1950s-set whodunnit See How They Run. Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell head a cast of international stars and British TV alumni, but sadly charismatic turns from the likeable leads rarely detract from a shallow archness to proceedings.
★★★☆☆ David Cronenberg first made Crimes of the Future in 1972. It was a disturbing account of a plague that killed all sexually mature women. It was transgressive, low-budget, and shocking. Now, with a reputation built over half-a-century of work, Cronenberg has returned to the scene of his Crimes with an A-list ensemble in tow.