BFI Flare 2020: A Dog Barking at the Moon review

★★★★☆ The seismic psychological ripples of China’s one-child policy –  so recently and wonderfully explored in Wang Xiaoshuai’s So Long, My Son – are keenly felt in this curiously titled and boldly played family drama. At the heart of this domestic narrative is a fractious, decade-spanning relationship between a mother and Continue Reading

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Game Review: The Complex

★★★☆☆ Fans of text adventures and the sadly defunct Telltale Games series can get their latest fill of branching narratives and choosing their own storyline courtesy of the new interactive sci-fi film, The Complex. “Here is a brand new idea in fiction – a story which ends in any one Continue Reading

Film Review: Vivarium

★★★★☆ It’s easy to think that our lives have become bottle episodes in recent weeks: single location stories cut off from the grand narrative of our ordinary lives and the usual onrush of world events, culture and sport included. Current uncertainty makes this hiatus feel like it’s stretching out to Continue Reading

Film Review: System Crasher

★★★★☆ System Crasher is the outstanding feature film debut of German director Nora Fingscheidt. A tremendous slice of life filled with light and energy, which doesn’t shy away from the tough realities of what social care is like for children with severe developmental issues. Benni (Helena Zengel) is a foul-mouthed, rebellious Continue Reading

Film Review: The Truth

★★★☆☆ Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve) is an ageing star of French cinema. Her self-aggrandising memoirs have just been published and her screenwriter daughter Lumir (Juliette Binoche), along with her husband Hank (Ethan Hawke), return to Paris with their daughter to celebrate the occasion. One immediate consequence is the resignation of Fabienne’s Continue Reading

Film Review: Radioactive

★★☆☆☆ On paper the story of Marie Curie, a pioneering woman of science, seems like prime awards bait: with a big central role for Rosamund Pike, playing an eccentric proto-feminist. Sadly, Radioactive is as lifeless and inert as a rock, badly let down by a dismal script, and carrying all Continue Reading