Film reviews and more

Month: May 2014

Interview: Alain Guiraudie, ‘Stranger by the Lake’

Since it first premièred at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake (L’inconnu du lac) has gone on to garner both audience and critical acclaim in its native France and further abroad. Appearing in the Un Certain Regard strand on the […]

DocHouse Presents: Pipeline review

★★★★☆ “50% of Russia’s budget comes from the oil and gas industry,” asserts the quote – attributed to Vladimir Putin – that opens Russian documentary Pipeline (2013). Director Vitaly Mansky traces the path of the cash cow that is the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgirid pipeline, glimpsing the lives […]

Film Review: ‘Miss and the Doctors’

★★★☆☆ Like a sanitised French take on David Cronenberg’s superb gynaecologist drama Dead Ringers (1988) but with all the psychosexual undertones stripped away, Miss and the Doctors (2013) isn’t afraid to keep its story small. Its sibling doctors – though not twins this time around […]

Film Review: ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’

★★★☆☆ With A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014), Family Guy and Ted creator Seth MacFarlane gives us Blazing Saddles for Generation Y, a half-parody, half-skew-eyed western complete with all the trimmings of the director’s trademark digressions, pop culture references and flatulence humour. […]

Film Review: ‘For No Good Reason’

★★★☆☆ We head to bat country this week for Charlie Paul’s new documentary For No Good Reason (2012), detailing the life and work of Ralph Steadman – the illustrator and cartoonist best known for his work with Hunter S. Thompson on the novel Fear and […]

Film Review: ‘Edge of Tomorrow’

★★★☆☆ Alien invasions have long been the scourge of the cinematic planet Earth and those pesky tentacled critters are up to their old tricks again in Doug Liman’s entertaining time-hopping sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow (2014). Based on Japanese writer Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s slender novel All You Need […]

Film Review: ‘Battle Company: Korengal’

★★★☆☆ When is too much enough and not enough moreish is the question one takes away from Sebastian Junger’s sequel to his award winning and epoch busting 2010 documentary Restrepo, which he co-directed with recently deceased photographer Tim Hetherington. Battle Company: Korengal (2014) again focuses […]

Film Review: ‘Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys’

★★★☆☆ Having premièred at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, Jessica Oreck’s Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys (2013) reaches UK cinemas this week on limited release. It’s a meditative study on the lives and rituals of reindeer herders in Lapland – a delicate, deeply evocative […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Sullivan’s Travels’

★★★★★ Of all the screwball masters, Preston Sturges was the one who came the closest to identifying himself as an artist. Howard Hawks, Leo McCarey et al were geniuses of the medium, but they invariably saw themselves as journeymen who made pictures for the masses […]

DVD Review: ‘Stranger by the Lake’

★★★☆☆ A calmer, more inquisitive psychodrama from French filmmaker Alain Guiraudie, Stranger by the Lake (2013) – which premièred in the Un Certain Regard section of last year’s Cannes and went on to bag the coveted Best Director and Queer Palm gongs – is a […]

DVD Review: ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

★★★★★ The Coen brothers are in fine form with Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), a brilliant portrait of a struggling folk singer (Oscar Isaac). It’s 1961 and Llewyn is trying to make a go of it as a solo artist after the death of his musical […]

DVD Review: ‘Bleak Night’

★★★★☆ In 2010, writer and director Yoon Sung-hyun caught the attention of both critics and international film festival audiences alike with his debut film Bleak Night, an impressive character study made on a micro budget as a graduation film from the Korean Academy of Film […]