Film reviews and more

Day: 2 September 2014

Venice 2014: ‘Senza Nessuna Pietà’ review

★★☆☆☆ Screening in the Orizzonti sidebar of the Venice Film Festival, Michele Alhaique’s gangland romance Senza Nessuna Pietà (2014) is a slickly made yet brutally clichéd piece of implausible and ultimately inconsequential nonsense. Mimmo (Pierfrancesco Favino) is a construction worker who sidelines for his criminal uncle collecting debts and roughing people up. A burly giant of a man, he […]

Venice 2014: ‘Fires on the Plain’ review

★★★★☆ A tubercular nightmare vision of war in all its bloody ferocity, Tetsuo (1989) director Shin’ya Tsukamoto’s Fires on the Plain (2014) stormed into competition at Venice with a loud and frankly mad rush to seize its objective, regardless of the cost. Shot through with the same élan that saw steam punk body horror Tetsuo grind itself a cult […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Stolen Kisses’ & ‘Bed & Board’

★★★★★ If The 400 Blows (1959) constituted the songs of innocence for Antoine Doinel, then Stolen Kisses (1968) and Bed & Board (1970) make up his songs of experience. Made in relatively quick succession almost a decade after director François Truffaut’s iconic debut, they found Jean-Pierre Leaud’s hero mired in the negotiations of adulthood. The key to understanding Doinel’s […]

DVD Review: ‘Next Goal Wins’

★★★★☆ With a title like Next Goal Wins (2014), you’d be forgiven for thinking that British filmmakers Mike Brett and Steve Jamison’s debut documentary is all about the beautiful game – but you’d be wrong. At the centre of the story are the players who belong to the worst football team in the world, American Samoa, who in 2001 […]

DVD Review: ‘Mr. Morgan’s Last Love’

★★★☆☆ In Sandra Nettelbeck’s wistful romance Mr. Morgan’s Last Love (2013) Michael Caine plays Matthew Morgan, a retired American professor living in Paris several years on from the death of his wife (Jane Alexander). A lonely grief-stricken man, Matthew wanders the city, eating his usual fussily ordered sandwich, visiting his wife’s grave and occasionally lunching with Colette (Anne Alvaro) […]