Film reviews and more

Month: November 2014

Dietrich Brüggemann, ‘Stations of the Cross’

Director Dietrich Brüggemann’s Stations of the Cross (2014) finally arrives on UK cinema screens this week after premiering in the competition strand of this year’s Berlinale where it won a Silver Bear for Best Screenplay. It certainly a formally audacious and impressive work […]

LPFF 2014: Programme preview

Palestinian cinema is relatively young in comparison to Arab cinema as a whole. This is for obvious reasons, but that hasn’t stopped a vibrancy developing over the last twenty years that has wowed both audiences and international film festivals. This […]

Film Review: ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

★★★★★ There are certain works that define the experience of what cinema is, and because of this they become difficult to create a discourse around. Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is such a film. The idea of […]

Film Review: ‘Stations of the Cross’

★★★★☆ Rigidity is both alpha and omega in Dietrich Brüggemann’s stark and startling new religious drama, Stations of the Cross (2014) which arrives in British cinemas this Friday on the back of much festival praise. With form echoing function it […]

Film Review: ‘Paddington’

★★★★☆ Originally conceived in 1958 by Michael Bond, Paddington Bear is given new life in Paul King’s quintessentially British family comedy. Packed to the rafters with a stellar cast that boasts Sally Hawkins and Ben Whishaw, Paddington (2014) is a […]

Film Review: ‘Horrible Bosses 2’

★★☆☆☆ Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis reunite for Horrible Bosses 2 (2014), a predictably bland and entirely unnecessary sequel to the 2011 comedy in which three mistreated employees conspired to murder their managers. While that film suceeded in […]

Film Review: ‘Concerning Violence’

★★★★☆ In answer to what he would do to follow 2011’s multi-layered collage The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, Göran Hugo Olsson has settled on the fight against Colonists in Africa by its indigenous people by again raiding the archives of […]

DVD Review: ‘You and the Night’

★★★☆☆ After causing a stir on the Croisette where it premiered last year in the Critic’s Week Sidebar You and the Night (2013) is the debut feature from Yann Gonzalez and it is as infuriating as it’s spectacular. With a […]

DVD Review: ‘White Reindeer’

★☆☆☆☆ Even as far back as 1843, when Charles Dickens penned his illustrious novella A Christmas Carol, the materialism of Christmas was already apparent. Dickens wrote “Christmas is a poor excuse every 25 December to pick a man’s pocket” and […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Thief of Bagdad’

★★★★☆ In the early 1920s, Douglas Fairbanks was transformed from comedy star into swash-buckling heartthrob via The Mark of Zorro (1920), The Three Musketeers (1921) and Robin Hood (1922). Arguably one of the high-notes amongst his sensational ripping yarns is […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Spirited Away’

★★★★★ There is a scene part of the way through Hayao Miyazaki’s exceptional Spirited Away (2001) in which the young girl, Chihiro (voiced by Rumi Hiiragi) helps to bathe an odorous spirit that frequents the bathhouse in which she is […]

DVD Review: ‘Mood Indigo’

★☆☆☆☆ After having his expressive wings clipped in exchange for genre formula with The Green Hornet (2011) and relinquishing his creative control to a group of Bronx school kids in his collaborative teen comedy The We and the I (2012), […]

DVD Review: ‘Ida’

★★★★☆ Making his return to filmmaking after his adaptation of Douglas Kennedy’s novel The Woman in the Fifth (2011), Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski’s latest, Ida (2013), is a spare and outstandingly minimalist drama very much in keeping with his cinematic […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Diary of a Lost Girl’

★★★★☆ A new restoration of G.W. Pabst’s 1929 masterpiece Diary of a Lost Girl, demonstrates the luminosity of his iconic star, Louise Brooks, in what was their final of two legendary collaborations, the other being Pandora’s Box in the same […]

DVD Review: ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

★★★★☆ Memories of Tim Burton’s woeful 2001 Planet of the Apes remake were thankfully replaced with far fonder recollections in 2011 following the release of Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. An earnest entry in the flagging […]

Film Review: ‘Winter Sleep’

★★★★★ A sprawling, almost empty hotel ensconced in the Anatolian steppes plays host to inhibited and isolated souls in Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s captivating, slow burner, Winter Sleep (2014). A deserved winner of this year’s Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film […]

Film Review: ‘My Old Lady’

★★☆☆☆ At the age of 75, and with over 70 plays under his belt, prolific theatre director Israel Horovitz makes his cinematic debut, adapting his 2002 stage play of the same name, My Old Lady (2014). Given Horovitz’s proven track […]

Film Review: ‘Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy’

★★☆☆☆ The internet use to be a place to hide, a refuge in which online gamers, chat room enthusiasts and message board trolls could cultivate a new identity. As the years have passed and the popularity of social media has […]