Film reviews and more

IFFR 2015: Stinking Heaven review

★★★★☆ Writer and director Nathan Silver again seeks to explore the dynamics of communal living just as he did in Exit Elena (2012) to Uncertain Terms (2014). In the latter film, pregnant teens take refuge in […]

Film Review: ‘Trash’

★★★★☆ Stephen Daldry‘s latest feature film, set among the garbage heaps of Rio de Janeiro, belongs to its youthful, non-professional cast. Trash (2014) opens with Jose Angelo (Wagner Moura) hurriedly packing. As he attempts to flee […]

Film Review: ‘Tales of the Grim Sleeper’

★★★★☆ The opening moments of Nick Broomfield’s Oscar long-listed documentary, Tales of the Grim Sleeper (2014), call to mind the narrative inspiration for recent podcast, Serial. Pitching up in South Central L.A. in search of the […]

Film Review: ‘Son of a Gun’

★★☆☆☆ Julius Avery’s debut feature Son of a Gun (2014) starts promisingly in a maximum security prison where young JR (rising star Brenton Thwaites) has been sentenced to six months for some petty offence or another. […]

Film Review: ‘Pelo Malo’

★★★☆☆ Winner of multiple awards on the 2013 festival circuit including the Golden Seashell in San Sebastian, Mariana Rondón’s Pelo Malo (2013) distorts your typical coming-of-ager about gender confusion into a well-observed Polaroid snapshot of contemporary […]

Film Review: ‘I Am Yours’

★★★☆☆ Expectations and desires are not coming together very easily in Iram Haq’s feature-length debut film, I Am Yours (2013). It is Haq’s second outing as director and writer but continues on themes she has already […]

Film Review: ‘Big Hero 6’

★★★☆☆ Comic book adaptations are fast becoming a staple element in the diet of blockbuster cinemagoers and, despite already owning Marvel, Disney have now decided to get in on the action themselves. Their first foray into […]

Film Review: Au Revoir Les Enfants

  ★★★★★ William Faulkner once made the sage point that “the past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Louis Malle’s Golden Lion winner Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) is a Second World War-set film very much […]

DVD Review: ‘Wish I Was Here’

★★★☆☆ Zach Braff’s second feature, Wish I Was Here (2014), was famously – or perhaps infamously – financed partially through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. Braff’s reasoning for this was to spare his project from the compromises […]

DVD Review: ‘What We Did on Our Holiday’

★★★★☆ The debut feature from BBC veterans Andy Hamilton and Guy Jerkin, What We Did on Our Holiday is one of 2014’s most big-hearted, surprising and thoroughly likable films. While in many ways essentially the big […]

Blu-ray Review: ‘Thief’

★★★★☆ Fuelled by a pulsing synth soundtrack by Tangerine Dream, and rife with colourful dialogue and Chicago locals, Michael Man’s masterful thriller Thief (1981) convincingly pursues its eponymous antihero to the desperate limits of his talent. […]

DVD Review: ‘Stage Fright’

★★★★☆ There’s an eerily effective collision of genres happening in Stage Fright (2014). Horror, comedy and musical are all at play and, under the masterful hand of writer and director Jerome Sable, make for deliciously gory […]