Film reviews and more

Month: February 2015

Glasgow 2015: Ann Hui on new film ‘The Golden Era’

Ann Hui’s voice is an uncommon one in world cinema. Probably the most acclaimed of the Hong Kong New Wave directors, Hui began her career in the late 1970s in a film industry then dominated by kung fu movies. She […]

Glasgow 2015: ‘The Golden Era’ review

★★☆☆☆ Biographic films are always difficult beasts to tame. Filmmakers can often be torn between integrity and dramatic licence in bringing a real life to the big screen. Ann Hui’s The Golden Era (2014) is no different; a lavish, lengthy […]

Glasgow 2015: Dispatch #1

One of the most interesting things about picking out a viewing schedule at a film festival is the emergence of unexpected trends. Something that was easily apparent on the first two days of our trip to this year’s Glasgow Film […]

Glasgow 2015: ‘My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn’

★★★☆☆ Liv Corfixen’s My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (2014) starts from the unfortunate position of being wide open to comparison with another behind-the-scenes peek, Eleanor Coppola’s Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (1991). Where that film followed the […]

Glasgow 2015: ‘The Falling’ review

★★★★☆ Carol Morley’s follow-up to the lauded Dreams of a Life (2011) shares a thematic through line with its predecessor. That documentary investigated the story and circumstances of a young woman who was found dead and alone in a North […]

Film Review: ‘White God’

★★★★☆ It’s entirely fitting that Kornél Mundruczó begins his latest film with a dedication to the late Miklos Jancsó. Not only would the famed Hungarian auteur have had an enormous impact on his compatriot, but the latter’s White God (2014) […]

Film Review: ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’

★★★☆☆ As the sequel to a film that hinted at a follow-up in the first outing’s final scenes, John Madden’s The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) offers just as much joy, heart and chuckles as its hugely successful predecessor. […]

Film Review: ‘Hinterland’

★★★★☆ Harry Macqueen’s impressive directorial debut, Hinterland (2014), which he also scripts and stars in together with folk singer Lori Campbell follows two childhood friends who reconnect in their late twenties and go on a road trip to Cornwall. Lola […]

Film Review: ‘Focus’

★★☆☆☆ Heist movies are meant to be sexy and slick, where the underdog comes out on top thanks to their cunning and skill. Immediately we think of the sparkling smile of Robert Redford in 1973’s The Sting, the undeniable charm […]

Film Review: ‘A Dark Reflection’

★★☆☆☆ When it comes to passion projects and coherent filmmaking, there are sometimes odd disparities. There are pitfalls when a director or writer becomes so entrenched in the material that they fail to create a concise or cohesive work. For […]

DVD Review: ‘Serena’

★★☆☆☆ ‘Tis a pity: given the star power and promises of period drama, Serena (2014) fizzles onscreen very quickly. Through casting switch-ups and an extended production window, the hope of a solid product would naturally be quite high. Even with […]

DVD Review: ‘Pictures of the Old World’

★★★★★ “You should have come when I was in bloom,” says one of the people interviewed by Dušan Hanák in his beautiful and staggering documentary, Pictures of the Old World (1972). A series of stills by Slovak photographer Martin Martinček […]

DVD Review: ‘Fury’

★★★★☆ The second film of director David Ayer’s increasingly prolific career to be released this year following groggy Arnold Schwarzenegger shoot em’ up Sabotage (2014), Fury (2014) is an epic Second World War action drama that – like each of […]

DVD Review: ‘Effie Gray’

★★★☆☆ Euphemia ‘Effie’ Gray was just twelve years old when esteemed Victorian art critic and writer John Ruskin wrote a novel for her called The King of the Golden River. It was a fable and the fairy tale looked like […]

DVD Review: ‘Doc of the Dead’

★★★☆☆ There was a time when the zombie was considered the less illustrious horror stablemate to the sexier, more outwardly alluring vampire. The shift in popularity has risen significantly of late, and given the increasing prominence of the zombie mythos […]

Oscars 2015: ‘Birdman’ Best Picture, Best Director

Something of a surprise success story on the night given recent results, the two biggest accolades of the 87th Academy Awards were reserved for Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, the recipient of both Best Picture and Best Director Oscars […]