Film reviews and more

Day: 29 June 2015

DVD Review: ‘Story of My Death’

★★★★☆ The libertine rationalism of pre-revolutionary France is fed to the lions in Albert Serra’s strange and transfixing Story of My Death (2013). A low-lit union of bloody thighs and throats, it plucks two infamous seducers from the annals of […]

DVD Review: ‘Jupiter Ascending’

★★★★☆ Both of the following are true: Jupiter Ascending (2015) is a giddy, sweeping adventure filled with interesting characters and stunning visuals; Jupiter Ascending is a frustrating experience, filled with dead ends, vanishing subplots and too much exposition. Perhaps, coming […]

DVD Review: ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell’

★★★★☆ These days there is such a rich offering of TV dramas that it can be hard to know what to watch and what not to. It can be difficult for new dramas to grab our attention, especially in world […]

DVD Review: ‘It Follows’

★★★★☆ Boiling terror down to essentials can be a winning formula for horror films: the phone call in Scream (1996), or the video tape in The Ring (1998). Perhaps, the best example is John Carpenter’s 1982 remake The Thing, with […]

Interview: Ruben Östlund, ‘Force Majeure’

“Have you cried as an adult?” My question to Ruben Östlund, the director of ice-cold Swedish black comedy Force Majeure (2014), is not as impertinent as it might appear. It’s a reference to a scene of his film in which […]

DVD Review: ‘Force Majeure’

★★★☆☆ What could have easily been a glib provocation turns out to be rigorous examination of masculinity in crisis in the hands of Swedish director Ruben Östlund. Force Majeure (2014) tests the limits (or troughs) of masculinity in the post-liberal […]

DVD Review: ‘Beyond the Lights’

★★★★☆ Tales of impossible love and the trappings of fame and fortune have long been staples of Hollywood cinema. However, to accuse Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights (2014), a romantic melodrama about the human price of stardom, of being derivative […]

Interview: Desiree Akhaven, ‘Appropriate Behaviour’

“I love Curb Your Enthusiasm. I want to feel just as entitled as any rich, middle aged white man; that’s how entitled I want my protagonist to be.” Desiree Akhaven does not consider herself to be a political filmmaker. In […]

DVD Review: ‘Appropriate Behaviour’

★★★★☆ Joining the latest throng of female filmmakers baring their souls – and bettering their mainstream equivalents – through homegrown autobiographical independent films is the talented Desiree Akhavan, whose debut feature Appropriate Behaviour (2014) is something of a doyenne in […]