Film reviews and more

Month: June 2015

Film Review: ‘Magician’

Advertisements ★★★☆☆ At the age of 25, Orson Welles produced, wrote, directed and starred in Citizen Kane (1941), a film widely considered to be one of the greatest ever made. In many ways, this proved to […]

Film Review: ‘The First Film’

Advertisements ★★★★☆ Gilbert Adair began the first chapter of Flickers (1995), his deeply personal and often eccentric odyssey into the history of the movies – written to mark the centenary of the Lumière brothers’ public exhibition […]

Film Review: ‘Comet’

Advertisements ★★☆☆☆ “A dream of memories; conversations that we’ve had…they weaved in and out of each other like those M.C. Escher drawings.” This is how insufferable protagonist Dell (Justin Long) describes a recent dream in Comet […]

Film Review: ‘Amy’

Advertisements ★★★★☆ Bafta-winning British director Asif Kapadia made his name with his brilliant 2012 biographic documentary Senna, which told the story of the young Brazilian race driver whose early death in a crash in the 1994 […]

DVD Review: ‘Story of My Death’

Advertisements ★★★★☆ 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 […]

DVD Review: ‘Jupiter Ascending’

Advertisements ★★★★☆ 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 […]

DVD Review: ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell’

Advertisements ★★★★☆ 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 […]

DVD Review: ‘It Follows’

Advertisements ★★★★☆ 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 […]

Interview: Ruben Östlund, ‘Force Majeure’

Advertisements “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 […]

DVD Review: ‘Force Majeure’

Advertisements ★★★☆☆ 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) […]

DVD Review: ‘Beyond the Lights’

Advertisements ★★★★☆ 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 […]

Interview: Desiree Akhaven, ‘Appropriate Behaviour’

Advertisements “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 […]

DVD Review: ‘Appropriate Behaviour’

Advertisements ★★★★☆ 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 […]

Edinburgh 2015: ‘Iona’ review

Advertisements ★★★☆☆ This year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival drew to a close with Iona (2015), Scott Graham’s follow-up to his much praised debut feature Shell (2012). Set against the beautiful, isolated terrain of the titular Scottish […]

Edinburgh 2015: ‘Life May Be’ review

Advertisements ★★★★☆ Two Edinburgh regulars, Mark Cousins and Mania Akbari, have collaborated to produce an insightful film-essay exchange, their differing filmmaking styles bursting with ideas and inspiring new thought in each other in Life May Be […]