Month: February 2016

  • DVD Review: Valentino

    ★★★★☆ Bold casting, high production values, glitzy cinematography and over-the-top direction. It can only mean one thing: Ken Russell filming the life story of Rudolph Valentino, doomed Latin lover of the silent movie era. His death in 1926, aged 31, was among the most sensational and unexpected events of the Jazz Age. Valentino was arguably…

    DVD Review: Valentino
  • DVD Review: Underground

    ★★★★☆ “A war is no war until brother kills brother.” This is just one of the devastating conclusions of Emir Kusturica’s bold and brilliant Underground; his lurid, comically absurd, and deeply divisive parable about the death of Yugoslavia. Kusturica was paraded as Fellini’s heir for his exuberant style, but there is more an echo of…

  • DVD Review: Bagful of Fleas, Something Different

    ★★★☆☆ There was little that could prepare the world for the release of Věra Chytilová’s incredible Daisies in 1966, even looking at her own prior output would have been largely in vain. Prior to the philosophical anarchy of her most celebrated piece, she was more concerned with mild formal experimentation and the potential of cinéma…

    DVD Review: Bagful of Fleas, Something Different
  • Oscars 2016: DiCaprio wins first Oscar

    Diversity may have been the word on everyone’s lips at this year’s Academy Awards but there was only one headline by the end of the night: Leonardo DiCaprio winning his first Oscar for his role in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant. Predictable wins for Brie Larson (Best Actress) and Alicia Vikander (Best Supporting Actress) preceded…

    Oscars 2016: DiCaprio wins first Oscar
  • Film Review: Propaganda Game

    ★★★☆☆ The Hermit Kingdom is a nickname inspired by North Korea’s secrecy and withdrawal from the wider world. The last remaining stronghold of Communism, it is a country reviled and lampooned in the West, where its mystery inspires ridicule and anxiety in equal measure. Last year, threats were made against cinemas intended to screen Seth…

    Film Review: Propaganda Game
  • Film Review: King Jack

    ★★★★☆ The name Felix Thompson is to be added to lists of up-and-coming directors to keep an eye on. His first feature, King Jack took home the audience award at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival and it’s easy to see why. Kicking the tyres of a familiar teenage coming-of-age tale, Thompson’s strikingly assured and unflinching…

    Film Review: King Jack
  • Film Review: Exposed

    ★☆☆☆☆ Standing on a sinking ship, Keanu Reeves watches as his latest big screen endeavour, ill-fated long before its theatrical release, sinks to the ignominious depths of the so-bad-it’s-just-plain-bad. First time writer-director Gee Malik Lindon had his name removed from this debut feature after Lionsgate opted to chop and change the whole project, scared as…

    Film Review: Exposed
  • Film Review: The Benefactor

    ★★☆☆☆ At the heart of Andrew Renzi’s directorial debut The Benefactor is a kernel of an intriguing character study about the price of love and forgiveness and the desire to buy both. Surrounding it is a tangled mass of loose narrative threads, none of which offer any real satisfaction and most of which fall somewhere…

    Film Review: The Benefactor

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