Month: March 2016

  • Film Review: Mojave

    ★☆☆☆☆ Pablo Picasso once said that good artists copy but greatest artists steal. Mojave‘s opening moments see noted filmmaker Thomas (Garrett Hedlund) sit in the squared off aspect ratio of an interview. Comparisons are made to Lord Byron and fame from the age of nineteen is bemoaned. Highly pretentious beginnings capture the entirety of writer-director…

    Film Review: Mojave
  • Film Review: Iona

    ★★☆☆☆ Scottish director Scott Graham follows up his impressive, underseen debut Shell with Iona, a similarly sombre tale of isolation and familial relations. A film inspired as much by the dark sophistication of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Ordet as the spiritual clash of cultures in Peter Weir’s Witness, Graham’s rural study of guilt, faith and redemption…

    Film Review: Iona
  • Film Review: Disorder

    ★★☆☆☆ Belgian studmuffin Matthias Schoenaerts is often called upon to bring charismatic, steely-eyed intensity to tough men who possess a principled, protective interior. Well known from Rust & Bone and The Drop, the actor was a natural choice for French director Alice Winocour’s latest feature, Disorder, in which he plays a troubled soldier on his…

    Film Review: Disorder
  • Film Review: The Club

    ★★★★★ Behind the closed doors of the house on the hill lie many secrets. Enveloped in heavy fog, perched above a raging sea, the past sins of four men remain shrouded in mystery. In The Club, Pablo Larraín dives headlong into an evil that Catholicism has long attempted to sweep under the carpet. A physical…

    Film Review: The Club
  • DVD Review: Shooting Stars

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    ★★★★★ An unbroken crane shot in Shooting Stars‘ opening scene, tracking movie starlet Mae Feather (Annette Benson) as she wanders from her own ground-level film set into the first-floor set of her lover’s, easily matches both Goodfellas‘ restaurant scene and the opening sequence of Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil. It’s an achievement made all the…

    DVD Review: Shooting Stars
  • DVD Review: Farewell My Concubine

    ★★★★☆ The aspirations of art pitted against the never-ending flux of politics. That is the underlying conflict driving Farewell My Concubine, a tale of two Peking Opera singers struggling to preserve themselves and their trade during the revolutionary turbulence of twentieth century China. We first meet Dieyi as he is abandoned by his prostitute mother…

    DVD Review: Farewell My Concubine
  • Film Review: Risen

    ★★★☆☆ From Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Waterworld director Kevin Reynolds, Risen provides an alternative viewpoint on the Resurrection and its aftermath. A film that starts out with earnest intentions ends up falling somewhere between a two-thousand-year-old episode of Silent Witness and an educational video R.E. teachers might play to schoolchildren. That’s not to…

    Film Review: Risen
  • Film Review: The Pearl Button

    ★★★★☆ With what could be seen as a companion piece to his 2011 documentary Nostalgia for the Light, Chilean director Patricio Guzmán returns to UK cinema screens this year with The Pearl Button. An astoundingly beautiful visual essay which revels in the stunning scenery of Chilean Patagonia, it morphs into a harrowing depiction of the…

    Film Review: The Pearl Button

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