Film reviews and more

Month: June 2016

Edinburgh 2016: Tommy’s Honour review

★★★★☆ “There’s only one story you’ll get from me,” growls Peter Mullan from behind a hedgerow of coarse woolly beard. As Tom Morris in Tommy’s Honour, the veteran Scottish actor embodies the pioneering exploits of a St. Andrews man who inaugurated the Open Championship from […]

Edinburgh 2016: Programme highlights

As cinema doors across the Scottish capital open to celebrate a very special 70th birthday the Edinburgh International Film Festival ushers in the start of its 2016 edition. With as many worthwhile stories to tell as any septuagenarian, and exuding prestige, oodles of experience and […]

Doc/Fest 2016: Unlocking the Cage review

★★★☆☆ A pioneering and hugely unlikely legal case might seem like an ideal focus for legendary filmmaking duo Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, whose partnership is perhaps best known for the apex in political campaign docs, The War Room. However, that film was more about […]

Doc/Fest 2016: Lobanovskiy Forever review

★★☆☆☆ Valeriy Lobanovskiy enjoyed a great deal of success during his 30-year career as a football manager, particularly for his time at the helm of Dynamo Kiev as the USSR and Ukrainian national teams. He was renowned for introducing scientific methodology to his work and […]

DVD Review: Heart of a Dog

★★★★☆ There’s a recurring motif of leafless trees in Laurie Anderson’s lyrical Heart of a Dog. In the context of their first appearance, they’re like neural pathways forming connections between past and present just as the filmmaker is doing. Stark against a spectacular star-filled sky they […]

DVD Review: Edvard Munch

★★★☆☆ Edvard Munch’s paintings were critically savaged in his lifetime. His preference for personal expression over natural representation shocked an art world not yet ready to peer inside the mind of a man racked with dread and anxiety. This is the core message of Peter […]

DVD Review: Deadpool

★★★☆☆ From the very first pan of its opening titles, Tim Miller’s Deadpool brandishes its meta credentials with the title character’s cocky, abrasive relish. As the camera glides through a SUV suspended mid-somersault, the cast are introduced as stereotypes (‘hot chick’ or ‘British villain’) while […]

Doc/Fest 2016: Programme highlights

One of the annual highlights of the documentary calendar, Sheffield Doc/Fest returns this June (10-15) with another reassuringly full programme that’s true testament to the current health of factual filmmaking. Opening this year’s festival is the UK premiere of the wildly entertaining Where to Invade […]

Film Review: Fire at Sea

★★★★☆ The adventures and anxieties of a young boy, one who possesses impetuous curiosity and imagination and whose gestures resemble the stature of a much older man, are shown in contrast to the traumatic experiences of migrants seeking refuge on the island of Lampedusa in […]

Interview: Ciro Guerra, dir. Embrace of the Serpent

Colombian auteur Ciro Guerra’s latest film, Embrace of the Serpent, first screened in the Director’s Fortnight section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival (where it won the CICAE Award) and is the first Colombian film to be nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the […]

DVD Review: The Revenant

★★★☆☆ Based on the novel by Michael Punke which is itself based on true events, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Oscar-winning The Revenant – out now on DVD and Blu-ray – is the tale of a frontiersman named Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his relentless quest for […]

Criterion Review: Overlord

★★★★☆ There is a twin dualism at the heart of Stuart Cooper’s Overlord that potentially explain why it has generally been overlooked since its release in 1975. First there is form: a combination of narrative drama and archival documentary footage. Then there’s style: a blend […]