Film reviews and more

Month: September 2016

Film Review: Urban Hymn

Advertisements ★★★★☆ Debuting at this year’s Glasgow Film Festival, British crime drama Urban Hymn is an impressively rounded character study set against the London riots of 2011, in which people far and wide acted out in […]

Film Review: Under the Shadow

Advertisements ★★★★★ Director Babak Anvari’s Under the Shadow uses the haunted house setup and classical filmmaking techniques expressly for political purposes. Former radical leftist Shedih (Narges Rashidi) is re-educated by the theocratic state in post-revolution Iran. […]

Film Review: Swiss Army Man

Advertisements ★★★☆☆ How far can a fart joke get you? That’s the question posed by Sundance offering Swiss Army Man. The answer is surprisingly far, but ultimately it’s going to start to go stale at some […]

Film Review: Southside with You

Advertisements ★★★☆☆ Southside with You is the film equivalent of a comfortable pair of familiar shoes, the feeling of sitting down into a cosy chair, or the first sip of a cup of tea – it’s […]

Film Review: Free State of Jones

Advertisements ★★★☆☆ Much has been made of the prominence of a ‘white saviour’ in biographical historical epic Free State of Jones. Is this a film about slavery? Yes. Is it led by a white character? Yes. […]

Film Review: The Fencer

Advertisements ★☆☆☆☆ At first glance The Fencer has a lot going for it. Set in Soviet occupied Estonia, it is the oddball tale – partly based on true events – of a renowned fencer (Märt Avandi, […]

Film Review: Amanda Knox

Advertisements ★★★☆☆ “Either I’m a psychopath in sheep’s clothing, or I am you.” Delivered by the principal subject of Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn’s Netflix Original documentary, the chilling ambiguity of this opening gambit is the […]

DVD Review: Love & Friendship

Advertisements ★★★★☆ It’s hardly surprising that the wit of Jane Austen’s writing is often overlooked when it’s transposed onto the screen. It’s not so much that adaptations actively avoid it as much as neglect to emphasise […]

Criterion Review: Cat People

Advertisements ★★★★★ Hollywood producer Val Lewton was known for taking B-grade movie concepts handed to him by studio executives and elevating them to become more than the sum of their parts. Being both a taut psychological […]

DVD Review: Slugs

Advertisements ★★★☆☆ While Juan Piqeur Simón’s 1988 infestation horror Slugs can hardly stand up to the broad appeal of the similarly-themed Arachnophobia, Critters or Tremors, its doubling down on the splatter factor ensures the film’s place […]

Interview: Rachel Lang, dir. Baden Baden

Advertisements Strasbourg native Rachel Lang makes her feature debut with Baden Baden, a Franco-Belgian co-production that takes place in the director’s Alsatian borderlands hometown. A quest for meaning and sense of self as well as place, […]

Film Review: The Magnificent Seven

Advertisements ★★☆☆☆ There are a few moments at the beginning of Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven when it seems to make a case for its own existence. The trailers may have done their darnedest to make […]

Film Review: The Lovers and the Despot

Advertisements ★★★☆☆ Two subjects one would never expect to encounter in the same film; North Korea and cinephilia. They come together – bizarrely and fascinatingly – in Robert Cannan and Ross Adam’s documentary The Lovers and […]

Film Review: Little Men

Advertisements ★★★★☆ The final film in a trilogy focusing on New York City, Ira Sachs’ latest feature Little Men, starring Jennifer Ehle and Greg Kinnear, follows the rites of passage of two thirteen-year-old boys, Jake (Theo […]