DVD Review: Two films by Marc Isaacs

★★★★☆ Philip is a self-professed king, ordained directly by God and living with a harem of wives on a horse farm in Sussex. Laura-Anne is a ten-year-old girl searching for love in the windswept two-street town of Siddick in Cumbria. As protagonists in a pair of films by British documentarian Continue Reading

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Film Review: Hacksaw Ridge

★★★☆☆ No one would mistake Mel Gibson for the embodiment of subtlety. From his blood-soaked Scottish romp Braveheart to his blood-soaked The Passion of the Christ, Gibson has always made his films with sledgehammer blows, a simplistic moral universe and thumping melodramatic beats, usually in slow motion. Anyone worrying that Continue Reading

Film Review: Denial

★★★☆☆ Mick Jackson’s courtroom drama Denial focuses on the 1996 British libel suit brought by David Irving (Timothy Spall), the infamous Holocaust denier, against American historian Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) and her publisher Penguin Books. Based on Lipstadt’s book Denial: Holocaust History on Trial, and adapted for screen by David Continue Reading

Film Review: Cameraperson

★★★★★ “She sees everything but is totally blind,” says Jacques Derrida crossing a New York City street as Kirsten Johnson tracks him with her camera walking backwards, half stumbling in the process. The French philosopher thinks himself frightfully clever with this witticism at the Big Apple-based filmmaker’s expense but a Continue Reading

DVD Review: Varieté

★★★★☆ Part romance-revenge story, part cautionary fable, E.A. Dupont’s Varieté is a sophisticated melodrama with a unique setting and gorgeous imagery courtesy of Karl Freund, master cinematographer of Metropolis and Dracula. Newly released as part of Eureka’s Masters of Cinema series, the title is largely up to Eureka’s high standards. Continue Reading

DVD Review: The Glass Shield

★★☆☆☆ Director Charles Burnett made perhaps one of the greatest cinematic accounts of marginalised black lives with his 1978 classic Killer of Sheep – a film which was offered a thoroughly deserving retrospective and re-release by the BFI a few years back. Made almost two decades after his breakthrough feature, Continue Reading

DVD Review: El Sur

★★★★★ Heralded by Pedro Almodóvar as “one of the best in Spanish cinema history”, Victor Erice’s El Sur is re-released on DVD and Blu-ray courtesy of the BFI. Best known for his spellbinding debut Spirit of the Beehive, Erice’s follow-up also uses the recollection of childhood to explore the psychological Continue Reading

DVD Review: Creepy

★★☆☆☆ The unnerving neighbour is a shopworn trope of domestic thrillers and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Creepy is only an occasionally effective entry into the genre. Following a face-off with a psychopath that almost costs him his life, Detective Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima) resigns from the force, and retreats to the relative tranquillity Continue Reading