Film reviews and more

Month: March 2017

Film Review: Free Fire

★★★☆☆ A field. A tower block. And now a disused warehouse. Over his last three films, Ben Wheatley has been perfecting the knack of a single-location drama. In the case of his new film Free Fire, Wheatley and co-writer Amy Jump have shorn away the […]

Film Review: Tickling Giants

★★★★☆ The timing could not have been better for Sara Taksler’s new documentary Tickling Giants. Or worse if you think about it. Hosni Mubarak has returned home and the promise of the Arab Spring and the revolution which swept from Tahir Square and was witnessed […]

Film Review: Graduation

★★★★★ The Romania of director Cristian Mungiu’s terse, difficult Graduation is one weighed down by endemic corruption, systemic unfairness and economic defeat. Romeo (Adrian Titieni) dreams of a better life for his daughter, Eliza (Maria-Victoria Dragus), who has been awarded a life-changing scholarship to Cambridge […]

Film Review: Fear Eats the Soul

★★★★★ It’s surely the sheer, unvarnished humanity on display in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s celebrated Ali: Fear Eats the Soul that’s the film’s greatest success. When the eponymous Ali (El Hedi ben Salem), a Moroccan immigrant in his late thirties, meets nervous 60-year-old Emmi (Brigitte Mira) […]

Film Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe

★★★☆☆ André Øvredal burst onto the scene with the irresistibly enjoyable Trollhunter in 2010, a mockumentary road trip humorously poking around under Norway’s less-travelled bridges and its folklore. For his follow-up he’s once again giving a novel twist to recognisable horror genre fare and whilst […]

DVD Review: Pieces

★★★☆☆ The audacious tagline for Pieces‘ grisly poster – “It’s exactly what you think it is” – isn’t kidding: Juan Piquer Simon’s 1982 splatterfest is precisely what one would expect from the director of gross-out creature feature Slugs. The constituent parts of Pieces may be […]

Criterion Review: Lone Wolf and Cub

★★★★☆ Adapted from the long-running successful Manga series, the Lone Wolf and Cub films represent the very best in the chanbara genre. This Criterion set includes all six films, gorgeously remastered, as well as Shogun Assassin, the Americanised re-edit of the first two films that […]

Film Review: The Lost City of Z

★★★★☆ There aren’t many directors working today with the same ambition and exquisite craftsmanship of James Gray. Despite being renowned for his complex, emotional storytelling, he continues to work within the fringes of the industry. His latest offering The Lost City of Z, a revisionist […]

Film Review: The Eyes of My Mother

★★★★★ It’s exceedingly rare for a filmmaker to present a deeply disturbed individual on the big screen, one who partakes in all sorts of grotesqueness, whose mind is one of deranged abandon and necrophile-longing, and somehow manages to portray not only what is repulsive, reprehensible […]

Film Review: Aquarius

★★★★☆ Kleber Mendonça Filho’s debut feature Neighbouring Sounds was a taut social thriller about the paranoia of Brazil’s urban middle-class. One of the results of that paranoia was a proliferation of high-rise apartment blocks to house wealthy citizens and the building of such a complex […]

Film Review: The Age of Shadows

★★★★☆ “People shouldn’t live among rats.” So says resistance fighter Jang-ok (Park Hee-soon) at the climax of a blistering, terrifically choreographed prologue in Kim Jee-woon’s mercurial, labyrinthine historical thriller The Age of Shadows. Here is a film where allegiances, ulterior motives and loyalties are as […]

Criterion Review: Multiple Maniacs

★★★☆☆ Depravity and bad taste are the watchwords of director John Waters’ unique oeuvre, none more so than his unhinged 1970 effort Multiple Maniacs – even if its shock value is perhaps not as finely sharpened as his bad taste masterpiece Pink Flamingos. Multiple Maniacs’ […]