CineVue

Film reviews and more

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Film Review: ‘Playtime’

★★★★★ Certain cinematic experiences pander to repeated sittings. Eventually maturity brings with it enlightenment and the secret passages that spark the conscious through sheer luminosity. Jacques Tati’s observation satire Playtime (1967) is one such événement and one can both envy and pity a first time viewer as they take their seat and prepare […]

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Film Review: ‘The Case Against 8’

★★★☆☆ The Case Against 8 (2014) looks at one of the most divisive issues in contemporary American life: that of same sex marriage. Directors Ben Cotner and Ryan White track the five year battle to get California’s Proposition 8 overturned. Prop 8 as it was colloquially known was a state constitutional amendment passed […]

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Film Review: ‘The Overnighters’

★★★★★ More American nightmare than American Dream, Jesse Moss’ Sundance award-winning documentary The Overnighters (2013) looks at the crisis at the centre of the economic collapse within the post-Empire confines of contemporary America. Coming at this point through the prism of Lutheran Pastor Jay Reinke, Moss is free to portray many positives within […]

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DVD Review: ‘Gomorrah’

★★★★★ Narrative is the base from which elemental passages are forced upon our gaze. In recent years the very idea of watching narratives unfold over 8-12 hours had been the preserve of formalist cinema and its adherents, whether that be the likes of Béla Tarr (Sátántangó (1994), 7h12m) or Lav Diaz (Evolution of […]

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Film Review: ‘Palo Alto’

★★☆☆☆ Adapted from James Franco’s novel of the same name – a reflection of the hometown ennui he managed to transcend, Palo Alto (2013) is another creative misfire from the talented multi-hyphenate. Franco’s novel is a series of loosely connected vignettes that focuses on a group of teenage high schoolers and their inter […]

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Film Review: ‘Will and Testament’

★★☆☆☆ Skip Kite’s Tony Benn: Will and Testament (2014) is a disappointing piece of Teflon ‘non­-cinema’ that may well prove a mystery both to itself and general audiences. Kite claims that cinema is an example of “reverse engineering” and how the “thrill of the ride” is what made him pick film as his […]

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Film Review: ‘Violette’

★★★☆☆ The American writer Henry Miller once said that he hated writing but he loved having written, and it would seem he had a kindred spirit in the French writer Violette Leduc, who is at the centre of the eponymous new film from director Martin Provost. Leduc was a black marketeer turned celebrated […]

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Film Review: ‘Le Jour Se Lève’

★★★★★ There’s bleak and then there’s Le Jour Se Lève (1939). To celebrate the film’s 75th anniversary, this week sees the release of an immaculate 4K restoration along with what the Independent Cinema Office are calling “new previously censored scenes that will be seen by audiences for the very first time.” Easily director […]

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Film Review: ‘The Last Impresario’

★★★★☆ There’s a certain suspicion about hieroglyphic documentary portraits of individuals of a generational span (the enjoyable Supermensch springs to mind), but The Last Impresario (2013) constantly surprises both by what it is and what it’s not. Gracie Otto (sister of Miranda) helms this portrait of legendary theatre and film producer Michael White. […]

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Film Review: ‘Watermark’

★★★☆☆ Water both resists and exists. It’s both the giver of life and the destroyer of futures. The Earth is covered by 71% of water, and it’s this enigmatic fact that renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky looks at in his latest documentary, Watermark (2013). The film alights though differing vignettes from spans continents and […]

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Film Review: ‘Charulata’

★★★★☆ Place is an inherent part of cinema, it’s the sand beneath the feet of form and breathes around content whilst acting within the consciousness of the viewer not unlike the unseen but very much felt constant of existential dread. Two of the artists most associated with place (in this case Bengal) were […]