Film reviews and more

D.W. Mault

Berlin 2016: Hail, Caesar! review

★★★☆☆ ‘Second time’s a charm’ is not the feeling that hits home when reflecting upon the Coen brothers’ Hail, Caesar!, the opening film of this year’s Berlinale. Second as this is their second time opening the festival (after True Grit did the honours in 2011 before scooping a number of Oscars) and more importantly sees them reentering an homage, […]

Interview: July Jung, ‘A Girl at My Door’

The Un Certain Regard section was where the debut feature, A Girl at My Door (2014) from South Korean director July Jung unspooled to insidious acclaim by those who saw it. Following this auspicious beginning it played London Film Festival twelve months ago and now finally returns to cinemas as the always inventive Peccadillo Pictures release it in cinemas […]

DVD Review: ‘Electricity’

★☆☆☆☆ The way Bryn Higgins’ sophomore feature, Electricity (2014), sees itself is perhaps an integral part of its ultimate failure. It considers itself as stylish, sexy, tough, visually inspiring and numerous other targets it misses by a country mile. In fact Electricity never gets close to any of these poised ideas. The production notes inform us that this is […]

Interview: Jessica Hausner on new film ‘Amour Fou’

With the release of her fourth feature film in 13 years Jessica Hausner continues the current flow of quietly antagonistic Austrian auteurs speaking truth against the powerful constructs of a bourgeois society that eats its own for sport and pleasure. After the success of 2009’s Lourdes she returns with Amour Fou (2014), a look at the death and suicide […]

Film Review: ‘The Last of the Unjust’

★★★★★ Claude Lanzmann is the custodian of the memory and oral tradition of the Holocaust. His life’s work has encompassed numerous films from his grand opus Shoah (1985) to Sobibór, 14 Octobre 1943, 16 Heures (2001) and Un Vivant Qui Passe (1999). With The Last Of The Unjust (2013) he revisits an interview he made with Benjamin Murmelstein in […]

Johannes Holzhausen, ‘The Museum’

For a filmmaker responsible for an insightful opening of the curtain of an arts institution like he does on Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM) in The Great Museum (2014) it was grounding when CineVue chatted to Johannes Holzhausen on Skype, sitting in what looked like a store room in his offices. He began by explaining how his path had reached […]

Film Review: ‘Guys and Dolls’

★★★★☆ Damon Runyon is often imitated but never bettered – we won’t even hold it against him that he’s partly responsible (via proxy) for the gangster films of Guy Ritchie and his ilk. Runyon’s portrayal of the New York underworld and it’s denizens with their peculiar argot seems to sound familiar and strange at the the same time to […]

Film Review: ‘The Green Prince’

★☆☆☆☆ The Green Prince (2014) is the fantastical story of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hassan Yousef one of the founders of Hamas; who was an informant for the Israeli internal secret service Shin Bet for more than 10 years until his escape to America and a conversion to Christianity. Here lies an intriguing story that calls to […]

Film Review: ‘The Great Museum’

★★★★☆ There’s something inherently cinematic and therefore mysterious about institutions, and with the release of Johannes Holzhausen’s The Great Museum (2014) we have Frederick Wiseman’s National Gallery (2014) arriving on screens in January. It’s worth mentioning both films in the same breath as they act as both point and counterpoint to one another. After premiering to critical adoration at […]

Film Review: ‘The Circle’

★★★☆☆ The notion that documentary and drama should not be mixed is overturned by The Circle (2014), an ingenious and touching slice of little known gay history beautifully made by Stefan Haupt and the Swiss entry to the 2014 Best Foreign Language Oscar race. As the Second World War rages around it, Switzerland beamed like a beacon of a […]

LPFF 2014: ‘Eyes of a Thief’ review

★★★☆☆ The London Palestinian Film Festival opened with Najwa Najjar’s Eyes of a Thief (2014), Palestine’s chosen representative in the 2014 Academy Awards. Following on from her well received debut Pomegranates And Myrrh (2008), Eyes From A Thief is, like Najjar’s previous film, grounded in a reality that emphasises a humanism within a context that many will only know […]

Dietrich Brüggemann, ‘Stations of the Cross’

Director Dietrich Brüggemann’s Stations of the Cross (2014) finally arrives on UK cinema screens this week after premiering in the competition strand of this year’s Berlinale where it won a Silver Bear for Best Screenplay. It certainly a formally audacious and impressive work that rewards repeat viewings in the awakening of black humour within the rigid tale of a teenage girl whose […]