DVD Review: ‘Wellington’

★★★★☆ A fitting ode to the late, great Chilean filmmaker Raoul Ruiz (directed by his former editing partner and widow Valeria Sarmiento), it would perhaps be unfavourable to compare the Golden Lion-nominated Lines of Wellington (2012) with Ruiz’s final finished work, the sublime Mysteries of Lisbon (2010). An understandably disruptive production history undoubtedly helps the…

BFI London Film Festival 2012: ‘Living’ review

★★★★☆ Living (Zhit, 2012) is Vasily Sigarev’s challenging and provocative follow-up to his acclaimed 2009 debut Wolfy, and sees this up-and-coming Russian director return to the London Film Festival. An existential and deeply philosophical insight into the psychological damage and various manifestations death can have on the mind, Living is a mesmerising and unique perspective…

BFI London Film Festival 2012: ‘Good Vibrations’ review

★★★☆☆ Detailing the life of Belfast’s Godfather of Punk, Terri Hooley (played with a compelling level of emotion by Richard Dormer), Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn’s Good Vibrations (2012) is the story of a man with a very special dream. Hooley, amidst the chaos and confusion of the Northern Irish Troubles, decides that the…

BFI London Film Festival 2012: ‘Song for Marion’ review

★★☆☆☆ British director Paul Andrew Williams offers up OAP drama Song for Marion (2012) at this year’s 56th London Film Festival, starring the considerable talents of Vanessa Redgrave, Terrance Stamp, Christopher Eccleston and Gemma Arterton. Marion (Redgrave) and her husband Arthur (Stamp) live in their small suburban bungalow, coping with the fallout of Marion’s recent…

BFI London Film Festival 2012: ‘Seven Psychopaths’ review

★★★☆☆ Following on from the award-winning, critically-acclaimed success story that was In Bruges (2008), Irish writer and director Martin McDonagh is back in business with impressively-cast, tongue-in-cheek existentialist revenge thriller Seven Psychopaths (2012), starring Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson and Christopher Walken. Screenwriter and part-time alcoholic Marty (Farrell) is struggling to get his screenplay written, and…

BFI London Film Festival 2012: ‘Caesar Must Die’ review

★★★★☆ Having already picked up the Golden Bear prize at the Berlin Film Festival back in February and now Italy’s official selection for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 2013 Academy Awards, octogenarian brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani bring their divisive docudrama Caesar Must Die (Cesare deve morire, 2012) to the 56th London…

BFI London Film Festival 2012: ‘Epilogue’ review

★★★★☆ With Michael Haneke’s Amour (2012), winner of this year’s Palme d’Or, also playing at the London Film Festival, it’s possible that Amir Manor’s quiet drama Epilogue (2012) may be somewhat overlooked. That would be a real shame, however, as this touching tale of an octogenarian couple struggling through their disconnect with modern life in Israel…

BFI London Film Festival 2012: ‘Our Children’ review

★★★★☆ Belgian writer and director Joachim Lafosse impresses with ‘difficult’ relationship drama Our Children (À perdre la raison, 2012), starring Émilie Dequenne and reuniting A Prophet (2010) lead duo Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup. Unequivocally tough and emotionally draining, Lafosse’s latest makes no apologies for its bleak portrayal of a slowly disintegrating, non-traditional family unit, but remains…

BFI London Film Festival 2012: ‘Sightseers’ review

★★★★☆ Director Ben Wheatley completes a critically acclaimed trilogy of quietly sinister, darkly comic, deeply British features with Sightseers (2012), an hilarious, caravan-based road movie which brings this recently unearthed talent back closer to his comedy roots. Built almost entirely around a museum-loving, homicidal Midlands couple developed on the stand-up circuit by leads Alice Lowe…

BFI London Film Festival 2012: ‘A Liar’s Autobiography 3D’ review

★☆☆☆☆ Monty Python fans may rejoice at news of Bill Jones (son of Python’s Terry Jones) joining forces with fellow directors Jeff Simpson and Ben Timlett for their take on the late Graham Chapman’s 1980s liberal spin on his own life, A Liar’s Autobiography (2012). This new mockumentary of the same name follows in a…

BFI London Film Festival 2012: ‘Hold Back’ review

★★☆☆☆ Just a few minutes into Rachid Djaidani’s fictional feature debut, two characters amble down a street and one complains to the other that in cinematic terms “We do not innovate in France – we follow.” The story that then proceeds to unfold is a well worn tale, essentially a re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet,…

BFI London Film Festival 2012: ‘In the Fog’ review

★★★☆☆ Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa returns to the London Film Festival with Cannes Palme d’Or nominee In the Fog (V tumane, 2012), a sombre wartime drama set in Belarus at the time of the Nazi occupation. The film begins with the execution of three local men, hung by the Germans for sabotage. We then move…