DVD Review: ‘P’tit Quinquin’

★★★★☆ French filmmaker Bruno Dumont is a director strongly associated with serious, spiritual, and metaphysical European arthouse. What a surprise it was, then, when his latest project was announced as not only being a first foray into the world of long-form television, but a comedy to boot. The result is the four part mini-series, P’tit…

Film Review: ‘Eden’

★★★☆☆ French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve isn’t exactly known for emotional subjectivity and visual bombast, so when a young raver tripping out in a field sees an animated bird swooping through the sky in her latest film, Eden (2014), it potentially marks something of a departure. Subsequently, things settle into a more familiar aesthetic that follows…

Karlovy Vary 2015: ‘Time Out of Mind’ review

★★★★☆ When Bob Dylan released his thirtieth studio album in 1997, critics claimed that the ominous atmosphere created by producer Daniel Lanois was palpable, but also almost drowned the singer’s vocals. It’s interesting then that New York-based director Oren Moverman – who co-wrote Todd Haynes’ Dylan pseudo-biopic I’m Not There (2007), as well as helming…

DVD Review: ‘Tokyo Tribe’

★★★★☆ According to an octogenarian emcee as she lays down some beats on a neon-drenched intersection of sprawling graffiti-laden alleyways, Sion Sono’s Tokyo Tribe (2014) is “comin’ at ya from the ass-end of hell.” The Japanese gonzo director prefers his dials turned up to eleven and that’s most certainly the intention with this, a dystopian…

DVD Review: ‘Tusk’

★★★☆☆ Kevin Smith, so long associated with bringing bring relatable geeky slacker comedy to the big screen, made a concerted effort with his last film, 2011’s fanatical cult horror Red State, to break out of that cinematic mould. He goes even further with his latest joint, Tusk (2014), which goes straight to DVD in the…

DVD Review: ‘The Theory of Everything’

★★★☆☆ Cosmology is “kind of a religion for intelligent atheists” attests a rangy young Stephen Hawking (Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne) when describing his field of interest to the beautiful Jane (Felicity Jones) at a Cambridge University mixer in the early 1960s. It proves not to be quite such a draw for James Marsh’s biopic…

Kinoteka 2015: ‘Foreign Body’ review

★★☆☆☆ Krzysztof Zanussi position as Poland’s moral cinematic conscience is presumably the one he was playing up to for his latest film, Foreign Body (2014). Best known for films that betray her fierce intellect – a la Camouflage (1977) or The Illumination (1973) – this is an entirely different kind of prospect. Imagine, if you…

Film Review: ‘Force Majeure’

★★★★☆ The awkward skirmishes of a growing marital rift are the thrust of Ruben Östlund’s hilarious and deadpan Swedish satire Force Majeure (2014). Snow-laden peaks are often the setting for cinematic peril and disaster, but in Östlund’s latest – which understandably picked up the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival…

Film Review: ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’

★★★☆☆ There was much discussion over the past year about the winding down of beloved Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli with its two founding fathers, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, hanging up their pencils. Both found fitting if unspectacular ways to bow out; first Miyazaki with the soaring The Wind Rises (2013) and now Takahata…

Film Review: ‘A Second Chance’

★★☆☆☆ Danish director Susanne Bier has made a career of heightened but poignant drama that depicts broken relationships, familial tensions and personal catastrophes. One of her last films, Love Is All You Need (2013), was just that. They tend to be the kinds of films that are heartrending and raw if you have bought into…

Glasgow 2015: ‘Phoenix’ review

★★★★☆ In Hiroshi Teshigahara’s mysterious and metaphysical The Face of Another (1966), notions of identity both personal and national are explored through the story of man whose face is irrevocably scarred in a terrible accident. The indelible image of his bandaged head is brought to mind in the opening reel of Christian Petzold’s latest offering,…

Glasgow 2015: ‘New Girlfriend’ review

★★★☆☆ Another year, another film from prolific French director and festival regular François Ozon. After the (intentional) inscrutability of the lead in Jeune et Jolie (2013), his latest film The New Girlfriend (2014) is thankfully a far deeper exploration of its two equally complex central characters. Based on a Ruth Rendell story – though inflected…