Film Review: Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

★★★★★ Sophie Fiennes returns with yet another fascinating character study, blending slick concert footage with impromptu, intimate filming of musician and fashion icon Grace Jones as she darts between America, Europe and Jamaica – a force of vitality and glamour. Because there is no one else quite like Grace Jones, it stands to reason that…

Film Review: Daphne

★★★★☆ A young chef tries to booze and bang the pain away in director Peter Mackie Burns’ engaging, charming comic drama Daphne. Set in London, in a largely nocturnal landscape of fleeting pleasures and unacknowledged hurts, it makes for a timely study of young angst. Millennials are a sordid bunch, it seems. What with the…

DVD Review: David Lynch: The Art Life

★★★★★ David Lynch hasn’t embarked on a major film project since the release of Inland Empire back in 2006. Eleven years is a long time to wait for inspiration, but as is made clear in the documentary David Lynch: The Art Life, he’s a patient man.After first enrolling at the School of the Museum of…

Film Review: London Symphony

★★★★☆ Independent filmmaker Alex Barrett has documented the mundanity and the beauty of city life in his silent film London Symphony, a conscious callback to those films of the 1920s which sought to capture the rhythms and experiences of a modern urban existence.The film is divided into four movements which correspond to a gorgeous symphonic…

Feature: Earthy pleasures in God’s Own Country

In many ways, the beauty of Francis Lee’s feature-length debut God’s Own Country lies in its simplicity. The plot centres around the inheritance of a farm and a connected romance that might scandalise some of the locals in the remote hills of the Yorkshire dales.It’s the strong, earthy stuff that might easily have been lifted…

Film Review: God’s Own Country

★★★★☆ Set on a sheep farm amid the Yorkshire dales, Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country is a simple romance that explores the damaging isolation of life in the country and – in particular – the toll that can take on a young man who has shrunk away from any form of intimacy.Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor)…

Film Review: Tommy’s Honour

★★★★☆ Golf is a gentleman’s game with oddly democratic principles. Its emphasis on precision over might allows young and old to play it side by side, and this – in some ways – is the crucial point of Tommy’s Honour: the true tale of a legendary golfing dynasty, brought to life by director Jason Connery.With…

Feature: Colossal, love and other monsters

When there’s a monster on the loose, all manner of behaviour becomes reasonable. You can check under the bed each night, commandeer a vehicle or wield firearms: a state of emergency demands different rules. Such is the pleasing, unlawful logic of a creature feature.This is why Colossal, from Nacho Vigalondo, is such a strange beast:…

Film Review: Colossal

★★★☆☆ Some films manage to generate a sense of grandeur on a shoestring budget, whilst others somehow feel like indie flicks no matter how much money is thrown at them. In the case of Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal, there’s a strange mix of both post-viewing impressions.Colossal is one part indie slacker romp, one part Kaijū monster…

Film Review: Bunch of Kunst

★★★★☆ Great music documentaries capture bands in the ups and downs of their profession: glorified and cheered in the stage lights one moment, sat bored in the dressing room in the next – drinking warm Carling and picking at the crisps. Bunch of Kunst (a tour documentary on Nottingham’s refusenik agit-punk specialists The Sleaford Mods)…

Film Review: The Salesman

★★★★☆ In his 2012 film A Separation, Asghar Farhadi created a gripping and deeply affecting study of how a family unit can disintegrate within Iran’s socially conservative culture. It won great acclaim for the realism and sensitivity it brought to bear on complex issues such as honour, familial responsibility and the moral requirements of religion….

Film Review: Personal Shopper

★★★☆☆ It’s possible that there’s more to life than meets the eye; that we survive physical death and live on in a secondary dimension. It’s also possible that there’s more to Personal Shopper than meets the eye, but faith – in both cases – may separate sturdy optimism from wishful thinking. A few years on…