CineVue

Film reviews and more

Tom Duggins

Film Review: Old

★★★★☆ The films of M. Night Shyamalan need little by way of an introduction. In the two decades since The Sixth Sense rocketed to the top of the US box office and made his reputation as a masterful deployer of final-act plot twists, his films have had their ups and downs in their treatment by critics though his name has […]

Film Review: PVT Chat

★★★★☆ Musician and filmmaker Ben Hozie tends to make films about New York’s more bohemian personalities. From documentary shorts about painters who use their own bed as a studio, to fiction films about philosophy-addled art terrorists, his is the demi-monde of unknown artists and free-thinking outcasts who might just be inching towards madness and getting a little too comfortable. […]

Interview: Peter Vack, PVT Chat

Perhaps better-known for his work fronting the New York art band BODEGA, Ben Hozie is also a director of stylistically-daring documentaries and independent films that centre around the unusual lives of artists and societal outcasts.His latest, PVT Chat, stars Peter Vack as a professional gambler and part-time cynic who nurses a private romantic streak when pursuing a mysterious cam […]

Film Review: Stardust

★★★☆☆ It’s been five years since David Bowie passed away and filmmaker Gabriel Range has acknowledged the anniversary with Stardust, an unauthorised biopic which commemorates the pop icon’s early struggles with stardom. The film stumbles between moods, caught between overt mythmaking and something closer to historical detail, which leaves an enjoyable but incomplete picture of the great musician’s life. […]

Film Review: Tenet

★★☆☆☆ Christopher Nolan’s films are so big, so hotly anticipated, that they form their own sort of gravitational pull, and cinema chains are hoping that the draw of Tenet will irresistibly compel viewers back into theatres. For all of Tenet’s innovative, ideas-led structure, however, it lacks the sort of emotional core that elevates such films into the status of […]

Film Review: Fanny Lye Deliver’d

★★★★★ Most filmmakers who venture into the heritage industry of an English period drama make sure the detail shines on the screen: beautiful linen collars, worsted cloaks, authentic lacework. Chuck in a restored 18th century cottage or country estate and you’re transporting audiences back in time with ease. Director Thomas Clay didn’t feel like cutting corners In his latest […]

Interview: Thomas Clay, dir. Fanny Lye Deliver’d

It’s been over a decade since British indie director Thomas Clay had a new film set for release. After 2008’s Soi Cowboy, Clay spent time researching the English interregnum: exploring its political and social upheavals to find an untold story buried within a less frequently mined period of history. The resulting film, Fanny Lye Deliver’d, is a surprising mix […]

Film Review: Never Rarely Sometimes Always

★★★★☆ In the years since Juno offered a light-hearted but even-handed take on the subject of unwanted teen pregnancy, the discourse around reproductive rights in America has, if anything, grown more polarised. Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a subtle, quietly devastating look at how a young woman’s body is constantly subject to outside pressures. Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) […]

Film Review: Ema

★★★★★ When Pablo Larraín took the helm of Jackie, it was the first time the Chilean director had attempted two things: a story set outside of Latin America and one with a female protagonist. With Ema, Larraín is back in his home country, weaving a tightly-controlled narrative of family and female empowerment around its magnetic central character. “Valparaiso, how […]

Film Review: The Whalebone Box

★★★★★ Andrew Kötting is a filmmaker and Professor of Time Based Media. A visual artist who uses film and photography to explore the gaps between dreams and reality, autobiography and self-mythology. It’s hard to put the multi-disciplinary Kötting’s work into a box, and yet he has made an entire film about one. A smooth, sealed-off whalebone sculpture, entrusted to […]

Film Review: System Crasher

★★★★☆ System Crasher is the outstanding feature film debut of German director Nora Fingscheidt. A tremendous slice of life filled with light and energy, which doesn’t shy away from the tough realities of what social care is like for children with severe developmental issues. Benni (Helena Zengel) is a foul-mouthed, rebellious nine-year-old who struggles to contain her violent impulses. Having […]

Film Review: Radioactive

★★☆☆☆ On paper the story of Marie Curie, a pioneering woman of science, seems like prime awards bait: with a big central role for Rosamund Pike, playing an eccentric proto-feminist. Sadly, Radioactive is as lifeless and inert as a rock, badly let down by a dismal script, and carrying all the half-life of an unfinished fish dinner. Science: it’s […]