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Film Reviews

Film Reviews

Peterloo

Friday, May 10th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Rise, like lions after slumber In unvanquishable number! Shake your chains to earth, like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you: Ye are many – they are few! Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Masque of Anarchy, thought by many to be the greatest political poem ever written, was inspired by one, singular event. In the […]

Film Reviews

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 Film Reviews,

Hollywood legend has it that Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra (1963) was the longest running – and most expensive – shoot in screen history. More than 400 days were spent on set, as costs (and Liz Taylor’s paypacket) continued to skyrocket. Yet if we measure the sheer amount time spent on any film, from first conception to […]

Film Reviews

1985

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 Film Reviews,

It’s become a reflex action nowadays to judge every film about America’s recent past as a comment on the present. Movies such as BlacKKKlansman or Vice make it easy to draw the connections. Others, such as 1985, by Malaysian-born director, Yen Tan, take a more oblique approach. Shot in melancholy black-and-white, the scenario is small and intimate, […]

Film Reviews

Burning

Thursday, April 18th, 2019 Film Reviews,

There are few genuine auteurs in today’s cinema but Korea’s Lee Chang-dong is one of them. It’s a word favoured by French new wave critics when referring to a director whose work has its own distinctive artistry. Only a true artist could have made films such as Secret Sunshine (2007) and Oasis (2002), filled with scenes that have […]

Film Reviews

The Aftermath

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 Film Reviews,

‘British reserve’ may be a cliché, but clichés have an alarming habit of reasserting themselves over and over. James Kent is an experienced director for British television whose 2014 debut feature Testament of Youth, was based on Vera Brittain’s famous memoir of World War One. That movie was a highly professional production but a lukewarm […]

Film Reviews

Galveston & Woman at War

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019 Film Reviews,

We’re in the slow season for high-profile new releases but there are plenty of worthwhile films that never make it to the big cinema complexes. Two such movies are Galvestonand Woman at War, which I’ll review this week as a double feature. Galveston is directed by Mélanie Laurent, better known for her work in front of […]

Film Reviews

Us

Friday, March 29th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Every great horror film acts as a metaphor for some underlying truth, but Jordan Peele’s Us is one long metaphor. In his well-received debut, Get Out, (2017) Peele gave us a horror-comedy in which an Afro-American protagonist discovered that his white girlfriend’s parents and their friends were colonising the bodies of younger, healthier black people. […]

Film Reviews

Destroyer

Thursday, March 21st, 2019 Film Reviews,

If you thought the make-up department had done a number on Margot Robbie in Mary Queen of Scots, wait until you see Nicole Kidman in Destroyer. At the first glimpse of her red-rimmed eyes and dry, blotchy skin, the word “ravaged” springs to mind. It’s very hard to recognise the aquatic princess from Acquaman, the […]

Film Reviews

Sometimes, Always, Never

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Bill Nighy is one of those actors who tends to polarise his audience. Some viewers can’t get enough of him, others find him mannered and irritating. After watching Nighy go through his paces on many occasions I can only conclude that the mannerisms are down to the man, not the role. His self-conscious blend of […]

Film Reviews

Alliance Française French Film Festival 2019

Thursday, March 7th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Aside from the Indians, the French are probably the greatest talkers in the world. We Aussies, by comparison, are notably inarticulate. Perhaps that’s why we have such an inexhaustible affection for the annual Alliance Française French Film Festival, an event packed with movies in which characters babble on and on in a language which most […]