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Tag: Music

Film Reviews

Fallen Leaves

Friday, February 16th, 2024 Film Reviews,

You’ll have to wait until the credits roll to hear Fallen Leaves sung in Finnish, but like all Aki Kaurismäki films, there’s no shortage of music along the way. This bittersweet story about two ordinary people who find each other, in the most hesitant fashion, is one of Kaurismäki’s typical working-class fables. If you’re already […]

Film Reviews

The Iron Claw & Priscilla

Friday, January 19th, 2024 Film Reviews,

If ever a film proves it’s possible to make a powerful story out of anything, it’s The Iron Claw. Those who spent their childhood watching World Championship Wrestling on TV may have distant memories of large, flabby men in tights roaring threats, jumping off turnbuckles, and thumping each other in a peculiarly unconvincing manner. The […]

Film Reviews

Maestro

Friday, December 15th, 2023 Film Reviews,

Perhaps the only way to portray someone as mercurial as Leonard Bernstein is in the Cubist manner. The American poet, Wallace Stevens, suggested there were thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird, but with Bernstein (1918-90), that barely scrapes the surface. He was conductor, composer, pianist, writer of popular musicals, educator, and celebrity. One might […]

Film Reviews

Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story

Sunday, September 3rd, 2023 Film Reviews,

Michael Gudinski was a serious burner of candles at both ends. In describing the flamboyant record executive and concert promoter, most of his friends talk about his “energy” and “passion”. Director, Paul Goldman, who admits to a spiky relationship with his subject, says he set out to avoid making a hagiography. Nevertheless, this is what […]

Film Reviews

Chevalier

Friday, August 4th, 2023 Film Reviews,

Chevalier stretches the bounds of credibility from the very first scene. We are at a concert in Paris, in the late 18th century, where a cocksure Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is conducting his own music and playing the violin. When he invites requests from the audience, a black man in a periwig comes striding down the […]

Film Reviews

Red, White & Brass

Friday, June 23rd, 2023 Film Reviews,

Jennifer Lawrence, still considered one of Hollywood’s top drawcards, has appeared in only five films over the past six years. None were especially memorable, but her new effort, No Hard Feelings is a certified career killer. I never thought I’d see a big-name star degrade themselves so comprehensively as Robert De Niro did in Dirty […]

Film Reviews

Tár & Babylon

Friday, January 27th, 2023 Film Reviews,

Last week I thought Michelle Williams was unbeatable for Best Actress at this year’s Oscars, but after watching Tár, it’s hard to see Cate Blanchett coming second. Todd Field’s film about a musical genius who falls for the seductions of fame and power, is a classic Faustian tale. Blanchett’s Lydia Tár doesn’t exactly sell her […]

Film Reviews

Ticket to Paradise & Moonage Daydream

Thursday, September 15th, 2022 Film Reviews,

George Clooney and Julia Roberts have bought a ticket to Paradise, but which Paradise is that? They think they’re in Bali but someone has sold them a pup, because it’s actually Queensland – the Whitsundays to be precise. Their confusion is understandable because they seem to have landed in a colony of Balinese people, all […]

Film Reviews

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song

Saturday, July 16th, 2022 Film Reviews,

Hallelujah, the Hebrew word of praise for the Lord, is all over the Old Testament. How strange, but how very typical of our contemporary neediness and confusion, that Leonard Cohen’s song of that name should have become a secular pop anthem for our times. Daniel Geller and Dayna Golding’s innovative documentary, Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A […]

Film Reviews

Elvis

Friday, June 24th, 2022 Film Reviews,

There’s no mystery about a film by Baz Luhrmann. We know it’s going to be big and brassy, fast-moving, wilfully superficial, and packed with over-the-top theatrics. As a result, I go along to each new Baz film with a sense of diminished expectations. For me, everything started to go wrong with Moulin Rouge! (2001), which […]