What Maisie Knew

Things are poised for the worst when parents divorce, but do not unfold via the expected trajectory  – unless of course you’ve read the Thomas Mann novel upon which this tragi-redemption tale is based. Initially appearing to lack the requisite gravity

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What Maisie Knew

Things are poised for the worst when parents divorce, but do not unfold via the expected trajectory  – unless of course you’ve read the Thomas Mann novel upon which this tragi-redemption tale is based. Initially appearing to lack the requisite gravity

/ No comments

Birdman

The power of the superhero, like any hero, is also a weakness, a shadow. So the hero rejects his special powers in a quest to be human, But he fails because it means he rejects part of himself and leaves his world

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Birdman

The power of the superhero, like any hero, is also a weakness, a shadow. So the hero rejects his special powers in a quest to be human, But he fails because it means he rejects part of himself and leaves his world

/ One Comment

American Sniper

American Sniper’s apparent banner message is that America needs to move on. Troops are coming home to live among civilians again; understand their experience. But a lot of the time it seems to forget this intention, or even to have one. It

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American Sniper

American Sniper’s apparent banner message is that America needs to move on. Troops are coming home to live among civilians again; understand their experience. But a lot of the time it seems to forget this intention, or even to have one. It

/ 4 Comments

Maps To The Stars

David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars presents a tragedy of corruption and inbreeding in high places, in this case the homes of Hollywood’s B-list. When cycles of abuse collide, incipient violence erupts and death steps in to clean up the entangling mess. A link isn’t entirely

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Maps To The Stars

David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars presents a tragedy of corruption and inbreeding in high places, in this case the homes of Hollywood’s B-list. When cycles of abuse collide, incipient violence erupts and death steps in to clean up the entangling mess. A link isn’t entirely

/ 4 Comments

Only Lovers Left Alive

The perenniality of the vampire genre derives from its capacity for reinvention. Its form mimics its content in similar fashion to the zombie genre, each transcending death. In Only Lovers Left Alive, the immortality of Jarmusch’s vampire couple is a perfect foil

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Only Lovers Left Alive

The perenniality of the vampire genre derives from its capacity for reinvention. Its form mimics its content in similar fashion to the zombie genre, each transcending death. In Only Lovers Left Alive, the immortality of Jarmusch’s vampire couple is a perfect foil

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Inside Llewyn Davis

The Coens tell a story of the man who would not be Bob Dylan with such relentless unapologetic deflation that it actually feels like something out of the end of the sixties, like Midnight Cowboy or Medium Cool or Easy Rider (all

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Inside Llewyn Davis

The Coens tell a story of the man who would not be Bob Dylan with such relentless unapologetic deflation that it actually feels like something out of the end of the sixties, like Midnight Cowboy or Medium Cool or Easy Rider (all

/ 5 Comments

Noah

God gets a bad rap in Noah, as Darren Aronofsky tries to construe a story that makes no physical, psychological or moral sense. A brood of hapless humans is disgorged out onto what looks like a barren coalfield with no recourse

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Noah

God gets a bad rap in Noah, as Darren Aronofsky tries to construe a story that makes no physical, psychological or moral sense. A brood of hapless humans is disgorged out onto what looks like a barren coalfield with no recourse

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Maleficent

For this revisionist revisitation, Disney’s 1959 Sleeping Beauty is merely a point of departure. The two relate glancingly enough that they’re almost ships in the night. The formerly mysterious and unmotivated villain Maleficent, self-proclaimed ‘Mistress of all Evil’, is this time

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Maleficent

For this revisionist revisitation, Disney’s 1959 Sleeping Beauty is merely a point of departure. The two relate glancingly enough that they’re almost ships in the night. The formerly mysterious and unmotivated villain Maleficent, self-proclaimed ‘Mistress of all Evil’, is this time

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Blue Is the Warmest Colour

This could be called An Ordinary Romance if it weren’t about two girls. They meet, they love, things run their unsurprising course. But not only does it work, it works for three hours straight and wins a Palme d’Or.

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Blue Is the Warmest Colour

This could be called An Ordinary Romance if it weren’t about two girls. They meet, they love, things run their unsurprising course. But not only does it work, it works for three hours straight and wins a Palme d’Or.

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Under The Skin

A disappointing adaptation that barely scrapes the surface of Michel Faber’s masterful and understated alien-incursion novel. The initial scenario is the same but Faber’s themes of class and industrial ethics are discarded in favour of more familiar gender politics, alien

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Under The Skin

A disappointing adaptation that barely scrapes the surface of Michel Faber’s masterful and understated alien-incursion novel. The initial scenario is the same but Faber’s themes of class and industrial ethics are discarded in favour of more familiar gender politics, alien

/ 2 Comments

Performance (1970)

An art movie, a drug movie, a Mick Jagger acting debut, Nicolas Roeg’s directing debut, a late, post-swinging 60’s bohemian manifesto, but underpinning all that one of the best British gangster flicks around. It features a foulmouthed, thuggish, head kicking

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Performance (1970)

An art movie, a drug movie, a Mick Jagger acting debut, Nicolas Roeg’s directing debut, a late, post-swinging 60’s bohemian manifesto, but underpinning all that one of the best British gangster flicks around. It features a foulmouthed, thuggish, head kicking

/ 3 Comments

Pandora’s Promise

This unabashedly pro-nuclear documentary makes a good case, or rather an already well established case, that we need to find, by yesterday, a viable alternative to fossil fuels given the current dangers to human survival presented by combustion power. The

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Pandora’s Promise

This unabashedly pro-nuclear documentary makes a good case, or rather an already well established case, that we need to find, by yesterday, a viable alternative to fossil fuels given the current dangers to human survival presented by combustion power. The

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Spring Breakers

Four american college girls on spring break take time out from underdressing and pouring alcohol inside and outside their bodies to engage in bouts of organised and and disorganised crime. In the latter half of the film they team up with

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Spring Breakers

Four american college girls on spring break take time out from underdressing and pouring alcohol inside and outside their bodies to engage in bouts of organised and and disorganised crime. In the latter half of the film they team up with

/ One Comment

Her

Technologically mediated relationships are the setting but not entirely the point here, because it seems Her is actually the first great movie about the technological Singularity since that term entered common parlance. And the idea being couched as a love story, albeit

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Her

Technologically mediated relationships are the setting but not entirely the point here, because it seems Her is actually the first great movie about the technological Singularity since that term entered common parlance. And the idea being couched as a love story, albeit

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

By now you’re on board with this story or you’re not. Everything about the latest interstitial from middle earth feels like a middle, an entertaining if thinly plotted hero’s journey between the last Hobbit movie and the next. On HFR

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

By now you’re on board with this story or you’re not. Everything about the latest interstitial from middle earth feels like a middle, an entertaining if thinly plotted hero’s journey between the last Hobbit movie and the next. On HFR

/ One Comment

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

This devotional piece from Martin Scorcese (based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis) wavers between inspired moments of heresy and long stretches of being just another Jesus movie. While in its way wholly respectful to the prophets, it disrespects sacred

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The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

This devotional piece from Martin Scorcese (based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis) wavers between inspired moments of heresy and long stretches of being just another Jesus movie. While in its way wholly respectful to the prophets, it disrespects sacred

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Elysium

Another film about the rich seeking to purge themselves of the poor, taking their bat and baubles and exclusive health care and going home, or in this case moving to an orbiting space station. It’s a disappointing second outing for

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Elysium

Another film about the rich seeking to purge themselves of the poor, taking their bat and baubles and exclusive health care and going home, or in this case moving to an orbiting space station. It’s a disappointing second outing for

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The Purge

Extrapolated a few degrees sideways into a parallel future, America has undergone some kind of reboot. The ‘new founding fathers’ have reclaimed the night for freedom, the expression of which is an annual holiday where law and order are suspended

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The Purge

Extrapolated a few degrees sideways into a parallel future, America has undergone some kind of reboot. The ‘new founding fathers’ have reclaimed the night for freedom, the expression of which is an annual holiday where law and order are suspended

/ One Comment

Gravity

It’s rare for a movie to sustain a high level of tension for its entire running length. Gravity achieves this feat by playing in real time, or close to it, opening with a set piece that clocks in at 13

/ One Comment

Gravity

It’s rare for a movie to sustain a high level of tension for its entire running length. Gravity achieves this feat by playing in real time, or close to it, opening with a set piece that clocks in at 13

/ One Comment

Star Trek Into Darkness

The rebooted Trek franchise is already feeling like a dog-gnawed sneaker. One of the few still-twinkling christmas lights in JJ Abrams’ otherwise overstretched and underbaked portfolio is boldly going nowhere at the second instalment. Benedict Cumberbatch makes an arresting and articulate

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Star Trek Into Darkness

The rebooted Trek franchise is already feeling like a dog-gnawed sneaker. One of the few still-twinkling christmas lights in JJ Abrams’ otherwise overstretched and underbaked portfolio is boldly going nowhere at the second instalment. Benedict Cumberbatch makes an arresting and articulate

/ One Comment