Prisoners of the Ghostland

Share this Share this Merchants of chaos Nicolas Cage and Sion Sono team up for a fleet-fisted tale of redemption and uprising.In 2016 The Hollywood Reporter dubbed Sion Sono “the most subversive filmmaker working in Japanese cinema today”. The eponymous Hero (Nicolas Cage) is a ruthless bank robber, sprung from the jailhouse by The Governor (Bill Moseley), who hires him to retrieve his missing “niece” Bernice (Sofia Boutella) from the radioactive ‘Ghostland’ beyond the safety of the town limits. The premise alone promises zany carnage. In Retrospect. Although Aaron Hendry…

Fauci

As most people are already aware, Fauci’s big fight wasn’t with Covid, it was with a commander in chief who was chillingly open to offering folksy medical advice based on the insane witterings of my friend’s cousin’s brother’s barman. Published 16 Sep 2021 Share this Bono turns up at the end to praise his work in successfully lobbying George W Bush to send aid and medicine to sub-Saharan Africa. As with almost all recorded images featuring ex-President Donald Trump, the short segments featured in this film are almost gag-inducing in…

Gunpowder Milkshake

On John Wick’s family tree, another bloody branch. Except that this is delivered without a hint of conviction, the result of some presumed mandate for “heart” to offset all the gunplay. Those hopeful that the industry reaction might manifest as a spate of taut action pieces undergirded by intensive martial-arts-informed stunt work were ultimately disappointed to find that the bastard offspring focused instead on the more easily replicable elements of the original winning formula. Navot Papushado’s Gunpowder Milkshake demonstrates deeper commitment than most to hand-to-hand action, yielding two memorable and…

A Brixton Tale

But his background and race make him easy to manipulate and, unfortunately, envisioning him as a typical product of violence and hooliganism is all too easy. His desire to show himself as a roadman becomes critical in the film’s latter half. A Brixton Tale Review by Leslie Byron Pitt @Afrofilmviewer Share this Directed by Bertrand Desrochers Darragh Carey Starring Barney Harris Lily Newmark Michael Maloney Anticipation. When he asks why Leah never invites him round to her house, the supposed hidden answer is obvious. In watching Leah’s cosy suburban home…

Everything we know about Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza

In the States, the public won’t have to wait long to drink in another PTA period piece: according to an official statement “MGM (via United Artists) will open Licorice Pizza in limited release November 26. Share this Words Charles Bramesco @intothecrevasse Share this Share this Though it looked for a moment like the pesky pandemic that just refuses to end would preempt a lot of the cinema programming for the remainder of the year, many distributors are holding fast to their scheduling plans and moving forward with caution. Situating another…

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

In one visually-arresting sequence, Jamie ventures into Hugo’s memories. Adapted from a much-loved musical, Jonathan Butterell’s film has a lot to live up to. While his absent father (Ralph Ineson), lousy careers adviser (Sharon Horgan) and homophobic school bully (Samuel Bottomley) strive to scupper Jamie’s dreams, his adorable best friend Pritti (Lauren Patel) encourages him in all his forms of self-expression. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie Review by Emily Maskell @EmMaskell Share this Directed by Jonathan Butterell Starring Lauren Patel Max Harwood Sarah Lancashire Anticipation. Sometimes sickly sweet but always palatable.…

The Story of Looking

The Story of Looking Review by Laura Venning @laura_venning Share this Directed by Mark Cousins Starring Mark Cousins Anticipation. As someone obsessed with the act of looking, he is forced to grapple with what vision really means. In Retrospect. Most arresting is Cousins’ decision to show the eye surgery itself in enormous, unavoidable close-up. This is clearly not so much the story of looking but his story of looking. Mark Cousins can sometimes be a tad po-faced but this lockdown project is intriguing. Perhaps after months of staring at the…

Mark Cousins on The Story of Looking and his screen epiphanies

I was 20 when I saw this and we were very under the cosh of Thatcherism. No one had. Jakubowska was incarcerated in Auschwitz and then, just a year after liberation, she was back there, directing this remarkable fiction film in the camp. I don’t think I’d seen a panic attack on screen before, or at least rendered in that way, as a kind of numbness. Wanda Jakubowska’s The Last Stage As I’ve made a film about Holocaust denial and am very interested in how movies portray atrocity, I thought…

The Humans – first-look review

Published 14 Sep 2021 Share this The film inevitably loses this spatiality through cuts, but Karam uses the medium to his advantage, employing extreme close-ups (if maybe a few too many) and framing his characters between doorways to give the impression of a dollhouse. Unfolding in real-time, pleasantries quickly thaw into deep-seated anxieties that no one is fit to observe. The Humans – first-look review Stephen Karam adapts his own Tony Award-winning family drama with the help of an impressive ensemble cast.Turning a Broadway hit into a film usually goes…

The Forgiven – first-look review

Fiennes and Chastain loathe each other well, convincingly bickering about whatever emerges from the other’s mouth while still ensuring enough care to suggest a history. This man is the mainstay of John Michael McDonagh’s The Forgiven, an adaptation of Lawrence Osborne’s 2012 novel about a loveless couple spading through the fallout of a fatal accident. It’s unclear who The Forgiven is for, though. McDonagh prods at the uber-wealthy, allowing his A-listers to jockey for the title of Worst Debauchee, but he does more to scold their materialism than the broader…

A new film season explores the relationship between autism and cinema

Non-autistic actors portrayed the condition in stories mediated through non-autistic characters, often a haggard sibling in the likes of Rain Man and Molly, the latter about attempting to “cure” someone of their autism via experimental brain surgery. The decision to include Mulholland Drive, perplexing as it may seem, is in keeping with the season’s aim of exploring perspectives on cinema adjacent to neurodiversity. Most of the season is comprised of similarly themed material, including Mick Jackson’s 2010 biopic of autistic rights activist Temple Grandin, and Jean-Pierre Daniel, Fernand Deligny and…

Rose Plays Julie

Lawlor and Molloy rarely put a foot wrong, so excited to see this new one. Rose Plays Julie Review by David Jenkins @daveyjenkins Share this Directed by Christine Molloy Joe Lawlor Starring Aidan Gillen Ann Skelly Orla Brady Anticipation. Rose discovers she was adopted, and wants to know who her real parents are. Enjoyment. The pair’s most ambitious and provocative film yet. In Retrospect. You deliver the poison. Would make a fascinating, ethically thorny double feature with Promising Young Woman. Ellen’s trauma is transferred to Rose and exacerbated by the…

Encounter – first look review

It’s a shame considering how strong Pearce’s debut Beast was, which felt like a more nuanced approach to mental instability. Time and time again we see schizophrenia used as a plot device in films, usually painting people with the condition as unstable and dangerous to those around them. The question hangs over the film as to whether Curtis’ premonitions are real or a symptom of mental illness; it’s a beautiful, haunting end-of-days drama that regularly springs to mind whenever I have a nightmare or see a particularly overcast sky. Violent…

The Mad Woman’s Ball – first-look review

While there are brief scenes of discomfort and abuse sprinkled throughout the film, the director’s framing never seems intrusive – something that is important to balance when tackling stories about institutional exploitation. Published 13 Sep 2021 Share this Sound designers Cyril Moisson, Alexis Place, and Cyril Holtz fill scenes with intense echoes and the screams or laughs of the institutionalized women Eugénie now lives with. A young socialite named Eugénie (Lou de Laâge) begins to see spirits, which causes her to experience brief panic attacks. When her father learns of…

The Eyes of Tammy Faye – first look review

Somewhere between realizing why her marriage wasn’t working, striking up an almost-affair with another man, and developing one of those pill addictions that always seem to creep in around the second act of movies like this, she strayed from the light. Growing up under an ascetic Pentecost (Cherry Jones) guarded in her affections created a hole in chipmunk-cheeked Tammy Faye, which she’d spend her whole life trying in vain to fill with the love of her eventual husband Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield) and the extravagant wealth he’d bring her. Those…