Archive for the ‘Film Reviews’ Category

Bastards (2013)

Bastards (2013)
Pleasing mystification not so good when it comes clear? This is one of Denis’ puzzlers, like The Intruder, except it’s not that pleasurably mysterious, and lacks its vigorous, tonic physicality, unless you call moments of sex and violence that. Many of the usual players are there, with Vincent...
November 12th, 2013 | Film Reviews | Read More

12 Years a Slave (2013)

12 Years a Slave (2013)
The ordeal of the ancestors 12 Years a Slave, adapted from the true account by Soloman Northrup, a free black man resident in New York who was kidnapped into slavery from 1841 to 1853 in the South, is British artist Steve McQueen’s third feature film, after his powerful debut Hunger (NYFF 2008,...
November 12th, 2013 | Film Reviews | Read More

All is Lost (2013)

All is Lost (2013)
A sacrament of survival The only appropriate thing to say about J.C. Chandor’s highly original and brilliantly executed second feature is nothing, because it is wordless, or nearly so. It follows someone for days in a life and death struggle who hardly speaks at all. Our Man (Robert Redford) has...
November 12th, 2013 | Film Reviews | Read More

Behind The Camera: Why Mr. E Went To Hollywood (2013)

Behind The Camera: Why Mr. E Went To Hollywood (2013)
Blurring the lines between documentary and fiction, director Je-yong Lee’s Behind The Camera is best described as the Korean version of Tom DiCillo’s Living In Oblivion (1995), his brilliantly witty account of the perils of filmmaking and, better yet, the subjectivity of shared experience....
November 12th, 2013 | Film Reviews | Read More

About Time (2013)

About Time (2013)
Second chances Richard Curtis writes his own screenplays, and well he might, since he got a First in English at Oxford. Oxford notwithstanding, he is a pop writer, a Brit from New Zealand originally who turns out English equivalents of Nora Ephron. And no harm in that. If Notting Hill wasn’t...
November 12th, 2013 | Film Reviews | Read More

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
The dreaded sequel to a first instalment is the make-or-break point in any film franchise.  Most have a tendency to be inferior to the original film, but then once in a while, you get a sequel that exceeds all expectations or even better yet, surprise you. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire follows Katniss...
November 12th, 2013 | Feature, Film Reviews | Read More

Her (2013)

Her (2013)
A mechanized rom-com that goes soft Her takes us to a futuristic LA deftly constructed using exteriors shot in Shanghai. It’s a pretty, pastel world. But there’s small fun in it because its inhabitants, made up chiefly of thirty-somethings, can’t relate. The protagonist, Theodore (Joaquin...
November 12th, 2013 | Feature, Film Reviews | Read More

Boomerang Family (2013)

Boomerang Family (2013)
There are families with black sheep, and then there are black sheep families. The dysfunctional kindred of Hae-sung Song’s fantastically obsidian comedy are like a low-class, anti-intellectual, economically ruined Royal Tenenbaums: the oldest, a college graduate who never realised his potential...
November 12th, 2013 | Feature, Film Reviews | Read More

We Are the Best! (2013)

We Are the Best! (2013)
Having missed this film at the Venice Film Festival this year, due to a scheduling clash, I was delighted to see it was playing at the Cornwall Film Festival. Lukas Moodysson’s latest film is a slice of adolescent punk set in Stockholm in 1982 and based on wife Coco’s comic book. Moodysson returns...
November 12th, 2013 | Feature, Film Reviews | Read More

Gravity (2013)

Gravity (2013)
Dazzling evocation of floating in space, not free of other conventions When it begins in medias res, an experienced American astronaut, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), is working with a woman medical engineer, Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), who’s only had six months of training, and they’re...
November 11th, 2013 | Film Reviews | Read More