Reviews

SXSW 2017 – The Hero (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – The Hero (2017)

Iconic stars don’t die, they simply fade away until we only remember their defining roles. That certainly seems to be the case for forgotten western actor Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott), largely out of work and out of contact with his family. Except death is all too real for him, opening […]

SXSW 2017 – Hot Summer Nights (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – Hot Summer Nights (2017)

Is it only during long summer months’ teenagers ever find maturity? The venerable institution of the coming-of-age drama would have it so, sending (usually) nervous boys off to become men. Hot Summer Nights promises something similar before dancing off into the distance to deliver a truly fantastic, genre-defying experience. On […]

SXSW 2017 – Gemini (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – Gemini (2017)

The hardest thing to do when filming in Los Angeles is to make the city come to life. It’s featured so regularly in backdrops it begins to feel stale very quickly. There’re no such problems in Gemini, though the life Aaron Katz breathes into LA is a million miles away […]

SXSW 2017 – Most Beautiful Island (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – Most Beautiful Island (2017)

The world inhabited by Spanish émigré Luciana is not a comfortable one, though she’s crystal clear returning home is also not an option. After moving to New York to try and make something of her life, she’s left working a series of dead-end jobs that don’t offer enough money to […]

Elle (2016)
Film Review

Elle (2016)

It is a uniquely disorienting and confusing pleasure to watch Isabelle’s two latest movies – Mia Hansen-Løve’s Things to Come/L’Avenir and Paul Verhoeven’s Elle – one after another, as I just did in New York. Both were playing in the city’s premier annual cinematic event, the New York Film Festival. […]

SXSW 2017 – Small Town Crime (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – Small Town Crime (2017)

As President Trump likes to make abundantly clear, inner-cities are dangerous, crime-riddled places. However, the latest feature from the Nelms brothers (Eshom and Ian) suggests urban centres don’t have a monopoly on law-breaking. It’s in a small town (hence the title) where John Hawkes’ broken down ex-cop finds himself dragged […]

SXSW 2017 – Atomic Blonde (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – Atomic Blonde (2017)

In a breathless opening sequence, an inappropriately dressed man dashes around the streets of Berlin only to get repeatedly run over and then shot by a KGB agent, all while “Blue Monday” roars out. Atomic Blonde is not out to cause any confusion: it starts the way it means to […]

SXSW 2017 – This Is Your Death (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – This Is Your Death (2017)

If the title of This Is Your Death sounds like a terrible reality show, that would be because it is. Giancarlo Esposito’s second feature as director attempts to satirise reality TV culture by having Josh Duhamel host a show in which people commit suicide for money. There’s slightly more nuance […]

SXSW 2017 – Becoming Bond (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – Becoming Bond (2017)

Australian enigma George Lazenby is best known for what he didn’t do rather than what he did. His decision to turn down a multi-film Bond contract that would have made him a millionaire has long been mocked, when anyone remembers him at all. Becoming Bond places him back centre stage […]