Why I Love… #111: Morocco

Year: 1930 Director: Josef von Sternberg Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Adolphe Menjou For whatever reason, in spite of the tremendous acclaim for the pictures produced, I never quite got the fuss over the 1930s pairing of Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich. The Blue Angel was fine, it seemed to me, while the likes of Shanghai …

Review: Vivarium

Director: Lorcan Finnegan Stars: Imogen Poots, Jessie Eisenberg, Eanna Hardwicke Vivarium might appear shrewdly, even cruelly timed; arriving on streaming platforms in the midst of a pandemic that has restricted whole nations to their homes. For here we have an elusive and intriguing domestic nightmare about a young couple trapped at home... seemingly forever. However, …

Review: The Truth

Director: Hirokazu Kore-Eda Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke Perhaps its fitting that Hirokazu Kore-Eda's first film outside of Japan should concern artifice and the cinema itself. Following his Palme d'Or win in 2018 with Shoplifters, Kore-Eda relocates to France, and presents us a fractured family that is intrinsically connected to the movie business. Spinning …

Review: The Platform

Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia Stars: Ivan Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan For the last two weeks here in the UK, maybe longer, we've been inundated with images of our supermarkets being ransacked as panic-buyers empty shelves in preparation for the End Times. The country is edging closer to lockdown as cases of COVID-19 continue to …

Review: Bacurau

Directors:  Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles Stars: Bárbara Colen, Thomas Aquino, Udo Kier Both Kleber Mendonça Filho's prior films - 2012's Neighbouring Sounds and 2016's Aquarius - depicted Brazilian communities under pressure from external sources. They were subtly balanced portraits of micro-climates in touching distance from humdrum reality. Neither of these works may properly prepare you for his …

Review: My Spy

Director: Peter Segal Stars: Dave Bautista, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Kristen Schaal For about five minutes last year it looked like we were going to have The Summer of Dave Bautista. Following the box office conquering Avengers: Endgame, two trailers landed for broadly appealing comedies starring everyone's favourite Guardian of the Galaxy. Stuber promised buddy action thrills, while My Spy …

Review: Little Joe

Director: Jessica Hausner Stars: Emily Beecham, Ben Wishaw, Kit Connor In both Don Siegel and Philip Kaufman's famous iterations of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the titular floral menace crashes to Earth from outer space. It is an interloper from elsewhere and so, in a real sense, an agent of chaos out of our control. …

Review: The Invisible Man

Director: Leigh Whannell Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid Abuse and abusers come in many forms but the root objective, insidiously, seems most often to be control. Control of another person. It's one of the more despicable traits to have defined humanity for centuries. Leigh Whannell's bold reinterpretation of The Invisible Man shines a …

Review: First Love

Director: Takashi Miike Stars: Becky, Masataka Kubota, Sakurako Konishi During most trips to the cinema you won't find yourself watching gut-shot Yakuza henchmen having dust from blown-open cocaine baggies snorted off of their rising hard-ons on the backseat of a speeding car, but then, most trips to the cinema in the UK aren't to see …