Why I Love… #141: Mayak (The Lighthouse)

Year: 2006 Director: Maria Saakyan Stars: Anna Kapaleva, Olga Yakovleva, Sos Sargsyan Many filmmakers have become enamoured with the cyclical wiring and foibles of memory. Like Jeffrey Eugenides' source novel, Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides framed a '70s suburban tragedy through the unreliable remembrances of the local boys who witnessed it. Christopher Nolan went further, … Continue reading Why I Love… #141: Mayak (The Lighthouse)

Review: The Green Knight

Director: David Lowery Stars: Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Sarita Choudhury David Lowery's Arthurian odyssey ought to have played wide in cinemas here in the UK, but that ship sailed once Entertainment Film Distributors struck a deal with Jeff Bezo's shopping empire. As a result, you'll be very lucky if you have the opportunity to see … Continue reading Review: The Green Knight

Review: Limbo

Director: Ben Sharrock Stars: Amir El-Masry, Vikash Bhai, Sidse Babett Knudsen A car filled with disrespectful teenagers performs doughnuts in the wet sands of a Scottish estuary out in the middle of nowhere. In the backseat between two teenage girls, Syrian asylum-seeker Omar (Amir El-Masry) sits uncomfortably as he is spun around and around; promised … Continue reading Review: Limbo

Why I Love… #140: Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

Year: 1997 Director: David Mirkin Stars: Lisa Kudrow, Mira Sorvino, Janeane Garofalo Seemingly destined to become a cult title from its very release, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion remains a kooky delight nearly 25 years later, and high-key one of the best (and funniest) movies about friendship to come out of the '90s. Trapped in … Continue reading Why I Love… #140: Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

Minutiae: The Cake Scene in Under the Skin

With it's almost Kubrickian poise, bitter Scottish landscapes and it's juddering, unearthly score provided by Mica Levi, Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin has an understandable - if unfair - reputation as a cold, cruel and detached beast. Scarlett Johansson's inscrutable, unnamed human facsimile may seem in-keeping with this assessment, not exactly warming up the screen. … Continue reading Minutiae: The Cake Scene in Under the Skin

Why I Love… #139: Johnny Guitar

Year: 1954 Director: Nicholas Ray Stars: Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge Everything is explosive in Johnny Guitar. Miners shout. Waterfalls roar. Emotions over-boil. Guns fire. The movie starts with a detonation as developers encroach on the land in the vicinity of Vienna's saloon, setting the tone for the remainder of the picture. In his archival … Continue reading Why I Love… #139: Johnny Guitar

Review: Prisoners of the Ghostland

Director: Sion Sono Stars: Nicolas Cage, Sofia Boutella, Bill Moseley Prisoners of the Ghostland opens on a push-in shot of a gumball machine brimming with brightly coloured candy balls, and it's as fitting an image for the unfolding tale as one might've hoped for. Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono has a cult following in the West … Continue reading Review: Prisoners of the Ghostland

Review: Rose Plays Julie

Directors: Joe Lawlor, Christine Molloy Stars: Ann Skelly, Aidan Gillen, Orla Brady I've recently been reading the second edition of Alexandra Heller-Nicholas' exceptional book Rape Revenge Films: A Critical Study. Grueling subject matter, for sure, but Heller-Nicholas chisels down into the tropes of the subgenre, its myriad splinters, and its potential to provide therapy and catharsis … Continue reading Review: Rose Plays Julie

Review: Kate

Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Miku Martineau, Jun Kunimura People wonder why other people watch slasher movies when - crude violence aside - so many of them are interchangeable. I watch my share and it's true; what you get in one isn't often much different to what you'll find in another. But therein … Continue reading Review: Kate

Review: The Voyeurs

Director: Michael Mohan Stars: Sydney Sweeney, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Justice Smith Sydney Sweeney is so hot right now. Having starred in the best (by some distance) of last year's Welcome to the Blumhouse strand (Zu Quirke's Nocturne) and having very recently been a part of HBO's hot-topic Hawaiian holiday miniseries The White Lotus, the Instagram favourite … Continue reading Review: The Voyeurs

Review: Malignant

Director: James Wan Stars: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, Michole Brianna White Throughout an already significant tenure in popular horror cinema, James Wan has been most commonly creeped out by the idea of losing control. Be it succumbing to Jigsaw's traps or getting possessed by whatever malevolent ills stalk the shadows of Insidious and The Conjuring, … Continue reading Review: Malignant

Review: New Order

Director: Michel Franco Stars: Naian Gonzalez Norvind, Diego Boneta, Darío Yazbek Bernal Bong Joon-Ho's globally lauded Parasite wasn't exactly sly with its observations on class disparity, but it seems positively nuanced when set beside the blunt force trauma of Michel Franco's latest offering from Mexico. New Order presents a rapidly escalating conflict between working and upper … Continue reading Review: New Order

Minutiae: The Interlude in Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell - both in manga and anime form - draws from a wide spectrum of philosophy for its deliberations on the nature of consciousness and the borders of existence. It's characters quote Descartes, Confucius and a gamut of others as they ruminate and cogitate, between - or even during - bouts of tactical … Continue reading Minutiae: The Interlude in Ghost in the Shell

Why I Love… #138: Fallen Angels

Year: 1995 Director: Wong Kar Wai Stars: Leon Lai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Michelle Reis Literally sensational, the cinema of Wong Kar Wai is presently receiving a welcome shot of exposure here in the UK. In part thanks to the Criterion Collection release of eight of his films (I'm including The Hand) in a lavish, pricey, but essential … Continue reading Why I Love… #138: Fallen Angels

Review: Candyman (2021)

Director: Nia DaCosta Stars: Teyonah Parris, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Colman Domingo It's been nearly 30 years since Bernard Rose's Candyman sent an ungodly swarm of bees looming over Chicago and, ultimately, much further afield. Being of a (wince) certain age, I can remember the buzz of Candyman in the playground. Kids daring one another to go … Continue reading Review: Candyman (2021)