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, … Continue reading Review: Vivarium

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 … Continue reading Review: Bacurau

Review: Dark Waters

Director: Todd Haynes Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Bill Camp, Anne Hathaway Remember the vast warehouse in Raiders of the Lost Ark where the titular treasure is surreptitiously hidden at the end of the movie? Imagine being the person who has to go in there and find it again. Without guidance. Or, not only that, collate all … Continue reading Review: Dark Waters

Review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Director: Céline Sciamma Stars: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami Walking home from seeing Portrait of a Lady on Fire, I reached the crossing at a roundabout, pressed the small circular button and waited for the lights to change. Shimmying slightly through my glasses, the green man lit up clearly and I stepped onto the … Continue reading Review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Review: A Hidden Life

Director: Terrence Malick Stars: August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Bruno Ganz It took 25 years for Terrence Malick to create three features; Badlands, Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line. Who among us would have predicted the six he has given us over the last decade? This late career run produced some astonishing if polarising work, as … Continue reading Review: A Hidden Life

Review: Parasite

Director: Bong Joon-Ho Stars: Song Kang-Ho, Lee Sun-Kyun, Cho Yeo-Jeong Throughout his career, writer/director Bong Joon-Ho has been preoccupied with matters of class and entitlement. From the underdog family at the centre of monster-movie riff The Host to the very premise of train-bound sci-fi Snowpiercer. Bong has a penchant for asking us to root for … Continue reading Review: Parasite

Review: Mute Fire

Director: Federico Atehortúa Arteaga Arteaga initially set out to make a documentary about the origins of Colombian cinema; itself a fertile ground for exploration. In the process of doing so, however, he came to realise that the medium's tentative first steps were inherently connected to the country's history of violence and civil unrest; something that … Continue reading Review: Mute Fire

Review: Uncut Gems

Directors: Joshua Safdie, Benny Safdie Stars: Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Lakeith Stanfield Anyone familiar with the cinema of Joshua and Benny Safdie might well feel a sense of dislocation at the opening of their latest, Uncut Gems. The boys have come up and made a name for themselves with a brash, guerrilla-style of filmmaking back and … Continue reading Review: Uncut Gems

Review: Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Director: Bi Gan Stars: Huang Jue, Tang Wei, Sylvia Chang In a very specific but entirely fitting sense, Bi Gan's Long Day's Journey Into Night exists outside of time for me. The film was released in China on the last day of 2018. It received its (very limited) UK cinematic release in the last week … Continue reading Review: Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Review: Black Christmas (2019)

Director: Sophia Takal Stars: Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Cary Elwes In an early scene of Sophia Takal's unfairly derided Black Christmas, Imogen Poots' Riley is selected in her classic literature class to suppose a writer's intention. She responds that the context-free quote speaks of how men think and women feel; that because of this it is a man's … Continue reading Review: Black Christmas (2019)

Review: Little Women

Director: Greta Gerwig Stars: Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson There's a scene in Noah Baumbach's Mistress America in which Greta Gerwig's character Brooke has to pitch her idea for New York restaurant called Mom's. The place would have big chunky furniture; where at the end of the night the chef and the service staff joined the … Continue reading Review: Little Women

Review: Atlantics

Director: Mati Diop Stars: Mame Bineta Sane, Amadou Mbow, Nicole Sougou The Senegalese peninsular city of Dakar is one of West Africa's extremities, reaching out to the Atlantic. The city itself is eager to broaden its appeal to the developed world. In this earnest endeavour, disparities between rich and poor are ripe for observation, and … Continue reading Review: Atlantics

Review: Marriage Story

Director: Noah Baumbach Stars: Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Scarlett Johansson Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) were a happily married couple living in New York, until they weren't. Noah Baumbach's latest film - a mix of emotionally wrought drama and excruciating farce that plays out like a career summation - unpicks a marriage as … Continue reading Review: Marriage Story

Review: Eyes Wide Shut (20th anniversary)

Director: Stanley Kubrick Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack If being a cinephile is a form of addiction (and it often feels like it is) then the films of Stanley Kubrick are its gateway drugs. Not Kubrick alone, granted, but there are a clutch of 'great' directors whose work is easily available, who open … Continue reading Review: Eyes Wide Shut (20th anniversary)

Review: Knives Out

Director: Rian Johnson Stars: Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Toni Collette I had a disquieting experience going to see Knives Out which I think I want to talk about if you'll indulge me. Before the feature started, during the previews of coming attractions, the trailer for Taika Waititi's Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit played. A man - bald, … Continue reading Review: Knives Out