Review: David Byrne’s American Utopia

Director: Spike Lee Stars: David Byrne, Tendayi Kuumba, Chris Giamo In the second half of the 1983 'Stop Making Sense' tour, Talking Heads frontman David Byrne would disappear off-stage briefly only to re-emerge in an over-sized suit. The famous 'big suit' and its associated moves were a mockery of a certain Wall Street mentality that … Continue reading Review: David Byrne’s American Utopia

Review: This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection

Director: Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese Stars: Mary Twala, Jerry Mofokeng, Makhaola Ndebele Lesotho sits in the midst of South Africa; a landlocked island on a continent whose cinema seldom makes it to our shores. A vast area of filmmaking effectively silenced by poor distribution and widespread apathy to what it has to say. This makes any … Continue reading Review: This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection

Review: The Woman Who Ran

Director: Hong Sang-soo Stars: Kim Min-hee, Song Seon-mi, Seo Young-hwa South Korean director Hong Sang-soo often feels to me like a modern day Éric Rohmer. His films are similarly small in scale, focusing on miniature comedies and dramas within small social microclimates. He's also similarly prolific, churning out multiple efforts a year sometimes. His are … Continue reading Review: The Woman Who Ran

Review: Education

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: Kenyah Sandy, Sharlene Whyte, Naomi Ackie Steve McQueen's Small Axe series of films comes to a bittersweet close with what appears to be his most personal tale - and possibly the most personally motivated piece of work in his career thus far. Throughout the strand, McQueen has spotlighted institutions that have failed … Continue reading Review: Education

Review: Alex Wheatle

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: Sheyi Cole, Jonathan Jules, Robbie Gee One of the points I wanted to cover (but skipped for the sake of relative brevity) in my review of Red, White and Blue was how important music remained to the storytelling; as vital an element as any in Steve McQueen's milestone Small Axe series. In last … Continue reading Review: Alex Wheatle

Review: Swallow

Director: Carlo Mirabella-Davis Stars: Haley Bennet, Denis O'Hare, Elizabeth Marvel Around the turn of the last century, a popular 'exhibit' at a touring freakshow would be the 'geek'; a person willing to eat anything at all - living, inanimate - to the delight and revulsion of incredulous spectators. The shock of this disturbing impulse - … Continue reading Review: Swallow

Review: Lovers Rock

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn, Ellis George, Micheal Ward The second installment in Steve McQueen's Small Axe strand shows a further loosening of the acclaimed director's composure; it's very flex marking it out as one of the most interesting pivots in his career thus far. It may be half the length of Mangrove, but it … Continue reading Review: Lovers Rock

Review: Mangrove

Director: Steve McQueen Stars: Letitia Wright, Shaun Parkes, Malachi Kirby My grandfather was a policeman and lifelong Tory. By the time I knew him as an old man he was defined in my eyes, sadly, as an alcoholic and a racist. So racist that he was even racist in his sleep. I was a child and … Continue reading Review: Mangrove

Review: His House

Director: Remi Weekes Stars: Wunmi Mosaku, Sope Dirisu, Malaika Wakoli-Abigaba Remi Weekes' film, new to Netflix, turns the apprehensions and traumas of two refugees arriving on UK soil into the stuff of empathetic nightmares. It's an odd but welcome get for the streaming service, which more often trades in the kind of louder, brighter material that can … Continue reading Review: His House

Review: Shirley

Director: Josephine Decker Stars: Odessa Young, Michael Stuhlbarg, Elisabeth Moss Fertility courses through the latest feature from Josephine Decker, her first since gathering international attention two years ago with the fierce yet polarising Madeline's Madeline. Rose Nemser (Odessa Young) is pregnant on her arrival at the Vermont home of renowned horror author Shirley Jackson (Elisabeth … Continue reading Review: Shirley

Review: Relic

Director: Natalie Erika James Stars: Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote, Robyn Nevin With most UK cinemas shuttered, you might be hard-pressed to find a new set of scares this Halloween, but consider the arrival of Natalie Erika James' new Australian offering, which has plenty of chills to suit your needs this October 31st. Indeed, chilly is … Continue reading Review: Relic

Review: On The Rocks

Director: Sofia Coppola Stars: Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans, Bill Murray During the rounds for The Beguiled, the whiteness of Sofia Coppola's cinema became part of The Discourse. Though persons of colour have played minor or supporting roles here and there in her work, it was fair criticism - especially considering that film's setting - and … Continue reading Review: On The Rocks

Review: Nocturne

Director: Zu Quirke Stars: Sydney Sweeney, Madison Iseman, Jacques Colimon Sibling rivalry, bloody-minded ambition and collegiate pressure all coalesce in Zu Quirke's excellent slow-burn creeper, Nocturne; the jewel in the crown thus far of Amazon Prime's Welcome to the Blumhouse strand. Juliet (Sydney Sweeney) and Vivian (Madison Iseman) are non-identical twins approaching 18 years of age, … Continue reading Review: Nocturne

Review: Dick Johnson is Dead

Director: Kirsten Johnson This year has seen a lot of people lose elderly relatives to the ongoing global pandemic and most families have been unable to say a traditional goodbye through funeral ceremonies. Reduced gatherings, social distancing... these things and more have been barriers at times, stopping us from communing when we most feel the … Continue reading Review: Dick Johnson is Dead

Review: Rocks

Director: Sarah Gavron Stars: Bukky Bakray, Kosar Ali,  Shaneigha-Monik Greyson Sarah Gavron first came to my attention with her quirky, singular documentary on life in a remote Greenland hamlet, Village at the End of the World. That film prominently featured a young man often dissatisfied and at odds with his environment. Gavron's latest - a narrative … Continue reading Review: Rocks