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: 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: Varda by Agnès

Director: Agnès Varda Agnès Varda died on 29 March this year at the age of 90. I've seen too few of her films: the ones offered to me by MUBI in the wake of her death... last year's charming Faces Places... her own mini-documentary on the making of partner Jacques Demy's The Young Girls Of … Continue reading Review: Varda by Agnès

Review: Amazing Grace

Directors: Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack Stars: Aretha Franklin, Reverend James Cleveland, Clara Ward In Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film The Shining there is a scene in which Scatman Crothers' hotel employee Dick Halloran talks to young Danny Torrance about his incredible psychic gift. In order to put it into words that the boy can understand, he likens … Continue reading Review: Amazing Grace

Review: Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé

Director: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter "I wanted every person who has ever been dismissed because of the way they look to feel like they were on that stage, killing 'em, killing 'em." This quote from Beyoncé, which floats through the first of Homecoming's intervals, should serve to quiet dismissals that this film is merely a concert film. It is … Continue reading Review: Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé

Review: RBG

Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West With biopic On The Basis Of Sex currently playing in cinemas, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is having something of a career victory lap at the movies. Complimenting the dramatised version of her life starring Felicity Jones (or perhaps showing it up) is this delightful documentary from Julie Cohen and … Continue reading Review: RBG

Review: Free Solo

Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi Renowned climber Alex Honnold is, at first glance, your typical extreme-sports type; gangly, obsessive, prodigiously selfish and prone to describing himself as "stoked". This film, made by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi in partnership with expert aerial cinematographer Jimmy Chin, documents Honnold. It acts as a character portrait, framed around his … Continue reading Review: Free Solo

Review: Three Identical Strangers

Director: Tim Wardle We've all heard of the theory of six degrees of separation (or six degrees of Kevin Bacon, if you prefer). How society is interwoven to the degree that you can join the dots between any six people and find some form of connection. Tim Wardle's enthused documentary Three Identical Strangers delves into this … Continue reading Review: Three Identical Strangers

Review: American Animals

Director: Bart Layton Stars: Barry Keoghan, Evan Peters, Blake Jenner To what extent are movies culpable in real life crimes? It's a question that rears its head with regularity, particularly when the perpetrator(s) are young. Popular culture has a self-evident influence over our lives, shaping (but not defining) our preferences and politics, and perhaps also … Continue reading Review: American Animals

Review: Strong Island

Director:  Yance Ford In this bold documentary, Yance Ford scrutinises racial prejudices and segregation in the United States by bringing intense humanity to the subject, itemising a family tragedy by way of example. In 1992, his brother William Ford, Jr. was murdered but his killer evaded justice. Now, twenty-five years later, Ford uses his abilities … Continue reading Review: Strong Island

Review: Gaga: Five Foot Two

Director: Chris Moukarbel Stars: Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Bobby Campbell "I want to become a woman in this business and grow up. I mean, you become famous at 21 or 22, it's like you stop growing up," so says Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta aka Lady Gaga in this new documentary following the creation of her … Continue reading Review: Gaga: Five Foot Two

Review: David Lynch The Art Life

Directors: Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes,  Olivia Neergaard-Holm You are witnessing a front three-quarter view of an adult sharing several tender moments. That is to say, this documentary is an access point into the creative history of master filmmaker David Lynch, but not a Pandora's box of answers to the riddles in his narratives. If you're … Continue reading Review: David Lynch The Art Life

Review: I Am Not Your Negro

Director: Raoul Peck I am a white male and citizen of the UK. I'm coming up on 34 years old at the time of writing. I do not live in a racially diverse part of the country, nor have I at any point in my life. One might refer to me as sheltered and privileged and … Continue reading Review: I Am Not Your Negro

Review: My Scientology Movie

Director: John Dower You can understand why affable documentarian Louis Theroux would save the subject of Scientology for his feature debut - directed by John Dower. The strange, secretive 'religion' is so notorious for its bizarre and ominous power and influence, especially within LA, that it's as juicy a target as he's ever encountered. The … Continue reading Review: My Scientology Movie

Review: One More Time With Feeling

Director: Andrew Dominik Arthur Cave died on July 14th 2015. He fell to his death from the Brighton cliffs after taking LSD. He was fifteen years old. These gut-wrenching facts are all over Andrew Dominik's artful documentary One More Time With Feeling but it takes a long time for them to be addressed head-on. Even then … Continue reading Review: One More Time With Feeling