Review: Ali & Ava

Director: Clio Barnard Stars: Adeel Akhtar, Claire Rushbrook, Ellora Torchia With Andrea Arnold experimenting with documentary and overseas work, and Shane Meadows missing in action or just missing in television, it falls to Clio Barnard to carry the torch for grim social realism in the north of England. From her sensational docudrama The Arbor through poverty-line …

Minutiae: Love in Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter

Its exceedingly easy to dismiss the Friday the 13th series. From Sean S Cunningham's 1980 original through to the trash-humping 2009 Marcus Nispel remake, the slasher series is about as disposable as franchise cinema gets, even in horror circles. There's no single outright masterpiece in the set, and even the hardcore fans of the series will …

Review: Undine

Director: Christian Petzold Stars: Paula Breer, Franz Rogowski, Jacob Matschenz In Christian Petzold's latest, Undine, the tension between dreams and reality rarely leaves the screen. We can be steeped in the ostensibly 'real' - the notion of day-to-day truth that Petzold recreates with his characters and settings - only for these parameters to shift. Second guessing …

Review: The Half of It

Director: Alice Wu Stars: Leah Lewis, Alexxis Lemire, Daniel Diemer Alice Wu understands the rules of both the romantic comedy and the youth movie. Combining both in The Half Of It, she has researched and employed the most enduring trope and source of dramatic tension that these genres lean on; The Lie. Ellie Chu (Leah …

Review: Rafiki

Director: Wanuri Kahiu Stars: Samantha Mugatsia, Sheila Munyiva, Nice Ginthinji Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu's second feature film is, in many ways, a very traditional romance picture. So traditional that, for a majority of its running time, it bares close comparison to Romeo and Juliet. Two young lovers are irresistibly drawn to one another with that …

Review: La La Land

Director: Damien Chazelle Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend Damien Whiplash Chazelle loves jazz and you should too. That's the long and the short of it, and if pushing us through his aforementioned white-knuckle hyper-drama hadn't changed our minds then this time he's turning on the charm. Switching up (considerably), he now presents us... an old-fashioned …

Review: Victoria

Director: Sebastian Schipper Stars: Laia Costa, Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski Before we get started there is a bit of health and safety business worth mentioning that I've not seen anywhere else as of yet, least of all at the top of the film. Victoria opens with an extended sequence of strobe lighting. If you are someone …