56th BFI London Film Festival – No

Posted Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

In 1988, the Pinochet regime responded to growing international pressure and agreed to hold a national plebiscite; making it the first democratic election Chile had seen in almost twenty years. The voting ballot was simple: vote ‘Yes’ for Pinochet or vote “No” for the Concertación, a conglomerate of centre-left political parties that stood for Chile’s transition into democracy. In the run up to the vote, each side was allowed 15 minutes of TV time a day in which to make

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56th BFI London Film Festival – Everybody Has a Plan

Posted Monday, October 15th, 2012

Actor, poet, painter, musician, hunter Viggo Mortensen stars in this Argentinean thriller as estranged twin brothers Agustin and Pedro. The former works as a doctor in the city and on the verge of adopting a baby with his wife Claudia. The latter, still lives in the backwater village where they both grew up. He makes legitimate money as a beekeeper and illegitimate money doing what only can be described as ‘shady stuff.’ What this stuff actually entails is still a

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56th BFI London Film Festival – Laurence Anyways

Posted Friday, October 12th, 2012

So we move from one end of the spectrum to the other. Whereas Amour was a bastion of restraint and tact, Laurence Anyways, the third feature from 23 year old wunderkind Xavier Dolan a loud screeching glitter-ball of spastic hysteria. I’m still unsure whether this is meant to be taken positively or not. Set over ten years from 1989 to 1999, Laurence Anyways follows the titular Laurence (Melvin Poupad), a Literature teacher, and his on/off girlfriend Fred (Suzanne Clement) as

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56th London Film Festival – The Hunt

Posted Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers. According to the buzz from this year’s Cannes Film Festival Thomas Vinterberg is ‘back.’ I was of the impression that he’d never left in the first place, because if he had then he wouldn’t have subjected us to Dear Wendy. But anyway, he’s ‘back’ and he’s brought The Hunt with him, which although better than the, above mentioned, is still further evidence that Festen may have been an anomaly. Moving along from the aforementioned verb-

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56th BFI London Film Festival – Amour

Posted Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Disclaimer: In the final paragraph there is what appears to be a spoiler, however this information is actually provided at the beginning of the film, not at the end. There are certain films that when read aloud must be prefixed by the name of the director, where if the name is absent, the title feels nude, uncanny, perhaps even obscene. Fellini’s 8 ½ and Bergman’s Persona are two examples that spring immediately to mind. This select categorisation seemingly lends itself

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Sheffield Doc/Fest 2012 – Festival Round-Up

Posted Thursday, June 21st, 2012

With a week’s worth of film-watching ahead of me, I spent most of my journey to this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest lost in the pages of Orwell’s Road to Wigan Pier, which investigates working class life in the industrial north, in towns such as Sheffield. Between reading I kept turning my gaze to the green plains outside, which brought back memories of Karel Reisz’s Saturday Night, Sunday Morning (1960), with the iconic shots of “our town from the hill”, gazed at

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Why?

Posted Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Tinker, Tailor is a film which garnered the highest acclaim you could hope for, yet only six months down the line it already feels like not the real deal.

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Where The Magic Happens.

Posted Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

In “Hugo” Scorsese forgets the lesson taught by “The Artist”. Don’t show, imply. This is where cinema’s third dimension truly lies, in the ability to create a sensation in the viewer which is more than the sum of its parts. That’s the magic.

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Dee Meaden

Posted Friday, November 25th, 2011

With UnderWire still cupping us close and urging us to pay attention to women filmmakers I thought now would finally be a good time to shout the name Dee Meaden at you.

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Off Peace’d

Posted Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Naturally I applaud the existence of a World Peace Day, but I’m also heartened that these films are not only beautiful and a delight to the senses but also quietly subversive.

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