Category: Film

  • Everything Everywhere All At Once

    Everything Everywhere All At Once

    Like being on a theme park ride you thought would be fantastic fun, then nausea and disorientation kick in, colours blur. EEAAO holds within it a great idea, when one disentangles it from the hairball that is its narrative. In all its originality, it telegraphs its message, instead of allowing this intricately constructed ingenious world…

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  • The Banshees Of Inisherin

    The Banshees Of Inisherin

    Captures the fragile state of being a human in one grand swoop of wit and weltschmerz — the film’s contours elegantly morose, its humour dark and bitter-sweet, its inhabitants erratic and gloriously eloquent, its landscape a mystery onto itself. The eponymous banshee, right on the money, carrying the mythical into the realms of the mundane.…

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  • Triangle Of Sadness

    Triangle Of Sadness

    The point where all good intentions in a storyline turn to dust is when the narrative stops respecting its characters, however vile they are. In Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winner, satire turns to caricature pretty quickly, offering an array of humans so painfully vapid, that I started to root for these horrible people to be given at…

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  • All The Beauty And The Bloodshed

    All The Beauty And The Bloodshed

    Poitras and Goldin were made for each other. Both incredibly gutsy, and and uninterested in no-go zones, prone to slaying dragons of substantial calibre. But, despite Poitras being a powerful storyteller in her own right, this doc lives and breaths Goldin’s indefatigable spirit. The space Goldin gave to her own subjects, Poitras gives to Goldin.…

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  • Lynch/Oz


    An intelligent, impeccable essay film which reaches far beyond discussing fascinating aspects connecting the work of David Lynch to Victor Fleming‘s timeless wonder, Wizard Of Oz. Director Alexandre O. Philippe is turning out to be a virtuoso in translating cinematic sorcery into cultural code, firmly positioned on the crossroads of zeitgeist and cinema. ★★★★★

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  • The Pale Blue Eye

    The Pale Blue Eye

    Despite a labyrinth of narrative strands, it is Melling’s Poe that is at the heart of a story, which, at its dark centre, is equally about savage desperation as it is about blind desire. If it kept its early promise of a macabre deep dive into Poe’s literary universe, via an intricate murder mystery, this…

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  • Three Thousand Years Of Longing

    Three Thousand Years Of Longing

    An uneven, slightly unhinged piece of classic storytelling, featuring a gloriously deadpan Tilda Swinton as a solitary Scottish narratologist, and an amused Idris Elba as a genie. While it is visually luscious and bursting with (narrative) calories, it does not seem to make up its mind which genre and indeed audience age-group it actually belongs to.…

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  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

    Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

    Despite Daniel Craig’s fabulous Southern Belle, pastel-coloured play at James Bond, this oddly fragmented whodunit is more pastiche than a sequel — a collage of clever, lovingly shaped skits struggling to join the narrative stream of a single story, albeit with some of the best cameos in the business. Rides the coattails of its stellar…

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  • Moonage Daydream

    Moonage Daydream

    Riveting, ravishing, richly sourced and far too long, Brett Morgen’s archival Bowie bonanza is essentially a stream of consciousness story on an era-defining genius’s lasting influence. All vintage footage and fragmented fantasy, it celebrates Bowie’s postmodernist world-view, but in that deference loses sight of the intricacies of its own medium. ★★★✩✩

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  • Corsage


    Set up to be half-fiction, half-fact (and quite a lot of our collective past is just that) – it executes this clever agenda in such a disorientating manner as to never allow the viewer a glimpse into its shift in cognitive gears; ingenious in framing history as an elliptical loop of vanishing hormonal cycles of…

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  • The Princess

    The Princess

    An exquisite backstage look on how a media myth is created. The obsession at its core built through years of diligent coverage. Endless streams of public opinion laid bare, thread by thread. The arc of the conjured fairytale inevitably bending towards darkness. It’s hard to outfox the mass media machine, but this doc might just…

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  • Fire Of Love

    Fire Of Love

    A poetic, fascinating watch, not only due to its unrivalled archival footage which the doomed lovers, Katia and Maurice Krafft, accumulated in their many years of cutting edge vulcanology – but because this is a film about the enduring unknowability of the origins of a passion – the bittersweet impossibility of capturing the state of…

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  • Dune


    If it had been an eight minute short, with the electrical Charlotte Rampling, as Reverend Mother Mohiam, pain-testing the blank slate that is Paul Atreides, to gauge his suitability for the job of a Messiah – I would have given it a five-star. However, it is over two hours long, and feels more like a…

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  • Nightmare Alley

    Nightmare Alley

    Theatrical to a fault, and gorgeous to look at – a goth Norman Rockwell – yet hermetically sealed to insight that would turn our gaze inward, away from its mesmerising scenery – its characters suffering the same suffocating fate in its dense nocturnal world. In a film noir a lack of inner light is not…

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  • Judas And The Black Messiah

    Judas And The Black Messiah

    Compensating in visual simplicity and narrative earnestness what it lacks in storytelling flair, it is a meticulously researched endeavour focusing on the ways credible popular movements are corrupted from within, external elements introducing wrongful practices, sapping their righteous energy – destroying the voices which made them. ★★★✩✩

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  • Adrienne


    Its depiction of all the sweetness, minutia, and regret of a life that was in full bloom before it brutally ended is truly chilling and stellar in its rawness and fortitude. Its weakness, sadly, is the overwhelming element of testimonies and therapeutic digressions, which perhaps should have been left for the extras, rather than weaved…

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  • The Power Of The Dog

    The Power Of The Dog

    Enigmatic, dense, endlessly surprising, requires time to absorb and digest, and in that very quality it exhibits its excellence and extraordinary depth. A poetic, slow-burning, merciless narration on how evil nests in a selfish soul, breaking its humanity, reducing it to a performative shell, seeking to destroy all that is vibrant and good in its…

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  • Spencer


    Kristen Stewart‘s capacity of inhabiting a character while remaining unchanged fits the narrative like a silken glove. As Diana, she entirely embodies the fiercely independent soul submerged into the archetypal, a place where she is forever chained to all other souls acting as vessels to a national storyline. Poetic, mysterious, and subversively cathartic. ★★★★★

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  • House Of Gucci

    House Of Gucci

    Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani Gucci is a treat, and truly did give it her all, the only one on screen that fits the form, knowing how to spin deep emotion from what might seem like a lark. The sum of all the broad strokes significantly dampens the amount of pathos necessary for a drama…

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  • Sisters With Transistors

    Sisters With Transistors

    An anthological expedition into the origins of machine-made sounds, this incredibly well-researched, hereto untold story of female pioneers who gave form to what is now electronic music, narrated by that icon of multimedia, Laurie Anderson, is absolutely brimming with Promethean insight, yet subdued in form, aiming for precision rather than panache. ★★★★✩

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  • The Starling

    The Starling

    Written as if it were a collection of random ideas for characters, and directed at pace of a wellness seminar, it has all the makings of a film that imagines its audience unable to discern between life and a mindful soft drink commercial. Melissa McCarthy just standing in frame being the reason I give it…

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  • French Exit

    French Exit

    Melancholic, world-weary, darkly funny, and strangely lovely, it gifts so much more than it promises, just like its heroine. Casting Michelle Pfeiffer as the femme fatale of her own derailed life – a stroke of brilliance, making this idiosyncratic story alive with sweet familiarity. Something of a whimsy in terms of tempo, but written like…

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  • Britney Vs Spears

    Britney Vs Spears

    There is a stark difference between the tragic story of Britney Spears, and the sensationalist stories told about Britney Spears. Trying its hardest to prove its admirable intentions, this doc veers towards the latter. And as such does not get any closer to the human being that lives behind that perfect smile than an upset,…

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  • The Last Duel

    The Last Duel

    Regardless of Sir Ridley Scott’s iconic eye, a star-studded cast does not an epic make. Casting both Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (also the two of the three screenwriters), was way too meta not to distract from the gravity of the tale. Marguerite de Carrouges’s was a story well worth to be told on its…

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  • The Guilty

    The Guilty

    Antoine Fuqua reteams with Nic Pizzolatto, and a fiercely committed Jake Gyllenhaal, for a sombre, stoic, flawed but ultimately harrowing chamber piece dealing with the moral dilemma of our times – how much of what we perceive to be going on is our own projection, and how much do we assume about others given only…

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  • No Time To Die

    No Time To Die

    Despite the usual trappings of a Bond cosmology, it treats the gadgetry and pageantry as enjoyable but dispensable sidelines, in favour of the human touch. Craig redefined Bond, revealing a complex humanity beneath the exceptional achievement in the art of war. Sophisticated entertainment, a poignant reflexion on bioweapons, fallible heroes, and love. ★★★★★

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  • 2001: A Space Odyssey on 70mm. An Interview With A Magician.

    2001: A Space Odyssey on 70mm. An Interview With A Magician.

    There is no one closer to the true enchantment of film than the film projectionist – a craft that is slowly disappearing, as celluloid itself, and should be cherished as cinema treasure. Film, in its essence, is its medium. And the projectionist, therefore, its magician in residence. So consider this an interview with a master.

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  • Paper Spiders

    Paper Spiders

    A well-crafted, witty, moving, bittersweet portrait of a deteriorating psyche, and the ways any human suffering can be transcended with an open heart. Cutting close to home for the duo of filmmakers, this experiment in screen intimacy could have gone either way, given the personal stakes embedded in the material, but turned out to be…

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  • Friend Of The World

    Friend Of The World

    A monochrome existentialist sci-fi essay on the unsustainability of the human condition in a genetically modified apocalypse is a mix of home movie and Brechtian theatre play, and a very 2020 affair. I would have preferred it less half its words, a gritty solo act, yet I did like its daring, lo-fi ethos, trippy twists,…

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  • Promising Young Woman

    Promising Young Woman

    An explosive device, bubble-gum-wrapped in vivacious rom-com feels, this is an ancient tale of womanhood desecrated – a female gaze extraordinaire, on men who abuse trust, and women who enable them. Its manner more belonging to Mesopotamian myth, evoking the goddess of love and war, rather than any sociopathic femme fatale trope in cinema. ★★★★★

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  • Billie


    Painfully intimate, beautifully clear-eyed archival treasure of a doc set up as a tale of two women – the artist Billie and the biographer Linda, both their lives ending tragically. Holiday, as avenging angel, unifying the voices of all the lives lived before her, and ones still listening, in the dual telling of this singularity…

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  • Woman In The Window

    Woman In The Window

    A ravaged treasure of a narrative, a cornucopia of possibilities, hosted within its saturated interior dreamscape one of the favourite stock characters of the contemporary mystery trade – a psychologist with mental health issues, a physician struggling to heal herself. Half way in, it loses its way, turning a juicy plot into a procedural psycho-thriller.…

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  • The Artful Oscar

    The Artful Oscar

    Oscars 2021 was a public exercise in reclaiming one’s own art from the hijack of a devouring billion-dollar entertainment industry, the scaling down from mass production to manufacture, a deliberate recalibrating and reframing in order to preserve cinema’s place in culture, in society, and in our individual lives. And to be sure, this ceremony was…

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  • Black Humour in Serbian Films of the Early Eighties

    Black Humour in Serbian Films of the Early Eighties

    Examining the dark heart of laughter the symbiotic relationship of film and its audience, wiring us to think and talk in certain ways, its cultural impact, its myriad semiotic and cinematic legacies – this was my MA dissertation (Birkbeck, 2005), a bungy jump into Serbian (and YU) 80s cinema, four films, two filmmakers, Šijan and…

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  • The Capote Tapes

    The Capote Tapes

    The darkness seething underneath the glitz in Breakfast At Tiffany’s, gruesome passion that was In Cold Blood — the underbelly of the America he knew, and left behind. Truman Capote lived many lives, inhabited manifold identities, partied hard, betrayed rich people, and wrote elegant, sharp words for posterity. This doc tailored it all to size.…

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  • The Witch Of King Cross

    The Witch Of King Cross

    Fascinating take on Rosaleen Norton, artist & dedicated occultist, notoriously active in 1950s Sydney. Using all the tricks of the trade, showing fault only when it tries too hard to render her safer for the masses, confining her in feminist or archetypal tropes. An intoxicating brew, offering this truly unique counter-culture figure some posthumous justice.…

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  • Lola Loves Shorts: Lost For Words

    Lola Loves Shorts: Lost For Words

    Lola On Film now reviews fine indie shorts.Our six minutes to pause for breath, a meditation on both the current and metaphysical state of isolation, inner worlds imploding with the unspoken, the deeply entrenched, the painfully trivial, Elcid Asaei delivering a poetically political, quietly witty technicolour essay on just how much we are able to…

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  • From Door Frame to Freeze Frame: Femmes Ante Portas

    From Door Frame to Freeze Frame: Femmes Ante Portas

    Encountering feminine mysteries on celluloid, a post-Jungian analysis of the veneration of the Hollywood film icon, tracing the blazing trail of cinema femme fatales, their imagery framed within portals, places where darkness and light meet, the heroines gazing back at us, in defiance, transforming into a new fluid form of the femme fatale as action…

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  • Mank


    A story of authorship, public opinion, singing for one’s supper, screwing over of a popular progressive candidate by the Hollywood propaganda machine (before Sanders, there was Upton Sinclair), and the making of Citizen Kane. A rare tribute to writing in film, and one of the most honest depictions of Hollywood that Hollywood delivered. ★★★★✩

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  • Tesla


    As cinema, this is somewhat of a whimsy, anywhere between Drunk History, historical reenactment, and a 1980s Eurythmics video, but as conceptual portrayal of the man who invented the 21st century, the enigmatic, eccentric, ultimately tragic genius Nikola Tesla, Almereyda’s sweetly bonkers mixtape of a film tribute is pure connoisseur delight. ★★★★✩

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  • Rebecca


    I was curious at what a filmmaker of Wheatley’s calibre and mercurial style would bring to the ur-ghost story of cinema – a menacingly erotic depiction of an entire narrative demonically possessed by a missing protagonist. The answer is: nothing. Apologies to the superb Kristin Scott Thomas, the only one on set who understood what…

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  • The Trial Of The Chicago 7

    The Trial Of The Chicago 7

    Sorkin’s rapid-fire response to the current Molotov cocktail moment in US politics seems too close to the heart of the filmmaker to be more grounded in living history than in personal sentiment, but it has Mark Rylance to hold that balance. It also brings forth a worthy central premise – justice, like revolution, cannot be…

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  • On The Record

    On The Record

    Powered by the fearless testimony of Drew Dixon, as well as other survivors and activists, mostly women of colour, this is an era-defining, well-crafted doc tracing not only the irreversible intimate, creative, and professional loss of the survivors of sexual assault, but the loss the entire culture suffers without the brilliant voices of these women…

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  • Fallen Women of Hollywood Melodrama: 1930s-1950s

    Fallen Women of Hollywood Melodrama: 1930s-1950s

    Exploring the myth of the fallen woman in classic Hollywood melodrama, its historical, religious and literary antecedents, archetypal realms of the dark, wild feminine projected onto the screen, her impact on the spectator. A dispossessed femininity, fragmented and demonised, yet powerfully vibrant and creative.

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  • The War On Journalism: The Case Of Julian Assange

    The War On Journalism: The Case Of Julian Assange

    Even if the worst about Julian Assange is true, the question remains, what does this have to do with indicting journalists for receiving classified materials in which nefarious deeds of powerful governments are exposed? Solid campaign doc, reminding us that justice is not a congeniality contest. ★★★✩✩

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  • Archetypal Enchantment And The Twin Of David Lynch

    Archetypal Enchantment And The Twin Of David Lynch

    Something in the nature of a recording defies rational explanation. A replica of life, its twin and its double, also its deathly echo, preserving life by embalming it for eternity, or at least until the shelf life of the medium itself expires. Images have the numinosity to affect us deeply – a capacity to heal…

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  • Lucy In The Sky

    Lucy In The Sky

    Glossy, stylistically messy semi-real life tale of suicidal ambition, gaslighting lovers, diamonds in the sky. Too erratic to go digging fully into the mud of the psychological dynamics it depicts, yet witty in its digressions. Sometimes, the right type of prose elevates the turmoil of shoddy romance, too prosaic to encounter through poetic means. ★★★✩✩

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  • System Crasher

    System Crasher

    A punk rock salute to the painful roots of the antisocial impulse, its tiny protagonist dressed in a shocking pink parka, chewing the scenery, racing against time and her own odds, seething with traumatised rage, frenzied wishful thinking. Social drama that reads like a thriller, its humanism unrepentant, dividing us into jailers and jailbreakers. ★★★★★

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  • Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

    Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

    It unfolds as a liquid painting, absorbing details of the map that is the body and soul of the beloved, with a soundtrack burning off everything unnecessary. An Orphic hymn, both lamenting and celebrating the urgency of love, it has the beat, the feel, and the nature of the female cycle, each nodal point in…

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  • Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado

    Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado

    An exuberant, bitter-sweet bit of astro pop history, celebrating a dazzling figure, one Walter Mercado, caped wizard of entertainment-led stargazing, icon of Latinx culture, a gender-nonconforming Puerto Rican-born psychic & astrologer, with an audience of millions across the globe. ★★★✩✩

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  • Radioactive


    Thrilling in moments, erratic in others, Marjane Satrapi’s risky, moody biopic of Marie Curie, based on a graphic novel, starring Rosamund Pike, captures the woman, but is lost between worlds, perhaps like the protagonist herself. Celebrating the cold determination of someone who knows her worth, no frills and no apologies for brilliance rendered. ★★★✩✩

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  • Spaceship Earth

    Spaceship Earth

    Timed to perfection by a chronological deity or a prophetic team of filmmakers and marketing experts, traces a group of extraordinary individuals sealing themselves in a self-engineered replica of the Earth’s ecosystem, with sixties commune ethos, quirky eco-vision, pioneering determination, and free-spirited feels for the zeitgeist. ★★★★✩

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  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette

    Where’d You Go, Bernadette

    A story that waits for you at the crossroads, like the devil, ready when you are. Full of pastel, cashmere, handwoven, well-spoken, First World problems. But Bernadette has a broken heart. And this turns out to be a moving actor’s portrait of an artist’s real anguish hidden and gift-wrapped within a Gap ad that is the…

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  • Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn.

    Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn.

    An outrageously psychopathic political fixer now growing in posthumous infamy with each new month of Trump presidency, as he was Donald J.’s longtime lawyer and mentor, hence everything the 45th president of the Unites States learned about power came from Machiavelli himself. ★★★✩✩

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  • Mystery Of Love: On Body And Soul

    Mystery Of Love: On Body And Soul

    The evolutionary 2020 broke us down into essentials: the flesh we are made of, the dreams we inhabit, the lives we lead within our beating hearts. This film was made for this year. In the way scriptures were made for a particular time in history, and for all times, at the same time. It is…

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  • Land Of Ashes

    Land Of Ashes

    A hyper-real magical tale existing in a parallel dimension to ours, fully ripe and present in its vivid majesty, but never tipping into saturation. A story of the cycles of life, growing up motherless into womanhood, the living and the dead intertwined as dancing branches of a serpent tree. Kohling your eyes seamlessly in the…

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  • Bad Education

    Bad Education

    Such a ruin can a love of luxury be. It turns otherwise endearing people astray. Makes pending sociopaths of ambitious folk with a bone to pick and a taste for the delicious. In other words, the path to self-betterment can lead to the largest public school embezzlement in American history. Jackman and Janney make them all…

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  • Planet Of The Humans

    Planet Of The Humans

    Controversial doc, veering towards eco fatalism, executive-produced by Micheal Moore, bluntly unpacks the extent renewable energy giants seem to depend on fossil fuels, how corporations rebrand green to access government subsidies, downsides of renewable energy, and as Vandana Shiva puts it, the way we allow ourselves to be hypnotised. ★★★✩✩

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  • Little Women

    Little Women

    Episodically brilliant, it has too many stitches in the narrative quilt, its often rushed sentiment suffocating the genuine moments of resonant emotion. But it does have a thing or two to say about love. Just watch a spirited Saoirse Ronan, as author’s alter ego, gaze upon her published work. Or a wise Florence Pugh, as…

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  • 1917


    Sam Mendes’s single take virtuoso stunt, a homage to his WWI veteran grandfather, highlights two things extremely well – film is a director’s medium, and its key ingredient is light. Only celluloid has that required esoteric quality, the materia to absorb and select. So, this is also Roger Deakins’s film. His Arri Alexa mimics the…

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  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    Frank Sheeran, mob hitman — one empty room after another in search of a person. That’s the gist of this magnificently made film on the boredom of thug life. Peggy, one of his daughters, the highlight of the saga, does not speak a word until the very end. Although there has been some controversy about…

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  • Parasite


    A bonkers, radical & drop-dead intelligent dark satirical tale of social inequality, mock egalitarian weirdness of late capitalism, class arrogance vs. monetary desperation, the perversity of the state of poverty, without being up its own moralistic agenda. Amazing cinema, ending as epic daydream, twisting the social-commentary knife some more. ★★★★★

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  • What Did Jack Do?

    What Did Jack Do?

    David Lynch, as hard-boiled noir detective, interrogates a fugitive monkey suspected of murder in a crime of passion. As if fished from a opium dream, yet fitting the P. Marlowe canon perfectly, it takes a Lynch to restore one’s faith in film as medium, its capabilities as an art form, transforming into something mysterious, illuminating,…

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  • Golden Globes 2020: Anarchy, Pomp & Circumstance

    Golden Globes 2020: Anarchy, Pomp & Circumstance

    The human need for a pedestal exists to look up at something that is, ultimately, to be achieved. The social contract breaks when the chosen begin to look down at the rabble. In his roast to end all roasts, the host of the 2020 Globes, Ricky Gervais, made for eight golden minutes of television, reminding…

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  • Bombshell


    It took a grassroots revolution to demand a change in an entrenched way of dealing with sexual harassment and assault. The only way forward was to rebel furiously, collectively. Thus #MeToo was born. With all its contradictions. And what a curious gestation place it had, the very epicenter of bullish conservatism – Fox News. ★★★✩✩

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  • Marriage Story

    Marriage Story

    The exposure of the personal in public carries within it a fundamental indecency, the prosaic dissecting the poetic. The former usually wins, as nobody outside a couple can really accurately assess the intimate space between them, least of all people hired to separate them. But Baumbach achieved a public display of regret which works both…

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  • The Two Popes

    The Two Popes

    The premise of faith as a fortress of dogma to defend vs. a river emerging from one source, has been the key demarcation line in Christianity. This is intelligent filmmaking, with two powerhouse performances, telling a difficult, highly sensitive tale in a low-key, old-fashioned way, through the prism of two excellent minds, in opposition, yet…

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  • Knives Out

    Knives Out

    Although I mostly write spoiler analysis, due to the nature of these reviews, I won’t here, for the sheer pleasure everyone should have while watching this most enjoyable of cinematic experiences. An antidote, if you will, to the nasty landscapes it depicts, with extreme wit and a big heart. Go see it, this all-star murder…

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  • Skin


    A headshot of a vile but limited menace, in itself seeming an aberration, but is a part of a much more widespread disease, with cult-like Viking-obsessed Vinlanders in the background, spread like a particularly repulsive smorgasbord of beer, puke & gloomy sexual encounters, every frame steeped in human misery and pointless rage. ★★★✩✩

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  • Judy


    A gold standard Hollywood biopic, with melodrama sentiments & fan mail, pale devastation of the flesh smoothed over by flashbacks re-visioning studio corruption and emotional abuse as a technicolor Oz nightmare. At its center, is a performance so raw, tender, and gut-wrenching that all the glitz only serves as a mere proverbial curtain. ★★★★✩

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  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Lee Israel wrote her forgeries perhaps better than the originals wrote their own correspondences. Her downfall was her insurmountable bile, a cornucopia of foul blocking every living cell of her own creativity. This tale about hardship and friendship, ends as a perfect couplet, made beautiful by actors that can tell a human from a forgery.…

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  • Mapplethorpe


    Capturing the life and times of one Robert Mapplethorpe was always going to be recklessly ambitious. Robert spent his life redeeming beauty back from the devil. As collateral, he gave the horned one his astonishing, impeccable images, and his body, confirming the only difference between the sacred and profane in art is perspective. ★★★✩✩

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  • Joker


    Joaquin Phoenix burns like an archangel on heroin, a contorted otherworldly presence that under a different constellation of stars would have ended up a saint, but turns to the demonic, discovering within it that creative spark he searched for all his life spent as a non-entity. Intellectually dangerous cinema, telling the truth, and lighting a…

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  • JT LeRoy

    JT LeRoy

    So much pain, hubris, ambition and damage to draw upon, the entire publicity farce a perfect profile of the times – the avatar being more important than the author, yet we get a breezy, well-lit tale, too mild for its material, all persona, glossy surfaces, and tiara tears. No matter that Laura Dern is fiercely up…

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  • Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    It sets its sights high, or rather far, on its thorny way to Neptune, but it seems to lack soul material, an obscure alchemical element. In a film that aims to deal with the consequences of selfishness, it misses the mark monumentally. Even with a core intent that is honourable, a story that is conceptually…

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  • Hail Satan?

    Hail Satan?

    Penny Lane’s crafty, arch entertaining doc on a growing group of civic-minded US Satanists almost got me thinking backwards, like a spell on a Black Sabbath vinyl. There’s no denying that separating church and state is always a good idea. However, one must remember that Lucifer finally fell from grace due to hubris, not because…

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  • The Kindergarten Teacher

    The Kindergarten Teacher

    Viscerally disturbing take on a woman imploding in slow motion, developing an artistic obsession with a five-year-old poet prodigy. Gyllenhaal as Lisa possesses space like a ghost of a person she has once been, an ancient curse of the female condition – living through the creative world of another, with ferocious intensity of reclaiming one’s…

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  • Colette


    A true gift gives you tenacity. It’s a well that never dries. Revolutionary Colette was on fire until the very end of her days, and she lived long, blessing us with that rare example of an artist that did not allow the world to shut her down. It seems that a wild spirit is crucial…

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  • Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

    Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

    An apt allegory for the delusional arc of Hollywood, its internal downfall lies in the fact that this insight is most definitely accidental. A showreel glorifying the industry of canned dreams, in a backhanded kind of way, it does that pimp thing where it tries to sell you the very stuff it mocks. Its one…

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  • The Favourite

    The Favourite

    The fight to keep an authoritarian heart in the palm of one’s hand, the irony of love lurking underneath the strangest arrangements, this chocolate & cream cherry cake of a film, served on the finest cinematic lace, is chock-full of arsenic. That kind of poison that kills slowly, while the lovelorn mind plunges down the rabbit…

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  • The Brink

    The Brink

    In Alison Klayman’s new gutsy fly-on-the-wall doc, Trump’s ex-chief strategist comes across as a charismatic, amoral, but unfortunately pretty brainy Hollywood via Harvard player, who spotted a niche in the political market for disenfranchised white man rage, and grabbed it. Bannon knows he’s the Pied Piper of Hamelin. He’ll be collecting. ★★★★✩

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  • Chernobyl HBO: Seeing In The Dark

    Chernobyl HBO: Seeing In The Dark

    The only way to look at Chernobyl is through the complex ocular shield of the camera, otherwise we’d be staring at Medusa’s face, unprotected. An open nuclear reactor core burning our synapses through sheer magnitude of existential incomprehension. An apocalyptic serialised memento mori.

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  • Ice On Fire

    Ice On Fire

    Leonardo DiCaprio opens the new climate change doc he produced offering a view of the last 250 years of humankind as the longest science experiment in history. An apt take on the magnitude of human impact on the entirety of our planet – and arrogant, unhinged way we’ve been unleashing ourselves on our environment, and…

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  • The Wife

    The Wife

    Glenn Close as Joan is a magnificent melting iceberg, an environmental disaster long in the making, the wife of a soon-to-be Nobel laureate in literature, all manipulative steeliness and nihilistic martyrdom – a woman that signed a Faustian deal which has now reached its inevitable conclusion. Joan’s a sell-out. Both brilliant and infuriating. ★★★★✩

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  • International Queer Film Festival Merlinka – MSUV: Love Is All

    International Queer Film Festival Merlinka – MSUV: Love Is All

    Short & sweet weekend ride through a cinematic landscape that is very slowly moving from niche to broader in the Balkans, yet with quality that never drops a beat. Merlinka is a bold, bright festival of good humour and defiance, with a sophisticated programme, a growing audience, and enough maverick charm to face both friend…

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  • 30 Years Of X: sex, lies, and videotape

    30 Years Of X: sex, lies, and videotape

    Squeezed between the baby-boomer dharma sell-outs and the millennial hordes of tattooed accountants, the throwaway lettuce in a generational bacon sandwich of aspiring corporate drones, sits Gen X, i.e. my generation, sulking mascots of McJobs, deifying burning time creatively doing nothing. Enter our isolation chamber, Steven Soderbergh‘s 1989 Palme d’Or winner.

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  • The Miseducation Of Cameron Post

    The Miseducation Of Cameron Post

    This coming-of-age tale manages to nail the intricacies of emotional abuse in such terrible detail, while muted by pastel colours of Akhavan’s narrative zaniness, that all the twisted soul demolitions of the young being forced to ‘pray the gay away’ suddenly creep up on us – spinning into one heavy gasp of rage against the…

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  • Third Eye Spies

    Third Eye Spies

    Essential new mainstream doc on PSY research, a much denigrated fringe topic, and a a Pandora’s Box of disturbing possibilities, one that, perhaps, should not have been left solely for the military to explore. Chock-full of top-tier scientists, high-grade spooks, plus a Nobel laureate and an Apollo astronaut thrown in, for good quantum measure. ★★★★✩

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  • Film, the Alchemical Medium

    Film, the Alchemical Medium

    My 2009 PhD proposal, aimed at studying how we are enchanted by film, juxtaposing early film theory, post-Jungian analysis, anthropology of ritual, and the moving image as transformative tool in art therapy, coining the term archetypal enchantment. It serves as basis to my subsequent theoretical approach to cinema.

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  • The Front Runner

    The Front Runner

    The 1987 campaign story of disgraced Colorado senator, and Democratic Party front-runner, Gary Hart, is as tough as aspirin compared to what we now digest daily. What it did make me do is rethink the Clinton presidency, four years later, and how the pragmatist philanderer made it to the White House, while the idealist one…

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  • The Aftermath

    The Aftermath

    There is an element missing here, the key component to any story of conflict and passion – namely, the passion. It does not bode well for a story of a tumultuous affair if the only performance with conviction, in a love triangle, is given by the betrayed husband. Thus, the entire construction falls apart as…

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  • Destroyer


    A sun-scorched, store damaged, furious street rant on the ways we destroy others, but more on the ways we let ourselves be destroyed. Detective Bell’s hollow glare serves as an extraordinarily well executed hook – each time we look at her face, we compare it to our mental image of Kidman. And the emotional mayhem…

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  • The House That Jack Built

    The House That Jack Built

    The devil mistakes aesthetics for art, disdains the body, and in close-up he’s one dull mofo. Lars Von Trier grabs your head and shoves it into the vortex of any subject he chooses to examine. It’s never a pleasant journey, but he delivers. I gave it four stars, not five, although in its way, it is…

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  • Oscars 2019: Culture of Consensus

    Oscars 2019: Culture of Consensus

    All you need to know about the state of publicity today is that the 2019 Oscars ceremony, the hottest gig there is, did not have a host, most likely because no one wanted the hassle. The global equilibrium of self-promotion vs. self-censorship seems to have reached a screeching deadlock somewhere in the outer layers of…

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  • Disobedience


    Depicting a life led in an environment of strict rules, it carefully balances cherishing of one’s heritage with a longing that is entirely individual. This could have been a film on forbidden love, but it was way smarter — it’s a story of self-love, the love of life that is in our nature, the blessed disobedience…

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  • Cold War

    Cold War

    An experience of profound beauty and real heartache, it’s glorious. A spell of sorts. It has that defiant spirit of divine intervention hidden beneath a beautiful, silent, terrible mistake. This is lovers as high stakes gamblers, raising the bar of their commitment to one another to vertiginous heights. Their story — a diamond and a…

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  • The ABC Murders & Fascism Redux

    The ABC Murders & Fascism Redux

    History hiding underneath its own frayed repeats. It’s 1933 Britain. Fascism as collective narcissism. Narcissism as ultimate isolation from life source. John Malkovich as Poirot, a stranger in a strange land, owning the detective’s cellular memory. This is esoteric Christie, avenging angel, her agent, Sarah Phelps at the steering wheel.

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  • Mary Queen Of Scots

    Mary Queen Of Scots

    The way the director Josie Rourke framed it, and Ronan and Robbie fleshed it out and invoked it, helped me understand what it must have felt like to have a female form and nature at that time, full of ripe wants and infinite prohibitions. Competing with men for a place of power, while at the…

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  • BlacKkKlansman


    At best, a witty political gut-punch made for a certain type of audience, without much contradiction. If it had been more artistically rigorous with the slapstick, it could have arrived at Arendt’s ‘banality of evil’, and taken that point home with guns blazing. But it turned out to be merely a sledgehammer to a rusty nail,…

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  • Widows


    Viola Davis is relentlessly on point, steely in her awareness of how close her life has come to oblivion – a subjugation to a fate that was not even of her own making, but rather of her own willing blindness. All the widows’ performances are honed to perfection, achieving something truly miraculous nowadays – exhibiting…

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  • First Man

    First Man

    Elegantly cutting through Cold War politics, slippery metaphors on masculinity, the now archaic technologies yet still very raw societal injustices, the insane audacity of a venture building up as monumental ego trip of a nation – this is a story that finds its heart in a silence, mystery of the inner cosmos. The micro and the…

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  • The Other Side Of Everything

    The Other Side Of Everything

    It lands on a piece of me that is yet to accept loss – the devouring of a chunk of my life by the gods of lesser value. This is why I could not take it in any other way than lightly. My full attention would’ve meant giving in to a lack of meaning. A…

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  • Film vs. Death: One More Time With Feeling

    Film vs. Death: One More Time With Feeling

    A testament to the inexplicability of mourning, the therapeutic nature of art. In this case, the art of the moving image, the most conjuring art of all. The camera becomes a dignified way to navigate the grieving process, to share. This is film as communion, echo of a longing, an evocation of love in that eternal painfully…

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  • Maria By Callas

    Maria By Callas

    It was the humanity in the delivery of divinity that was the key to Callas’s impact – the way she knew, by some uncanny ability, just how to channel an archetype. We do not learn more of Maria Callas here than she herself would allow, but we do understand, instinctively, just how much a gift…

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  • Sharp Objects & The Initiation Of The Shaman

    Sharp Objects & The Initiation Of The Shaman

    Camille emerged fully formed, a she-shaman forged in the era of the return of the witch, expanding the liminal space between traumatic events, taking the silver bullet of all audience assumptions and projections in a tale of female rage, all those dark vagina dentata materials blooming a venemous crimson red in the patriarchal dollhouse.

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  • My Cousin Rachel

    My Cousin Rachel

    The ill-fated relationship seems to be merely the departure not the destination, the anti-climatic tryst itself making way for a rather sombre study of cultural prejudice and misogyny. A sophisticated exploration of the consequences of an active and complex female sexuality in what polite society designated to be a woman’s timid, matronly years. ★★★✩✩

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  • The Happy Prince

    The Happy Prince

    Everyone feels they know much of Oscar Wilde, the ultimate prophet laureate of pop culture, but no one can really come close to grasping a micron of that man’s life until they understand Clapham Junction. If Oscar was not so loud, proud and unrepentant, would he have been made to suffer humiliation as much by…

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  • The Tale

    The Tale

    A wound festering for 35 years. Sexual damage mentally packaged as a taboo love affair – an irreversible seduction interpreted as consensual in the imaginings of a 13-year-old girl determined to preserve the right of her passage to womanhood. Artistic faults, and inconsistencies be damned, this film is an act of pure courage, a masterclass in…

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  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    As the contemplative pace and mundane minutia carries on, it becomes a precious exercise in observing one’s own boredom threshold. In the end, it swept me like high tide, much as a windfall of good luck can disorient us when we are deep in mourning – this painful, beautiful, essential meditation on isolation, how we…

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  • How To Talk To Girls At Parties

    How To Talk To Girls At Parties

    If the Sex Pistols, Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, and X-Files had a threesome and spawned one single entity, you’d get John Cameron Mitchell’ s zany, lovely, but weirdly ordinary love story. For all its vulgarian chutzpa, punk DIY ethos, and visual high jinx, it’s at heart a boy-meets-girl-loses-girl, makes it in the world, but is still lonely, kind…

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  • Revenge


    This grindhouse slice of rough is as bloody as they get. But once you transcend the gore, the sheer originality of its dynamics, the ingenious transgression of its point of view, which happens to be a according to a woman’s frame, makes it a thrill ride of mythic proportions. An ancient tale of retribution —…

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  • Beast


    A charming, filthy, sexy stranger in a truck saves a lass from an unwanted advance, tells her he will fix her wound, the Kundalini starts rising, and the two embark on both a joyous and chilling folie à deux, to the horror of her family. A Colt 45 of a film, silver bullet of dark…

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  • Funny Cow

    Funny Cow

    Peake is the eponymous funny cow, a woman with no name, no future, no escape other than in endless repetition of family history, class mentality, gender predicament. This is no comedy – not that it isn’t darkly funny, depicting humour not as a relief, but at the centre of the disease. A punctured ulcer reeking…

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  • Isle Of Dogs

    Isle Of Dogs

    The remedy to all life’s ills lies in Wes Anderson films. The source of magic behind his incredible creations, a blend of innocence and weltschmerz, is that Anderson stays true to himself — an outsider to the worlds he creates, but which he loves. This gives his work an affectionate, deeply intellectual quality, what reviewers…

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  • Custody


    There is no horror quite like the murderous rage of someone you once loved. If you experienced anything similar, then consider Legrand’s explosive separation drama as homeopathic remedy. With enough guts to shatter the audience with the actual intensity of a violence done by the closest of people, and the inner distance to reality it…

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  • Unsane


    Shot entirely on an iPhone, this is Soderbergh’s new twist on his road to revolutionising craft, if not necessarily art. A stalkerish quality to it, a crispness and fake intimacy of a social media profile — an immediacy that makes it tenfold more horrifying than if it was digested through the geometrical complexity of a…

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  • Loveless


    An eulogy to humanity lost, the severing of connections in the fetishisation of the material — an absence, rather than a presence. A dark jewel, which, when observed against the light, shows no reflection. This lack of illumination envelops the viewer slowly, through stark images, an emotional catastrophe that goes unnoticed in a terrifying battle…

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  • The Shape Of Water

    The Shape Of Water

    This intoxicating burst of goodness celebrates connection, the space in-between, the silence of it, a quiet reading of heartbeats, the way we dance inside when we are touched by another, the need to merge regardless of all obstacles, the twinship we seek and rarely find, sacrifices we are willing to make when we are recognised…

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  • Oscars 2018: Eating Cake

    Oscars 2018: Eating Cake

    The Academy finally deciphered the writing on the wall, and promptly took their high-heeled shoes off, the entire spectacle meandering into something of an after-party at your agent’s house – half mercenary opportunism, half boozy honesty. What the aftermath of this will be is that the industry will soak in all the good intentions, appropriate…

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  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    So many layers of refinement, so many clever traps to fall through, so much good filmmaking on the table to be relished, savoured and devoured. Could not put a finger on what bothered me for weeks after watching it. This is a love story for narcissists, deceptively tender to the touch, an exquisite cashmere cardigan…

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  • Berlinale, Take Two.

    Berlinale, Take Two.

    Amidst the pomp, the circumstance, and the tightly wrapped boxes, there are the staff working for the Berlinale Service Centre who are not only incredibly helpful, but also smart, sweet, and informed. Organisationally, it is not only a festival of excuses (as one insightful employee put it), it is a festival of extremes. Gliding between…

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  • The Festival Of Fences

    The Festival Of Fences

    An ambivalent mixture of sophisticated programming, great variety, lovely surfaces, all the shades of pink amidst a well-oiled division between fans/stars, outsiders/insiders, and talents/audience. It’s not a surprise, only serves as a timely reminder of just how long this has gone unchecked all across the industry. Social exclusion has many faces, the most obvious ones…

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  • Molly’s Game

    Molly’s Game

    Chastain manages to portray what it is like to have integrity and drive in equal measure in a world designed by men. None of whom in Molly’s life did anything to make it easier for her. If there were offers for help, they came with a price tag. Essentially a high standard courtroom drama, conveying…

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  • Personal Shopper

    Personal Shopper

    A slick, informed take on the demon within, twinship, and ghosts, in general. What they are, where they hide, and when they appear. Kristen Stewart fidgets her way through her onscreen twin’s death, thirsting for final contact, in lieu of their lifetime pact. Glossy millennial ghost story that wants to take itself seriously and not…

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  • Darkest Hour

    Darkest Hour

    Oldman playing Churchill was an absolute genius stroke of casting, both men fireballs of passion, eloquence and wit. Nothing should have stood in the way of this performance. But it did, and so it ended with a thud, not an elation. Saying NO to the devil after walking through the valley of the shadow of…

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  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Frances McDormand is an Old Testament act of God, all wrath and unrelenting righteousness, mother archangel of lost causes. But what touched me most in was Sam Rockwell’s performance, a potty-mouthed small town cop, with a racist streak, who privately likes to dance to ABBA. ★★★★✩

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  • All The Money In The World

    All The Money In The World

    The story touches the core of an issue that is difficult to summarise under the hackneyed sin of greed. Because greed is about trust. This should have been a masterpiece. But it’s not. Because it was rushed. If you are Ridley Scott, you can speed up craft, and get away with it, and that’s a…

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  • I, Tonya

    I, Tonya

    There’s great heart in Margot Robbie taking on a national joke, a second-hand villain, and turning her into a quiet hero, in all her vulnerable garishness, her terrier posture, her awkward dignity. There was no inherent violence in Tonya, it was her inner grace that shaped her incredible talent. To get this point through was…

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  • Lola says…

    Lola says…

    Deconstructing the spectacle, measuring empty calories, offering nutritional insights on films newly released, as well as archival treasures, assessing the state of film culture, exploring new formats & illuminating cinema’s place in society, as well as in our individual psychology.

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