Mank

David Fincher's take on Herman J. Mankiewicz's life made for a story of authorship, fabrications, responsibility, public opinion, great talent, addiction, singing for one’s supper, screwing over of a popular progressive candidate by the Hollywood propaganda machine (before Sanders, there was Upton Sinclair), and finally, the making of Citizen Kane. A rare tribute to the importance of writing in film, and one of the most honest and subdued depictions of Hollywood that Hollywood delivered. Inevitably, shot in 1930s monochrome. [read more] ★★★★✩

Rebecca

A fan of Wheatley's work, I came into this wide-eyed and curious at what a filmmaker of his calibre and mercurial style would bring to the ur-ghost story of cinema, an intrinsically woven and menacingly erotic depiction of an entire narrative demonically possessed by a missing protagonist. And the answer is: nothing. With apologies to the superb Kristin Scott Thomas, apparently the only one on set who understood what film she's in. An attempt to deconstruct the institution of marriage, and the British class system, through rendering a passionately subversive classic entirely soulless, failing, epically. [read more] ★✩✩✩✩

The Trial Of The Chicago 7

Sorkin's ultra topical, traditionally rapid-fire narrative response to the current Molotov cocktail moment in US politics seems rushed and 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, as saving grace. It also brings forth a worthy central premise - celebrating elements in US society, in the Vietnam War era, protesting America's imperial policies, as well as its internal injustices. And justice, like revolution, cannot be compartmentalised. [read more] ★★★✩✩

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 hypnotic opium dream, yet fitting the P. Marlowe canon perfectly, it takes a Lynch to restore one’s faith in film as medium, and its capabilities as an art form to once again transform into something mysterious, illuminating, and worthy of awe. [read more] ★★★★★

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