Red Army : Film Review

By Stephen Mayne @finalreel In the latter half of the twentieth century, the US and the Soviet Union fought a battle for ideological supremacy. A crude and particularly western view of the conflict saw it as a straight fight between the forces of freedom and creative enterprise against a brutally rigid system of oppression. Even taking that bombastic brand of propaganda at face value, the argument doesn’t exactly apply in the world of men’s Ice Hockey. On this frozen field...

London Film Festival : ‘The Invitation’ Film Review

By Leslie Byron Pitt @Afrofilmviewer Karyn Kusama’s The Invitation would play well in a dining room disaster triple bill with last year’s dining room sci-fi Coherence (2014) and Hitchcock’s Rope (1948). It’s a deceptive film, which at its surface presents itself as a conventional B movie thriller in its own right. Yet Kusama (Jennifer’s Body) is not one to play along with typical formality. While The Invitation is best viewed with little to no background knowledge about its story, it...

London Film Festival: ‘James White’ Film Review

By Leslie Byron Pitt @Afrofilmviewer Despite showing up in films such as A Most Violent Year (2014) and Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), Christopher Abbott is still probably best known for his two year stint as the sensitive Charlie in Lena Dunham’s Girls. Abbott sheds this cleaner cut image he’s most connected with, to become the heavy drinking, aggressive and self-destructive James White in the film that bares the character’s name. We enter James’ life in the eye of a...

London Film Festival: ‘He Named Me Malala’ Film Review

By Leslie Byron Pitt @Afrofilmviewer He Named Me Malala details the life of Pakistani female activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai. The film juxtaposes Yousafzai’s strong family bonds and elevated celebrity status, with the tragic events which left her permanently wounded by Taliban gunmen and led her on the path to her current activism. Both humorous and humane with its observations, this polished documentary may serve to be a neat historical footnote for liberal head-nodders who agree with...

Film Review: Good People

By Adam Turner @AdamTurnerPR Good People is a Danish director's befuddled idea of a British action/gangster thriller featuring James Franco and Kate Hudson (The Wrights). The Wrights are a cash-strapped American couple who've moved to London for a fresh start and are in the process of renovating a house, inherited from a deceased relative, when they're thrown a financial lifeline. A huge wad of money almost literally drops on their doorstep and they're faced with the 'tough' decision of whether...

Just Jim : Film Review

By Stephen Mayne @finalreel Craig Roberts was not even 20 when the lead role in Richard Ayoade’s Submarine (2010) thrust him into a very indie kind of fame. It’s that same film that runs through the spine of Just Jim, a dark coming-of-age comedy that serves as a credible, if patchy directing and writing debut for the still only 24 year old. After a sojourn in Hollywood - minor roles in 2014 comedies Bad Neighbours and 22 Jump Street -...

My Mother/Mia Madre : Film Review

By Leslie Pitt @Afrofilmviewer Nanni Moretti’s latest feature certainly feels like a personal feature. The film deals with an overworked political filmmaker (Margherita Buy), who struggles to cope with balancing her working life while the trauma of a dying matriarch lingers over both herself and her brother (Moretti). The personal elements of the film creep through not only in the film within a film aspect (which hints at the directors left leaning sensibilities in on a surface level), but with...

Lessons In Love : Film Review

By Michael McNulty From the minute Pierce Brosnan’s face appears in medium close up in the first scene and he utters the words “I’m sorry, truly, because I fucked up” it almost feels like he could be apologising to the viewer for what they are about to endure. This scene and the rest of Lessons in Love is as about as convincing as Pierce Brosnan was playing James Bond. It’s a mishmash of poorly written, averagely filmed, unconvincing scenes that...

The Salt of the Earth : Film Review

By Leslie Byron Pitt @Afrofilmviewer Wim Winders Oscar nominated feature The Salt of the Earth is a remarkably timely feature, which highlights the work of social photographer Sebastiao Salgado. The film details Salgado's powerful imagery of refugees from all over the world from the sands of Sudan to the Gold Mines of Serra Pelada. The film is light on many elements within his photography, with much of Salgado's footage is of dead or dying persons, and the film only scratching...

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