American Heist : Film Review

By Ellery Nick @Ellery_Nick James corrects his older brother, ‘It’s not Jimmy anymore, its James.’ Reluctantly, Frankie accepts this and we take James’s point. He wants to be taken seriously. Frankie and Jimmy? This isn’t some toothpick-chewing bank robbery yarn set in the Big Easy after all. In American Heist, Hayden Christensen plays muscle-car driving James, who is less than thrilled about older brother Frankie’s return from prison after managing to pull his socks up and re-enter the civilised world...

Danny Collins : Film Review

By Emma Silverthorn @HouseOf_Gazelle Saved from triteness (just) by Al Pacino's utterly gratifiying, larger than life performance, Danny Collins takes as its springboard the story of folk musician Steve Tilston who received a letter from John Lennon thirty five years too late. In an interview with a music magazine Tilston had expressed some fear over the potentially corrupting power of the riches and fame integral to the rock-star trajectory.  Lennon took issue with this and wrote to then twenty one...

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night : Film Review

By Emma Silverthorn @HouseOf_Gazelle Referred to only as The Girl: here is a heroine you can root for, a vigilante, feminist, vampire with excellent taste in music plus skateboarding ability, yes please! Not that this heroine is overtly kick-ass; she's a quiet, lonely soul but if anything this makes her even more appealing. Even the basic fact of seeing a female, (and a vulnerable looking female at that), stalking the streets at night (as opposed to being stalked), was in...

Clouds of Sils Maria: Film Review

By Stephen Mayne There are few subjects the world of art likes more than itself. Film is no exception, the history of cinema littered with hymns to the noble endeavour and exposés of a tragic, fame obsessed industry. Steering clear of both extremes, Clouds of Sils Maria plays out as a thoughtful backstage melodrama that trumpets the craft while taking sly digs at the commercialisation of the form and the vanity of the players. It helps that Director Olivier Assayas...

The Goob: Film Review

By Miranda Schiller @mirandadadada Somewhere in the fields of Norfolk, a boy gets off the school bus for the last time, leaving his scribbled-on uniform behind with the cheering boys at the back of the bus. It is the start of a long, hot summer, which this boy, nicknamed the Goob, spends mostly being worked to exhaustion and mistreated by his stepfather Gene. His mother runs a shabby burger bar, his stepfather grows beets, which allows him to play plantation...

Futuro Beach: Film Review

By Leslie Byron Pitt If you have a quick glance at the IMDB page of Futuro Beach director Karim Aïnouz, you would find a substantial amount of award nominations. This includes Futuro Beach being selected for the Golden Bear prize at The Berlin Film Festival. However, after sitting through the beautiful yet vacuous 106 minutes of abstract visuals and bland melodrama, it’s difficult to see why. Opening with a vigorous opening sequence of vast areas of empty beach, overseen by...

Phoenix – Film Review

By Stephen Mayne Is it possible to escape the past and do we ever really want to? Now on their sixth feature together, Christian Petzold and Nina Hoss turn to the dark depths of Germany’s recent history to delve into a noir infused world of blind hope and half-truths. As Hoss’ concentration camp survivor struggles to reconcile new and old lives, Phoenix, hinging on a clever conceit, steadily picks up momentum towards a subtly powerful conclusion. The film opens with Auschwitz...

Heaven Adores You – Film Review

By Stephen Mayne  It was film that brought me to Elliott Smith, and it’s in film that director Nickolas Dylan Rossi finds him again. I was 15 and in search of something when I first came across the scene in The Royal Tenenbaums where Luke Wilson tries to take his own life. Playing over it is Needle in the Hay, a devastating song off Elliott’s second solo album. The intense pain and beauty had me hooked. That’s how it is with...

Girlhood: The Changing Face Of French Cinema – An interview with Céline Sciamma and Karidja Touré

By Miranda Schiller @mirandadadada Karidja Touré, the celebrated star of Céline Sciamma's Girlhood, looks small in the big hotel room armchair where she sits doing back-to-back interviews all day. She looks small, but not lost. She is visibly really enjoying this, soaking in every minute of this new part of her life, being an actress. She was literally cast off the street for Girlhood, but she did secretly always dream of being an actress. Karidja explained: “Sometimes when people ask...

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