thu 04/03/2021

Film

Blu-ray: Tomorrow I'll Wake Up and Scald Myself with Tea

Jindřich Polák ’s 1963 film Ikarie XB-1 (also available from distributor Second Run) still seems fresh, a cerebral, visually arresting sci-fi which clearly influenced 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s surprising to read that Polák was actually a comedy...

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Judas and the Black Messiah review - powerful biopic

One of the sadnesses of covid is that films like Judas and the Black Messiah have been held over for release in the hope that cinemas will reopen. Immersive, intense features like this deserve to be seen in a darkened theatre with no...

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Moxie review - likeable if confused high school comedy

A teen comedy with a thematic difference, Moxie has enough memorable moments to firmly establish comedian Amy Poehler as a director worth reckoning with in what is her second film, following Wine Country in 2019. Telling of the teenage Vivian's...

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Blu-ray: The Ascent

There’s a striking interview among the extras for this Criterion edition of Russian director Larisa Shepitko’s fourth and final feature. The director was talking in 1978 to Bavarian Television at the Berlin Film Festival, where The Ascent had won...

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Blu-ray: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig gets an acknowledgement in The Grand Budapest Hotel’s closing credits and if you’ve read Zweig’s Beware of Pity you’ll recognise why, Wes Anderson’s Mitteleuropa setting and penchant for flashbacks within flashbacks...

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To Olivia review - Keeley Hawes rises above brainless biopic

Sure, Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but is that any excuse for a film quite so saccharine? He of all challenging and complex men, with a temperament to match, seems an odd subject for the sort of weightless, paint-by-numbers...

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Music review - a few music videos cobbled together

What did Sia want to achieve with Music, her deeply confused first stumble into filmmaking? The reclusive Australian has enjoyed years of global fame for a successful music career. Was it never enough?Music is about an autistic girl called Music (...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Mogul Mowgli

Can one use the term autofiction about a film? If so, Mogul Mowgli would be a perfect example. Riz Ahmed, the actor who came to fame with Four Lions, has in recent years appeared in a Star Wars spin-off and a Marvel...

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Blu-ray: The Last Warning

Stuttgart-born auteur and film theoretician Paul Leni, whose illusionistic production designs and direction of Waxworks (1924) helped define German Expressionist cinema, was 44 and approaching master status when he died of sepsis on 2 September...

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PVT CHAT review - the cam girl who loved me

An initially off-putting erotic comedy thriller about the relationship between a webcam dominatrix, “Scarlet” (Julia Fox), and the Internet gambler, Jack (Peter Vack), who becomes obsessed with her, Ben Hozie’s sexually graphic PVT CHAT becomes...

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Blu-ray: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto) is Italian filmmaker Elio Petri’s dark 1970s satire on state corruption. The...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story

In the autumn of 1975, Martin Scorsese was finishing Taxi Driver, Bob Dylan began his Rolling Thunder Revue tour, and Orson Welles’ F for Fake premiered in New York. Welles’ manipulation of found documentary footage of art forger Elmyr de Hory into...

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