mon 20/09/2021

British film

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain review - visually arresting biopic

On its surface, a biopic of a late-Victorian artist starring big British talents including Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrea Riseborough and Claire Foy, sounds like typical awards fare for this time of year. Will Sharpe, best-known for directing the dark...

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The Toll review - once upon a time in west Wales

Budget constraints. In the hands of the right filmmakers, they can be a blessing in disguise, forcing creativity from simplicity. That’s exactly what works for The Toll, a dark comedy set in the wild west of these isles: Pembrokeshire.Michael Smiley...

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Blu-ray: West 11

The first 10 minutes of West 11 are arresting, with a sweeping crane shot over an ungentrified West London and a zoom in through an attic bedsit window. The credits reveal that the screenplay is by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, from a once-...

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Blu-ray: Radio On

Chris Petit's Radio On, his 1979 debut as writer-director, should be regarded as the first British psychogeography film. Though its protagonist, Robert B (David Beames), a DJ for the United Biscuits Network, drives from London to Bristol in his two-...

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DVD/Blu-ray: County Lines

The website of the National Crime Agency offers the following definition of County Lines: “[it is] where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often across police and local authority boundaries (although not exclusively), usually...

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Blu-ray: I Start Counting

Released in 1970, David Greene’s I Start Counting is as much an examination of childhood innocence as a psychological thriller. Fans of 1960s architecture will also find plenty to enjoy - never has Bracknell looked so good on film, with starring...

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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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Best of 2020: Film

It all started so promisingly. Parasite's triumph at the Oscars was a resounding response to 2019's saccharine and problematic Green Book. Art house was in and here to stay. And in some ways, this came to pass - with cinemas caught in a cycle of...

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Mogul Mowgli review - displacement and generational trauma

When Mogul Mowgli was first announced, it was fair to expect something of a realist biopic. After all, you had documentary director Bassam Tariq and actor/musician extraordinaire Riz Ahmed helming a film about a British-Pakistani rapper. Even the...

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Filmmaker Bassam Tariq: 'Great cinema doesn't need to be perfect - embrace the imperfections'

After Bassam Tariq's feature debut These Birds Walk was released at SXSW 2013, things seemed to slow down. The documentary about a runaway boy in Pakistan garnered strong reviews, but soon Tariq was working in a New York butchers pondering his...

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Cordelia review – Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Johnny Flynn star in an off-kilter tale of trauma

There's something deeply uncanny about Adrian Shergold's Cordelia. When the film's poster was released on social media, many mistook it for a kinky period drama with the power dynamics reversed. It definitely isn't a costume drama, but...

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Saint Maud review - creepy and strangely topical psychological horror

It only takes a few seconds of Saint Maud – dripping blood, a dead body contorted on a gurney, a young woman’s deranged face staring at an insect on the ceiling, an industrial clamour more likely to score the gates of hell than the pearly...

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