thu 25/07/2024

British film

Blu-ray: The Small Back Room

Powell and Pressburger’s least remembered Forties film is shrouded in Blitz darkness, deepening in the warped flat where alcoholic weapons expert Sammy (David Farrar) stares at a whisky bottle as if it’s a bomb. Following the vivid English fantasias...

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A House in Jerusalem review - a haunted house and country

The Israel-Palestine conflict aptly infuses a haunted house in Muayad Alayan’s story of layered loss. The Shapiro family home in Jerusalem which grieving British-Jewish husband Michael (Johnny Harris) and daughter Rebecca (Rebecca Calder) retreat to...

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Hoard review - not any old rubbish

A visually dazzling, fiercely acted psychological drama with a manic comic edge, Hoard channels an 18-year-old South Londoner’s quest to lay the ghost – or reclaim the spirit – of her long dead mentally ill mother through her sexual pursuit of the...

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Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger review - the Archers up close

This long, fascinating documentary was apparently intended as the centrepiece of last autumn’s BFI celebration of the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. But Made in England was delayed while Martin Scorsese (executive producer,...

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Stephen review - a breathtakingly good first feature by a multi-media artist

Stephen is the first feature film by multi-media artist Melanie Manchot and it’s the best debut film I’ve seen since Steve McQueen’s Hunger. It’s gripping from the first frame to the last; the tension rarely lets up as we watch the main character...

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Silver Haze review - daughters of Albion dealing with damage

In a Dagenham hospital, Silver Haze’s compassionate nurse Franky, played by Vicky Knight, meets Florence (Esmé Creed-Miles), who’s been admitted as a patient for having attempted suicide. After Franky dumps her boyfriend, the two women begin a...

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Blu-ray: Beautiful Thing

Beautiful Thing’s opening scene plays out like a sweary take on Bill Forsyth’s Gregory’s Girl, Meera Syal’s potty-mouthed PE teacher lambasting her Year 11 pupils with language that would now have her hauled up in front of a professional conduct...

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Wicked Little Letters review - sweary, starry film is mostly strange

A splendid cast struggle to make something coherent out of Wicked Little Letters, the latest film from Thea Sharrock who not that long ago was one of the hottest theatre directors in town.Sharrock's proven skill onstage with thesps ranging from...

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This Blessed Plot review - a right old English carry on

The hefty Essex builder Keith Martin, who plays a version of himself, as do most of the non-professional actors in Mark Isaacs' comic docufiction This Blessed Plot, is no Olivier or Branagh. But he puts brio and a touch of bombast into the dying...

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Blu-ray: The Eternal Daughter

In Présages, Joanna Hogg talks about ghosts. This short film from 2023, commissioned by the Pompidou Centre, is included as one of the special features in the new BFI Blu-ray release of Hogg's intensely atmospheric The Eternal Daughter, with its...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Old Oak

Margaret Thatcher’s witless assertion that “there is no such thing as society” dates back to 1987; Ken Loach’s The Old Oak offers a belated but powerful rebuttal.His film highlights several discrete societies coexisting in a depressed Durham mining...

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Sweet Sue review - delightfully hopeless Brits

You don’t have to be a casting director to know that Britain has a remarkable reservoir of unstarry middle-aged actors who might, just occasionally, get top spot in a movie – Joanna Scanlon in the wondrous After Love (2020) being an excellent...

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