wed 21/08/2019

British film

Beats review - Scottish boys seek rave

Achingly nostalgic for rave culture, Beats will likely appeal to anyone whose formative experience of ardent friendships and communal joy peaked in a transcendent musical setting with or without the help of Ecstasy.Director Brian Welsh’s Scottish...

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CD: Jessie Buckley - Wild Rose OST

Reviewing the soundtrack for a film you’ve not seen is a tricky act. It’s like reviewing a book based on its pictures – you’re missing the context of the music’s purpose. But then, not all soundtracks are created equal, and Wild Rose is one designed...

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Director Jason Barker: ‘Trans lives are often portrayed so bleakly’

When Jason and Tracey were trying for a baby, the worst happened. Tracey was diagnosed with breast cancer, and although she eventually recovered, was unable to carry a child. For Jason, the answer was clear - as a trans man, he would become pregnant...

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Q&A special: The making of Local Hero

Local Hero, released in 1983, has been adapted into a musical, with a book by playwright David Greig and more songs from the soundtrack's original composer Mark Knopfler. After its premiere at the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh, it will arrive at the Old...

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Benjamin review - awkward romcom meets cultural analysis

Benjamin is the debut feature of Simon Amstell, a young director who has thought cleverly about the torments (and hilarities) of artistic creation in an information-soaked world. The protagonist Benjamin (Colin Morgan) lives in a contemporary London...

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Ray & Liz review - beautifully shot portrait of poverty

Ray’s world has shrunk to a single room in a council flat. His life consists of drinking home-brew, smoking, gazing out of the window, listening to Radio 4 and sinking into an alcohol-induced stupour. There’s no need ever to leave his bedroom...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Stranger in the House

Marvel at Stranger in the House’s title sequence, the pulsating multi-coloured shapes accompanied by the cheesiest of title themes. It’s not Saul Bass, but it’s effective. Pierre Rouve’s 1967 film contains elements which may confound, irritate and...

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Blu-ray: Derek Jarman Collection, Vol Two 1987-1994

Derek Jarman has always been described as irreverent, but, paradoxically, he is treated today with unreserved and probably excessive reverence. In the church of the avant-garde, and it’s perhaps not completely out of order to suggest that such an...

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Old Boys review - short but not especially sweet

How does the ever cherub-cheeked Alex Lawther keep getting served in pubs? That question crossed my mind during the more leisurely portions of Old Boys, an overextended English schoolboy revamp of Cyrano de Bergerac that flags just when it most...

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Director Toby Macdonald: 'Comedy is something people need at the moment'

A British boys boarding school in the 1980s. Not the most obvious setting for a romantic comedy, especially one based on the most famous romcom of all, Cyrano de Bergerac. But for director Toby Macdonald, it was the ideal challenge for his debut...

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DVD: Tides

Tides tells of fortysomething angst and camaraderie, though “tells” might be an exaggeration. In a concerted attempt to make a film with minimal incidents and structure, first-time feature director Tupac Felber made a likeable observational piece,...

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Jellyfish review - life on the edge in Margate

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside – well perhaps not, if Jellyfish is anything to go by. Set in Margate, this independent feature paints a picture of a town and people that have been left behind. Cut from the same cloth as Ken Loach’s I, Daniel...

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