mon 22/04/2024

documentary

Janey review - fitting punchline for a contentious comedian

The Glaswegian comedian Janey Godley, the woman who put the punch in punchline, has what she would call a “mooth” on her. It delivers pith and grit and lots of short words needing asterisks. Though possibly not for much longer, as she is in the...

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The Last Year of Darkness review - a loving portrait of a Chengdu gay bar

Yihao is a disaffected 20 year old living in Chengdu, capital of Sichaun Province. A thriving centre for business and commerce, Chengdu looks like any other modern city. You could mistake it for downtown Chicago except that, apart from the Walmart...

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Drive to Survive, Season 6, Netflix review - F1 documentary overtaken by events

When the first season of Drive to Survive launched on Netflix in 2019, it was greeted with suspicion by some in the Formula One paddock. But with its sixth season now up on Netflix, just ahead of next weekend’s 2024 season-opening race in Bahrain,...

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Occupied City review - unquiet Nazi crimes

“I feel as if I am live reporting from a shipwreck,” Dutch-Jewish journalist Philip Mechanicus wrote en route to his concentration camp murder. Steve McQueen’s four-hour reverie on Amsterdam’s Nazi occupation teases out the scars of that arbitrary,...

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Blu-ray: Werner Herzog - Radical Dreamer

Weird, quirky Hollywood Werner can obscure the fierce visionary who warred with Kinski in the jungle. This is even true of many of his own features since moving to LA which, like his peer Wenders, usually pale next to his reverent, supernal...

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Scala!!! review - a grindhouse cinema remembers

This week, the makers of Scala!!! threw a party in what remains of its subject – a notorious, beloved repertory cinema in then sleazy King’s Cross, born 1981, dead 1993, and now a dowdier music venue.The auditorium was cut up, shrunk...

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Best of 2023: Film

Numbers indicate if entries are listed in order of preferenceSaskia BaronAnatomy of a FallBrokerFallen LeavesJoylandKillers of the Flower MoonOtto Baxter: Not a F**ing Horror StoryReturn to SeoulSt OmerScrapperA Thousand and OneThe reason I go to...

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Is There Anybody Out There? review - autobiographical documentary on disability

Ella Glendining has made an impressive documentary debut with the autobiographical essay, Is There Anybody Out There? Born without hip joints and very short thigh bones, we first encounter her as a perky, confident little girl walking in the...

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Robbie Williams, Netflix review - tormented superstar bares his soul

If you thought being a pop star might be fun, this four-part voyage around the tortured soul of Robbie Williams may convince you otherwise. He has sold 75 million records and historic numbers of concert tickets, scored 13 Number One albums and seven...

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The Interview, Park Theatre review - Martin Bashir's comeuppance

Journalism is a despised profession. And when you consider the story behind the interview that Diana, Princess of Wales, gave to BBC journo Martin Bashir in 1995 you can see why. As anyone who follows current affairs knows, it has been revealed that...

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On the Adamant review - moving French documentary focusing on mental health

On the Adamant is an endearing  documentary by the French director Nicolas Philibert, best known here for his 2003 film, Être et Avoir, a portrait of a single-room school in the Auvergne.This time around, Philbert has placed his...

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Beyond Utopia review - harrowing escape stories vividly captured with live footage

If Madeleine Gavin’s Beyond Utopia doesn’t make you cry, you’re a hard nut to crack. The film records the fortunes of defectors fleeing North Korea, a hell hole that is more like a prison camp than a country.The phone rings with news that a family...

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