sat 13/04/2024

film directors

Civil War review - God help America

Alex Garland’s fourth movie as writer/director is a chilling glimpse of an American dystopia, fortuitously timed for the run-up to the forthcoming US elections. However, it steers fastidiously clear of drawing any obvious Trump vs Biden parallels,...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Padre Pio

Faith and damnation frequently collide in Abel Ferrara’s films, drawing fiery performances from often starry casts. The New York master who made The Driller Killer and Bad Lieutenant now lives in Rome and, like his Pasolini, Padre Pio is a political...

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Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire review - a modest, well-meant return

Who you going to call? Five films into the Ghostbusters franchise, every persuadable survivor from the ’84 original, plus the ad hoc, Paul Rudd-led Spengler clan introduced in the series-reviving Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021). The low-key, humane,...

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Dune: Part 2 review - sombre space opera

Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune sequel is a sombre science-fiction spectacle that insists on the scale of cinema: erupting sandworms are Cecil B. DeMille colossal, the sound design centred on Hans Zimmer’s score thunderously enveloping. In a genre once...

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Memory review - love, dementia and truth

Procul Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” is given a new lease on life in Mexican director Michel Franco’s moving, complex film, full of fine performances.Saul (a wonderful Peter Sarsgaard), who has early-onset dementia, plays the song constantly. It’...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Wim Wenders on 'Perfect Days'

Wim Wenders’ latest narrative film Perfect Days might seem an uncommonly mellow work by the maker of Alice in the Cities (1974), The American Friend (1977), Paris, Texas (1984), and Wings of Desire (1987), but it still finds the 78-year-old...

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Blu-ray: Jerzy Skolimowski - Walkower, Bariera, Dialóg 20-40-60

Diving into this three-disc set of early films by maverick Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski leaves one reeling, an arresting reminder of the vibrancy and flair of so much 1960s Eastern European cinema.This isn’t a valedictory package: Skolimowski,...

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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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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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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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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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