wed 19/06/2024

film directors

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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theartsdesk Q&A: Viggo Mortensen on 'The Dead Don't Hurt', Westerns and the dangers of patriotism

Viggo Mortensen has parlayed film stardom into the life of a hard-working, bohemian-minded gentleman scholar. His Lord of the Rings fees financed Perceval Press, which publishes books of poetry, photography and anthropology by himself and others,...

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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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'I think of her as a proto-punk': documentarist Svetlana Zill on Anita Pallenberg

Anita Pallenberg was a vital presence in the Stones’ most vital years. Her bright eyes and hungry mouth betrayed a ferocious appetite for pleasure and adventure, taking her from a nun-schooled Rome childhood to New York’s downtown art crowd, then...

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Blu-ray: Chocolat

Claire Denis’ 1988 debut is a sensual madeleine to her Cameroonian childhood, with its taste of termites on butter, sound of birdsong and insect chitter, and the camera’s slow turn and rise into vast vistas. It’s also a colonial reckoning, setting...

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Blu-ray: The Dreamers

Isabelle (Eva Green) leans over, her long hair catches fire from a candle, and Matthew (Michael Pitt) devotedly snuffs it out. She doesn’t miss a beat at this real-life accident, consumed already by The Dreamers’ closed world of a Left Bank...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Marco Bellocchio - the last maestro

The last of the old maestros is standing tall. Marco Bellocchio was a Marxist firebrand when he made his iconoclastic debut with Fists in the Pocket (1965). Now aged 84, he makes intellectually and emotionally muscular, hit epics about abused...

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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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