thu 25/04/2019

independent cinema

Mid90s review – rise of a skate gang tyro

There’s an admirable modesty in the way Jonah Hill has approached his first film as writer-director. The popular actor (Superbad, Moneyball, The Wolf of Wall Street) has taken a low-key indie approach to Mid90s, his gently humorous coming-of-age...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The White Reindeer

Finnish horror is a niche genre if ever there was one. Erik Blomberg’s directorial debut The White Reindeer is a seminal example, a beguiling, unsettling little film that’s two parts local colour to one part metaphysical thriller. Blomberg cut his...

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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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DVD/Blu-ray: The Wild Pear Tree

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan has been a Cannes regular for almost two decades now, and one of the festival’s more frequent prize-winners: over his career he has come away with two Grand Prix (for 2003’s Distant and 2011’s Once Upon a Time in...

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The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles below is well worth your attention.América ★★★★ A heart-warming document of love across the...

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Minding the Gap review – profound musings on life

Where would you go for a devastating study on the human condition? The home movies of teenage skaters would be very low down on that list. But most of those movies aren’t filmed, compiled and analysed by Bing Liu, the director of Minding the Gap....

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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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DVD: An Elephant Sitting Still

The story behind this first – and final – feature from the young Chinese film-maker Hu Bo is as sad as anything in recent cinema history. Stretching to nearly four hours, An Elephant Sitting Still is a film of almost unremitting bleakness, following...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Freak Show

You might think an American high school comedy an unlikely place to locate a love letter to Oscar Wilde – even if there’s a flamboyantly gay story behind it. But Freak Show screenwriters Beth Rigazio and Patrick J Clifton, adapting James St James’...

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Foxtrot review – controversial movie dances to an ugly tune

Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz’s Foxtrot uses irony and visual poetry to condemn his nation’s militarism. Twenty months after the movie won the Grand Jury Prize at Venice, it opens in the UK trailing a divisive history. When it first emerged in 2017...

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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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Capernaum review - sorrow, pity and shame in the Beirut slums

An angry little boy, in jail after stabbing someone, stands in a Beirut courtroom and tells the judge that he wants to sue his parents. Why? For giving birth to him when they’re too poor and feckless to care for him. And he wants them to stop having...

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