sat 18/11/2017

BFI

DVD/Blu-ray: The Wages of Fear

The opening shot sets the tone for what follows: a pair of duelling cockroaches attached to a string, tormented by a bored child. In 1953’s The Wages of Fear, we quickly sense that Henri-Georges Clouzot’s characters are similarly powerless. His...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Frantz Fanon - Black Face White Mask

The much-respected visual artist Isaac Julien made his name as one of the first great black British filmmakers, not least with Looking for Langston (1989) and Young Soul Rebels (1991). While Steve McQueen moved from gallery art and installations to...

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LFF 2017: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool / Professor Marston and the Wonder Women reviews - stellar turns by Annette Bening and Rebecca Hall

Screen biographies are tricky things to pull off when the person portrayed has left behind an indelible screen presence. It was hard to love Michelle Williams dragging up for My Week with Marilyn; Grace of Monaco was far from Nicole Kidman...

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LFF 2017: Last Flag Flying review - anti-war film without a bite

Richard Linklater’s sort-of sequel to one of the great American films of the Seventies, shown at London Film Festival, stars Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell and Laurence Fishburne as old Vietnam buddies reunited as America is embroiled in another...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Life Is Sweet

Sweet isn’t the right word; in Mike Leigh’s 1990 film, life is unfair, frustrating and confusing by turns. Though, despite the darkness, Life Is Sweet exudes positivity and remains one of Leigh’s funniest, most quotable features.Many of the best...

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DVD: Every Picture Tells a Story

James Scott’s filmography is wide-ranging, including the 1982 short film A Shocking Accident, based on the Graham Greene story, which won an Academy Award the following year, and other works on social questions. But these documentaries, several...

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God's Own Country review - a raw, rural masterpiece

There are many outstanding things in writer-director Francis Lee’s remarkable first feature, and prime among them is the sense that nature herself has a distinct presence in the story. It brings home how rarely we see life on the land depicted in...

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DVD/Blu-ray: My Beautiful Laundrette

This rerelease of Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette comes as part of the wider BFI programme marking the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, and its presence in that strand, as one of the foremost works of its time...

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Hotel Salvation review - a moving meditation on the end

There’s a rare combination of the sacred and the secular in Shubhashish Bhutiani’s debut feature Hotel Salvation (Mukti Bhawan). The young Indian director developed the film through a Venice festival production support programme awarded on the...

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DVD/Blu-ray: J'Accuse

Abel Gance’s remake of his 1919 classic was a worthy but overwrought attempt to avert World War II, which by 1938 was already a fait accompli. In their comparative sombreness, King Vidor’s The Big Parade (1925) and Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the...

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h.Club 100 Awards: Film - in a blockbuster world, originality thrives

It’s fitting that the first name on The Hospital Club's h.Club 100 film list for 2017 is that of Ken Loach. But though the director has a cinema career of more than half a century behind him – and had even officially retired before he came back to...

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Victim review - timely re-release for attack on homophobia

Victim was released in 1961. Six years would pass before the passing of the Sexual Offences Act cautiously exempted from prosecution men over 20 who had consensual sex in private. Yet the Basil Dearden suspenser probably played an equally important...

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