mon 25/01/2021

BFI

Blu-ray: Short Sharp Shocks

This BFI compilation looks back to an age when an evening at the cinema was a proper night out, the main attraction preceded by a short supporting feature. Nine spooky and macabre examples are included here, though the set earns its four stars by...

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Blu-ray: Polytechnique

The French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve is best known for mainstream films like Sicario, Arrival, and Blade Runner 2049, stylishly expressive in their harnessing of alienating terrains, notably deserts and plains. Their claustrophobic...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Dementia

The cheaply made experimental exploitation indie Dementia (1955) is one of those footnotes in movie history that makes cultists salivate. And with good reason – it’s a wry blend of film noir and horror that makes you wonder if it was a...

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Filmmaker Bassam Tariq: 'Great cinema doesn't need to be perfect - embrace the imperfections'

After Bassam Tariq's feature debut These Birds Walk was released at SXSW 2013, things seemed to slow down. The documentary about a runaway boy in Pakistan garnered strong reviews, but soon Tariq was working in a New York butchers pondering his...

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Blu-ray: Lynn + Lucy

If you’re after a relaxing Sunday watch, Fyzal Boulifa’s Lynn + Lucy is not the one. It begins as a story of old friends in a small town and ends as a complex and uncomfortable tragedy. The banality of the everyday is stripped away throughout the...

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LFF 2020: Supernova review – Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth shine as couple on the road

Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of pleasure to be had watching Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth as a mature couple pootling around the UK in their humble camper van. They bicker about the satnav voice, argue the merits of the shipping forecast, and both...

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Blu-ray: Tokyo Story / The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice

Yasujirō Ozu’s The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice and Tokyo Story were released in 1952 and 1953 respectively. Tokyo Story regularly features in critics' Top 10 lists and was voted Best Film of all time in a 2012 poll of film directors in Sight...

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Lynn + Lucy review - a bruising tale of female friendship

British director Fyzal Boulifa makes his feature film debut with a bruising account of female-friendship torn apart by personal tragedies and gossipmongers, on a council estate in Harlow. At under an hour and a half, Boulifa shows a gift for...

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Fanny Lye Deliver’d review - blistering English civil war western

Ten years in the making, Thomas Clay’s third feature, starring Charles Dance and Maxine Peake, is a remarkable and potent example of genre-splicing British independent filmmaking. The story opens in 1657. Cromwell is in power and, on a small,...

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Blu-ray/DVD: It Couldn't Happen Here

The Pet Shop Boys' film It Couldn’t Happen Here, originally released in 1988, has been given a new outing on a BFI Blu-ray/DVD that contextualises it with special features. While it's an entertaining snapshot of a particular time in British and...

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Women Make Film: Part Two review - two steps forward, one step back

The second half of Mark Cousins’ documentary on films by women filmmakers starts with religion; it ends with song and dance. This is a second seven-hour journey through cinema. It reconfirms Women Make Film as a remarkable feat of excavation and...

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Women Make Film: Part One review - a mesmerising journey of neglected film

Equally ambitious in scope as his 900min ode to cinema The Story of Film: An Odyssey, Mark Cousins’ latest work, Women Make Film, is a fourteen-hour exploration of the work of female film directors down the decades.Cousins’...

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