sat 20/07/2024

film directors

MaXXXine review - a bloody star is born

Mia Goth’s mighty Maxine finally makes it to Hollywood in Ti West’s brash conclusion to the trilogy he began with X (2022), which has become a visceral treatise on film’s 20th century allure, and the bloody downside of dreaming to escape.X riffed on...

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Blu-ray: Merry-Go-Round (Körhinta)

There’s a lot to unpick in Zoltán Fabri’s 1956 film Merry-Go-Round (Körhinta). Take leading man Imre Soós’s disarming resemblance to a young Peter O’Toole, and a central love story which plays out like a Hungarian take on Romeo and Juliet with some...

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Green Border review - Europe's baleful boundary

We’re used to dabs of colour splashing briefly across black-and-white movies – Spielberg’s Schindler’s List or Coppola’s Rumble Fish spring to mind – but director Agnieszka Holland has a new and uncompromising variant on the ruse.The colour opening...

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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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