Feature: Once Upon a Time in the Riveria

Having read about Cannes from afar for some time, the prospect of visiting the festival and experiencing the finest in world cinema sur la plage was surreal enough without the added factors of sleep deprivation and Tarantino fever. As I shuffled into the festival zone ‘fresh’ from two buses and a plane, dinner-jacketed and glad-ragged…

Feature: Thunder Road & Masculinity

‘Talking about problems never helped anyone’, decries Officer Jim Arnaud, the crumbling yet endearing core of Thunder Road, debut feature from writer/director Jim Cummings. The film charts the emotional erosion of Arnaud (also played by Cummings), a man of law and order who’s acclimatising to life without his mother. Hinged on bereavement but imbued with…

AV: USA, Race & Eye Contact

This audiovisual essay takes 9 recent films about racial/socio-political tensions in contemporary America, and binds them together in order to highlight similar cinematic themes and motifs – namely, eye contact. What does it mean to have a character look directly into the camera? If eyes are the windows to the soul, how does this impact…

Feature: To Infinity War and Beyond

April ushers in a possible sea-change moment for the superhero film phenomenon. The horizon is obscured by the hulking behemoth money-magnet that is Avengers: Endgame, the culmination of a 22 film run from Marvel Studios and producer Kevin Feige, and potentially the biggest movie event of all time. But what after that? Will the genre…

Review: Happy As Lazzaro

Centring on the exploited workforce of a remote tobacco plantation, Happy As Lazzaro, despite being set in 1990s rural Italy, has a timeless quality to it. In every shot, the fuzzy, curved frame of writer/director Alice Rochwacher’s 16mm camera is an aesthetic reminder of how this story could just as easily be set at any…

Feature: ‘And the winner is… Green Book’

Cue a veritable outcry from film twitter, the (now familiar) clenching of buttocks from the Academy, and a shrug from the general public. After a year of not being able to make any logical decision, the Academy’s Best Picture of 2019, despite its broad popularity, is deemed another in a long line of misguided judgements….

AV: Cult Cage

There is no actor working in contemporary film that operates so successfully between high and low culture than that of Nicolas Cage. Simultaneously an established member of the Hollywood elite (Cage won an Academy award in 1995 for Leaving Las Vegas) and a bonafide cult star, Cage’s reputation as a wild card has been perpetuated…

Review: Système K

Focusing on a movement of Congolese street artists in the slums of Kinshasa that ‘feed on chaos’, Systeme K is provocative filmmaking purely due to the inspiring group of people it follows. ‘This entire city is sick’, decries Freddy, a sculptor and visual artist who builds nightmarish pieces out of rusting bullet casings and machetes…

Review: We Are Little Zombies

‘Reality’s too stupid to cry over’ Hakira proclaims at the cremation of his parents. The teenage main character of We Are Little Zombies could easily pass for the lead in a Wes Anderson film – wise beyond his years, with a wry quip for every occasion. That is, if Wes Anderson had spent his childhood…

Feature: Bait Has Berlinale Hooked

Bait may well be one of the most unique films to come out of Britain in recent years. Ian Mantgani hit the nail on the head when he commented that the film feels like it’s been ‘belched up by the angry sea’ in his Sight and Sound review – a shear force of nature that…