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All reviews - Movies (46) - TV Shows (1) - Books (2) - Music (2)

Separado! review

Posted : 2 years, 10 months ago on 20 August 2014 05:19 (A review of Separado!)

Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals fame sets off to Patagonia in search of a singing Gaucho uncle. An engaging, eclectic, playful yet thoughtful Welsh musical documentary road movie that stops off in Brazil. Yes, it's a genre buster, mixing blood-spattered Western, horror, home movie, sci-fi, historical drama, with psychedelic touches and multiple split screen. Separado also touches on important colonial and cultural issues, along with the blurring of myth-making, fact and fiction. Like Gruff Rhys, something of a treasure.


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Old Joy review

Posted : 2 years, 10 months ago on 20 August 2014 05:18 (A review of Old Joy)

I guess we could all do with a special place to unwind from the news and the trials of modern life. Following films like Deliverance and the cinematic tradition of violence and horror out in the wilds, viewers may feel a sense of unease, so maybe a further dose of nature and meditative space from this unusual film may be in order.


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Wild Grass review

Posted : 2 years, 10 months ago on 20 August 2014 05:17 (A review of Wild Grass)

A very elegant, beguilingly mysterious study of mental frailty, obsession and the unexpected paths of fate, with a welcome dash of wit and adventurous spirit thrown in for good measure. A film to be relished and savoured for its use of colour and visual beauty too; Resnais' best for decades.


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The Illusionist review

Posted : 2 years, 10 months ago on 20 August 2014 05:10 (A review of The Illusionist)

This is a lovely wistful animation, imbued with the spirit of Tati and a bygone age of more innocent wonder, in which a none-too-successful gangling French illusionist travels to Scotland and is befriended by an awe-struck girl.


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One Deadly Summer review

Posted : 2 years, 10 months ago on 20 August 2014 05:09 (A review of One Deadly Summer )

The film starts out as a broad sort of sex comedy but then explores darker places. It had a strong effect on me as a young man in the early 80s, admittedly in large part due to the sight of Isabelle Adjani in a ra-ra skirt, and less. In short, i fell in lust, but the film's worth seeing anyway. Not long back it was picked in Sight & Sound's (forgotten pleasures) list of 75 Mainstream Marvels of the last 30 Years.


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Shutter Island review

Posted : 2 years, 10 months ago on 20 August 2014 05:07 (A review of Shutter Island)

The US has carried out numeorus experiments on its powerless citizens- people with learning disabilities, mental health problems, physical sickness, prisoners and racial minorities, as well as other nationalities; using deadly diseases, toxic and radioactive chemicals, surgical experiments, sterilising, torture etc etc. Maybe Scorsese might give us a film on that reality, instead of a Caligari horror version?


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The Chess Player review

Posted : 2 years, 10 months ago on 20 August 2014 05:06 (A review of The Chess Player)

A grand dashing romantic adventure set in the 18th century, with Poland resisting the Russians in the time of Catherine the Great- replete with masked balls, sleigh rides in the snow, firework displays and automata. A terrific silent film.


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Under Milk Wood review

Posted : 2 years, 10 months ago on 20 August 2014 05:04 (A review of Under Milk Wood)

It may be difficult to do justice to Dylan Thomas' great play and its colourful language and characters on film; this does a so-so job, i'm not sure the wandering narrators' parts quite work, and the direction isn't inspired, but it's notable for some prime acting talent. Still, i prefer my cassette for voices with Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, with a little ditty composed by Elton John- which i happened to give to Dr Trueman of East Enders as he was setting out in acting


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The Damned United review

Posted : 2 years, 10 months ago on 20 August 2014 05:00 (A review of The Damned United)

Fine work by Sheen (though he lacks a little of Clough's toughness while underlining his brash insecurity), and the film is especially interesting for any football fan like me who was a kid at the time. I was pleased that the contribution of Peter Taylor is emphasised but the characterisation of Billy Bremner strikes me as a fault and there's some dubious dramatic licence with the reality


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The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear review

Posted : 2 years, 10 months ago on 20 August 2014 04:57 (A review of The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear)

Given that the US, UK and many other nations' foreign policies are based on an absurd distortion of reality, propped up by nationalism and relentless media propaganda, and that these policies have led to a very bloody and costly quagmire alongside increasing big brother security measures instead of a safer world, then this film is essential viewing and deserves a far bigger audience than it has received. In the US it was considered too dangerous.


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