• Oldboy

    Oldboy

    ★★★★

    Incredibly stylistic and seemingly complex revenge-thriller. Successfully changes what appears to be the purpose of the film numerous times - even going as far as to change the film from a mystery to a tragedy. Seems to hold influences of many films yet is without doubt it's own film. Amazing that it deprives the viewer of the catharsis usually associated with revenge-thrillers, replacing it with something that is far more questionable and harder to justify.

  • Tombs of the Blind Dead

    Tombs of the Blind Dead

    ★★½

    A strong atmosphere throughout as a result of interesting cinematography, washed out colors and really good use of slow-motion. Sitting through the film isn't too exciting, very slow pace that just doesn't deliver enough.

  • The Married Woman

    The Married Woman

    ★★★

    The moments in which relationships (romantic and seemingly platonic) are displayed through nothing but gestures and close ups of body parts, are very good. The moments in between were far less interesting and made the film seem a lot longer than it actually was.
    In retrospect the theme of a woman being "married" to an idea pertaining to who she should be and what she should do, in accordance with society, is an interesting one. The execution of the idea didn't captivate me though.

  • Miracle in Milan

    Miracle in Milan

    ★★★

    Magic realism via neorealism. I appreciate the overall themes at play, notably the power to shape your reality, but the comedy doesn't land for me. Fortunately the film has enough besides the humor to keep interest, the photography, the locations and eventually the moments of magic and fantasy.

  • Holy Motors

    Holy Motors

    ★★★★★

    Incredible. Each viewing offering new interpretations that build upon prior interpretations. Each viewing feels like a new experience. Sometimes it seems to be concerned with the absurdity of performance, both theatrically and in reality, other times its concerned with concepts of identity in the wake of experience. It didn't feel pretentious neither did it feel overstuffed with ideas, which for a film that is as open to interpretation as this is, feels remarkable.
    There is always another puzzle to solve…

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★½

    Strong bookend to Scorsese's mob films. Characters, actors and the filmmaker all looking back at what they've done. The long running time felt totally justified come the finale, making those final scenes feel even more cathartic.
    Perhaps more melancholic than I had expected but this allowed for more time to consider the actions of characters. Should I feel sympathy or pity? Differences between killing and murder?

  • Dark Night of the Scarecrow

    Dark Night of the Scarecrow

    ★★★

    The films setup is definitely familiar but its slow burn approach whilst favoring atmosphere and tension over jump scares and shocks sets the film apart from similar films from this era. The level of attention given to grief and simply repressing negativity was a big addition as well.

  • Clip

    Clip

    ★★½

    A bleak depiction of life for the youth of Serbia. Carries themes of the alienation and angst of youth in a similar structure to films like Kids and Thirteen, but with its own stylistic choices. Some choices work and some don't. The constant switch to mobile phone clips to show the graphic sex almost seemed like an attempt for the filmmaker to distance themselves from the act, creating an image that is so different from the film itself, yet it…

  • The Witch in the Window

    The Witch in the Window

    ★★★

    Peculiar atmosphere throughout but with little scares. The film seemed more concerned with the two central characters, specifically the father, and their internal struggles with fear, courage and obligation. The witch acting as a catalyst for the father to finally do what he needs to do. Which is an interesting route to take, exploring some often overlooked ideas within horror. However, in having characters that aren't that phased by the presence of ghosts/witches, it's hard for us to feel phased…

  • The Shining

    The Shining

    ★★★★½

    Creates and holds an incredibly tense and foreboding atmosphere throughout. Prompts us to question the validity of what we are seeing and the perspective from which we are seeing.
    Although a lot of the scares and initial responses may come from a level of empathy towards Danny, as his family gets torn apart before him, the uneasy atmosphere owes a lot to the camera movement. At times attached to a specific character but more often seemingly gliding through corridors, over…

  • Leave Her to Heaven

    Leave Her to Heaven

    ★★★

    The brilliant technicolor and performance from Gene Tierney are the films lifeblood. I could see where the film was going but wasn't bothered too much by that, half the fun was seeing 'how' something would happen rather than 'what' would happen. Melodrama doesn't sit with me too well, the film noir aspects are alright though.

  • Maelström

    Maelström

    ★★★

    Some interesting ideas and themes, with some real surreal imagery that I dont necessarily associate with Villeneuve. Humour didn't always hit the mark and the dialogue felt kind of stiff - but the central idea is weird enough to carry the film in spite of that.