• Picnic at Hanging Rock

    Picnic at Hanging Rock

    ★★★★½

    Concerned more with atmosphere and the experience of experience than it is with presenting resolution. Manages to strike a balance between beauty and terror, the titular rock is a place rife with symbolism, charm and tranquility yet also incredibly foreboding or menacing in the way it looms over characters, changing their behavior. The framing of the girls as they climb atop the rock is incredible, they appear trapped yet unaware. Their regulated uniforms an utter contrast to the jagged nature…

  • Lady in the Lake

    Lady in the Lake

    ★★½

    The first person perspective gets in the way. Interesting initially but quickly begins to restrict the narrative. Possibly intentional as a way of withholding information, but it didn't work in that way, just hampered any kind of engagement. Majority of scenes felt like a cut-scene from a PSOne game, unnatural gazes, clunky dialogue and limited perspective. The car crash scene utilized the POV technique well though and the no-instrument-choral-soundtrack was big.

  • The Night of the Sunflowers

    The Night of the Sunflowers

    ★★★

    Network narrative that sometimes feel slightly detrimental to the overall experience. Disrupts the tension and rhythm. Interesting characters and location keep the interest as well as ideas around violence and the loss of morals. Maybe the objective perception afforded to the viewer goes someway to discourage any further analysis?

  • The Peanut Butter Falcon

    The Peanut Butter Falcon

    ★★★

    Fine and sweet, like chopped stevia. Perhaps a little contrived in moments but doesn't detract from the overall theme too much. A good feel good film

  • Sorry We Missed You

    Sorry We Missed You

    ★★½

    The message is an important one and is communicated effectively (and directly) in the first hour, but then the social-realism becomes melodrama, all hope of resolution seems lost. Constant emotional assaults seem excessive by this point, almost feeling a little absurd at times, the situation is clear and doesn't need to this persistent reinforcement. Starts strongly though.

  • Maniac

    Maniac

    ★★½

    Interesting approach and technique, the first person perspective is the major differential between this and many other slasher films. Keeps everything interesting whilst pushing ideas of audience complicity and voyeurism, yet perhaps never fully explores either. The moments between scalpings prove most interesting but are treated more as placeholders to get to the next head-skinning. There are worse remakes out there.

  • A Serbian Film

    A Serbian Film

    ★½

    Whatever intention or message the filmmaker had seems to buried beneath piles and piles of jarring stylistic choices. There is little attempt to disguise the artifice of filmmaking. Perhaps the film is meant to appear self-reflexive, but that doesn't lend itself so well to the filmmakers supposed intentions. The extremities are constantly undermined by clumsy dialogue and weak characterization, leaving a film that feels just cheap and juvenile.

  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ★★★★½

    Impressive debut. High levels of competence and direction needed to allow scenes to play out the way that they do. Establishes a palpable sense of dread which it maintains throughout, whilst almost entirely steering clear of cliché. Plays with and often subverts the audiences belief in a objective narration in an excellent manner. The final act is as ambiguous or as clear cut as you choose it to be.

  • Germany Year Zero

    Germany Year Zero

    ★★★★

    Certain elements seem so removed from the theatrics of cinema, the ruins of Berlin are so affecting and the people that live amidst them, all feels very devastating . The reality of the image dominates. The story is just as haunting as the setting is, themes of rebuild, individualism and the aftermath of atrocity all resonate.

  • Livid

    Livid

    ★★

    Really disappointing follow up to À l'intérieur. Starts promisingly but quickly runs into cliché after cliché. So many ideas are thrown together that the tone/atmosphere is just lost, seemed solely concerned with its aesthetic, which wasn't enough to carry the film.

  • Red River

    Red River

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The direction, the cinematography and the staging are all epic. The scale of several scenes is still impressive 70 years later. Several narrative threads come and go without resolution, which seems more natural than it does messy, it typifies the lack of order . John Wayne's performance is complex, his physical deterioration mirroring his journey off of the "right path". Unfortunately the ending feels jarring, as if it was intended to please everyone, but ultimately pleased no one.

  • Satan

    Satan

    ★★

    Weird lack of tension and seemingly little attempt to build any suspense. Often reverts to a grotesque kind of humour that is fine in the moment but feels cheap immediately afterwards, also does little to carry the film. Vincent Cassel is great.