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  • Timbuktu

    Timbuktu

    ★★★½

    More than terror, or the grim forebodings of occupation, the overriding tone is one of listlessness. Of Jihadis drifting through mud brick streets, toting rifles, barking into megaphones. Fear is implicit, but frustration concomitant. A fishmonger would rather submit herself to whatever draconian punishment her captors might envisage than follow their law; not as an act of martyrdom, but one of complete disdain. Timbuktu is a city in quiet rebellion, and it is only in the final act that Sissako…

  • The Truth

    The Truth

    ★★★½

    What is the degree to which a national cinema is reliant on its nation? The quintessence of Kore-eda’s filmography, a distinctly Japanese tincture, might be thought indelible; and yet in The Truth he produces a remarkably French film. Even its basal aesthetic framework is distinctly European, with Eric Gautier’s cinematography resembling his work with Assayas especially. If asked to guess, I would have imagined this one of Assayas’ films entire. So too is the solipsistic, self-reflexive, cinema-history centrifuge largely redolent…

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  • They Shall Not Grow Old

    They Shall Not Grow Old

    ★★★½

    Among the unruly film conservationist community – an elusive and underloved subsection of society at the best of times – there is much discontent afoot. Peter Jackson’s latest project, a commission from the Imperial War Museum to mark the centenary of the First World War’s conclusion, has been considered by some in said community to be an act of barbarity, an unjustifiable marring of historical record for the sake of empty titillation. This project, entitled They Shall Not Grow Old,…

  • The Other Side of the Wind

    The Other Side of the Wind

    ★★★★

    A cynic might suggest The Other Side of the Wind cannot be considered a true Orson Welles picture. After all, the man isn’t around to denigrate it, and hasn’t been for a long time. Isn’t this just a cobbling together by friends and colleagues; the long-dead resurrected, but not quite the same? But then, what Welles film is ‘true’, besides Citizen Kane? His filmography is a sort of grand tragedy, whereby a master at 25 was stifled for the remainder…