RSS feed for Steven
  • Terms & Conditions: A UK Drill Story

    Terms & Conditions: A UK Drill Story

    ★★½

    Proud to see the growth of rap culture in the UK over the past 30 years to what it is today - it’s now going through a similar era as US rap in the 90s - it influences itself more than outside forces and production-wise is the most exciting music around at the moment.

    The idea behind this YouTube doc is to ask if drill is influencing knife crime and whether or not it should be banned. But it doesn’t…

  • Relic

    Relic

    ★★★★½

    Call it slow burn, arthouse, psychological or (worst of all) elevated, but a shift towards atmospheric horror has become evident over the past few years. Films like The Witch, Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria, and Hereditary have all ventured down a similar path to varying levels of success, with filmmakers drawing inspiration from the late-60s and 70s to create balance in a genre that had become a little too Blumhouse-style heavy. Writer-director Natalie Erika James is the latest to the join the…

  • Palm Springs

    Palm Springs

    ★★★

    Since the middle of March for millions of people it has felt like every day is the same, stuck in a time loop that seems like it will never end. So it feels appropriate that a Groundhog Day-style rom-com should be released now, six months on from its Sundance debut where it become the most expensive ever purchase at the festival (by a mere 69 cents).

    It’s no spoiler to mention that Palm Springs is a time loop film as…

  • The Black Godfather

    The Black Godfather

    ★★★½

    Few things to take from this aside from Avant’s invaluable contribution to entertainment over the past half a century:

    - Would love to see another version of this without Bill Clinton smarming his way through it. Obama too.
    - Masters for the 1973 Save the Children concert film need to be restored and upgraded.
    - A documentary for Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis is way overdue.
    - Snoop looks pretty great in a Norwich City shirt.

  • On the Record

    On the Record

    ★★★★½

    Names like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby have taken the headlines over the past few years as the list of men in powerful positions exposed for rape and sexual assault continues to grow. In the UK, outside of hip hop fans and music industry bods the name Russell Simmons might not ring as clearly. But his position as co-founder of Def Jam records and the man responsible for bringing rap into the mainstream (Beastie Boys, Run DMC, LL Cool J…

  • Injustice

    Injustice

    There has only ever been one occasion where a British police officer has been convicted of killing a civilian while on duty, back in 1969 when two Leeds policemen were successfully prosecuted for the murder of David Oluwale. While this incident did not occur in police custody, since 1990 there have been over 1,700 deaths of people of any race in custody without a single conviction taking place (despite several inquests finding officers guilty). Since 2010, 163 people have died…

  • Babyteeth

    Babyteeth

    ★★★★

    Despite cinemas being closed audiences keeping a close eye on VOD releases are still being blessed with some outstanding releases in 2020. Andrew Patterson recently announced himself as a director to watch with the extremely impressive The Vast of Night, Natalie Erika James is set to wow with her horror debut Relic next month, while Australian director Shannon Murphy is another that can be added to the newbie list with Babyteeth, a beautifully human drama that will fill your mouth…

  • Blacks Britannica

    Blacks Britannica

    ★★★★★

    Watch it on YouTube here

    Watch 2001 documentary Injustice here

  • I'm British But...

    I'm British But...

    ★★★★

    Can’t say I’ve always liked her features, but Gurinder Chadha remains one of the most important British directors of the past few decades.

  • Handsworth Songs

    Handsworth Songs

    ★★★★

    Real similarities to the style used by Adam Curtis in recent years. Surreal, poetical and abstract in places. It’s rough around the edges and I’m not sure how well the YT version compares to the original, but the rawness works for, rather than against it. The Asian British community is rarely seen on film but this gives voice to both brown and Black people dealing with white oppression and life in the UK. Nice inclusion of Thatcher spouting racist rhetoric…

  • The Stuart Hall Project

    The Stuart Hall Project

    ★★★★★

    Some of the best - and best use of - archival footage from the UK I’ve seen in a doc. At the very least, John Akomfrah deserves a docu-series to unpick the countless threads he throws up. Very dense and probably needs at least a couple more rewatches.

  • The Hard Stop

    The Hard Stop

    Almost exactly four years on from the release of director George Amponsah’s The Hard Stop it feels right to revisit a documentary missed by many filmgoers in 2016. While activists are fighting for their rights in America, it has sparked demonstrations around the world, including the UK, allowing many to highlight the systemic racism ingrained within society on these shores. Police brutality is just as present here as it is in the US, and Amponsah reflects on the murder of…