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  • Ocean's Eight

    Ocean's Eight

    At the time of writing, the film has been financially successful, so the inevitable question arises: should we be girding our loins for the sequel? Were it to happen, the makers would surely have to start from scratch with these characters, as we’re given so little reason to want to hang out with them again or, indeed, to bask in their success. Soderbergh is an avowed devotee to ’60s crime movies, and you get the strong impression that he ingested…

  • Tranny Fag

    Tranny Fag

    ★★★

    Claudia Priscilla and Kika Goifman’s impressionistic film offers a loose biography of Linn, splicing together her energetic performances with footage of her chatting to friends and a few snatches of archive in which she undergoes treatment for testicular cancer in the most glamorous way imaginable. Identity, abuse and widespread transphobia are hot topics of conversation, and there’s a lot of deep discussion about how a person can have an almost sexual relationship with their own body. Linn doesn’t really talk…

  • Studio 54

    Studio 54

    ★★★★

    Tyrnauer lovingly portrays the pair’s unlikely friendship and how they created a club where the LGBT community had a safe haven during the toxic 1970s. As interviewee (and regular Studio 54 attendee) Nile Rogers puts it: “Once you walked through those doors, you were free.” But behind the glitz and glamour, Tyrnauer makes it abundantly clear it was also a very ugly place, with Rubell only allowing people – who desperately queued in the cold – inside based on their…

  • The Piano

    The Piano

    ★★★★★

    At a surface level, The Piano plays out as a hushed period romance between Hunter and Keitel, who exchange meaningful glances and find stolen moments away from the prying eyes of Neill’s impotent interloper. What elevates the film to greatness is Campion’s acute understanding of female trouble, and how womanhood has always struggled under the patriarchy. Ada is bought and sold like livestock, a pretty thing to be traded for a piece of land.

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  • The Ciambra

    The Ciambra

    ★★★

    Carpignano’s approach towards realism not only involves shooting on handheld 16mm in a vérité documentary style and populating his cast with mostly non-professional actors. It also includes many of his lead performer’s actual family as members of his on-screen household. Fourteen-year-old Pio (Pio Amato) is that central character, a young man in a hurry to grow up; freely smoking and drinking, presenting an outwardly cocksure exterior, yet terrified to talk to a girl he likes.

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  • Super Troopers 2

    Super Troopers 2

    ★★

    The opening scene features an amusing cameo from Sean William Scott and manages to capture the high-octane lunacy of the original film. At the end of the sequence, a drug-filled RV begins to plummet towards its fiery death, and so too does the film. What follows is a handful of worthwhile moments amid almost two hours of unimaginative and tiresome jokes revolving around a USA vs Canada theme.

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  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ★★★★★

    It’s possible to identify subtle cinematic nods to the likes of Don’t Look Now and The Shining – notably in Shapiro’s unnerving portrayal of a creepy kid at odds with the rest of her family (complete with an orange hoodie as unexpectedly haunting as Christine Baxter’s red mac). Pawel Pogorzelski’s crisp, ethereal cinematography seems influenced by John Alcott’s iconic work with Kubrick. Rather than a derivative exercise in genre scalping, there’s something fresh about the masterful way in which Aster…

  • The Happy Prince

    The Happy Prince

    ★★★

    Someone who scans as the love of your life when life is charmed can take on a more conditional quality after a fall. Wilde is soon back in Paris lodgings, the worse for wear. If only Everett had trusted his dark material and not seen fit to ‘jazz’ it up with zany camera flourishes and a jarringly loud and syrupy score. Quotes from Wilde’s original works are shoehorned into every available gap, highlighting how far the independent efforts of The Everett Show fall from those of his muse.

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  • The Boy Downstairs

    The Boy Downstairs

    ★★

    The gaspingly awful and ridiculously contrived set-up of this lightly comic debut feature by Sophie Brooks makes it difficult for any of its ideas and emotions to be taken seriously. As characters converse, as situations unfold, as old feelings wheedle their way back to the present, there’s always the nagging thought: why the hell did she move in above her old boyfriend? Why would someone do that? And it’s not even some depopulated rustic burg with limiting boarding opportunities. It’s the bustling metropolis of New York City.

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  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

    ★★

    Initially the film promises something toothier, meaner, more impressive. Yet the failure of screenwriters Trevorrow and Derek Connolly to heed the cautionary refrain that reverberates throughout this and every other Jurassic Park film quickly becomes apparent. Ironically enough, it is the inability to learn from past mistakes that dooms Fallen Kingdom from the start. For instance, dear old Rexy is no longer the top carnivore on campus – but neither is Blue, the hyper-intelligent Velociraptor created by InGen and trained…

  • Lek and the Dogs

    Lek and the Dogs

    ★★★★

    This new film by British maverick Andrew Kötting is a loose adaptation of the acclaimed play ‘Ivan and the Dogs’ by Hattie Naylor, which was inspired by the true story of Ivan Mishukov. In 1996, four-year-old Ivan walked out of his family home in Moscow, away from the clutches of his mother’s drunken and abusive boyfriend. He lived on the streets for the next two years, befriending a pack of wild dogs with whom he could scavenge and sleep. These…

  • McQueen

    McQueen

    McQueen’s extravagance isn’t a secret: “I pull these horrors out of my soul and put them on the catwalk,” he tells a group of journalists. By focussing on the man, Bonhôte and Ettedgui aim to better understand the legend, providing a frame of reference for those iconically horrifying and beautiful outfits. Many of McQueen’s closest friends/collaborators (fashion really was his whole life) give candid interviews to the camera, detailing how fascinatingly bizarre and kind he was.

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