Promise

Promise (2017)

“There must be another way,” says Abe (Nabil Elouahabi) in Promise. “He was our child.” Abe and his wife Sarah (Rebecca Callard) have been trying to have a baby for years, but Sarah lacks progesterone, and has recently miscarried. So the interracial couple makes a reciprocal agreement with Syrian refugee Hajar (Lara Sawalha): if she…

Images

Images (1972)

Images first published by Little White Lies, as the 54th instalment in my Cinema Psychotrunicum column  “In Search of Unicorns – a book for children,” intones author Cathryn (Susannah York) in voiceover at the beginning of Robert Altman’s Images (the title appearing in modest lower case), before narrating the events of the latest fiction that she…

Prodigy

Prodigy (2017)

Prodigy first published by SciFiNow “Children like games.” The term ‘prodigy’ is often used of young children who can beat even skilled adults at chess. Accordingly in Alex Haughey and Brian Vidal’s feature debut of the same name, chess has a prominent part, although the gamesmanship involved is used not to confer dominance, but to expose…

Annihilation

Annihilation (2018)

Annihilation first published by VODzilla.co Lena (Natalie Portman) is both a soldier and a scientist. This might, as the psychologist Dr Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh) suggests, make Lena perfectly suited for the expedition that these two are undertaking with three other women: physicist Josie Radek (Tessa Thompson), geomorphologist Cassie Sheppard (Tuva Novotny) and paramedic Anya Thoronsen…

Vigalondo

Nacho Vigalondo on Timecrimes and playing the voyeur

Nacho Vigalondo interview first published by Little White Lies So intricately constructed and joyously executed was Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo’s first film, a black-and-white tragic musical romance entitled 7:35 In The Morning, that it earned itself an Academy nomination for Best Short in 2005, only to be criminally robbed of the Oscar on the night. Now, with…

Timecrimes

Timecrimes (Los Cronocrímenes) (2007)

Timecrimes (Los Cronocrímenes) first published by Film4 Synopsis: Writer/director/actor Nacho Vigalondo‘s multi-award-winning feature debut is a twisty time-traveling thriller with a noirish morality at its core.  Review:  While a car is in motion, its boot swings open, leaving behind a scattered wake of shopping bags – and so the driver gets out and heads back to clean up…

Clay

Vampire Clay (Chi o sû nendo) (2017)

Vampire Clay (Chi o sû nendo) first published by SciFiNow “I don’t want to lose my individuality to convention.” These words, uttered by one of five students in a new rural prep school for Tokyo’s hyper-competitive fine arts courses, cuts to the heart of Soichi Umezawa’s feature debut Vampire Clay (Chi o sû nendo). For…

Psychopaths

Psychopaths (2017)

Psychopaths first published by SciFiNow Sanity and insanity are not absolutes, but belong to a dynamic spectrum. In the world of cinema, a film’s sanity is measured in terms of its narrative coherence, its clear exposition, and its stable visual style. The more you strip these away, the madder the finished product – although, of…

Allure

Allure (2017)

Allure first published by Little White Lies A woman sits up and inhales.  It is the first thing we see in Allure, the feature debut of brothers Carlos and Jason Sanchez, who till now have been best known for their work in photography. “What the hell’s wrong with you, you crazy bitch!”, a man tells the…

Babies

Attack of the Adult Babies (2017)

Attack of the Adult Babies first published by SciFiNow The opening credits to Attack of the Adult Babies, the latest northern genre film to be helmed by Emmerdale-veteran Dominic Brunt (Before Dawn, Bait), appear in bold red over tracking shots through a large and well-furnished manor house – a house apparently empty until a giggling woman…

Diary

Diary of the Dead (2007)

Diary of the Dead first published by Film4 Summary: George A. Romero’s fifth zombie film in as many decades takes on post-millennial fears, the new media, and itself. Review: “You’re blocking our shot.” The anonymous cameraman’s words are addressed with extraordinary insensitivity to an ambulance driver at the scene of a domestic shooting. Then the whole sequence erupts…