Good

Good Time (2017)

Good Time first published by RealCrime Magazine The title might suggest fun – an idea reinforced by the use of an amusement park as a key location – but Good Time concerns a man’s frantic and increasingly doomed dash through nocturnal New York to prevent a loved one doing a very different kind of time. After…

Detroit

Detroit (2017)

Detroit first published by RealCrime Magazine Director Kathryn Bigelow’s previous two collaborations with writer Mark Boal cast a carefully critical light on the US’s military operations abroad. The Hurt Locker (2008) revealed a soldier’s heroic masculinity to be a pathological addiction, while Zero Dark Thirty interrogated America’s willingness to torture and murder in the name of…

Screen

Primal Screen (2017)

Primal Screen first published by VODzilla.co Documentarian Rodney Ascher likes to explore the nexus between frightening media and our own haunted unconscious. He is perhaps best known for his feature-length Room 237 (2012) which focused on the hermeneutic overexuberance which some individuals have obsessively applied to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) – and while his follow-up,…

Tripper

The Tripper (2008)

The Tripper first published by VODzilla.co “A hippie is someone who talks like Tarzan, walks like Jane and smells like Cheetah.” So reads the text that opens The Tripper. It is a quote from Ronald Reagan, on whose nickname (‘The Gipper’) this film’s title puns – and Reagan, and his antipathy towards any perceived brand of…

Escape

The Great Escape: Sci-Fi-London 2017

The Great Escape: Sci-Fi-London 2017 first published by Sight & Sound Amongst the many things that science fiction can do – run speculative thought experiments, stage humanity’s encounters with otherness, explore the outer limits of knowledge and imagination, use the future (in much the same way that period narratives use the past) to allegorise and defamiliarise…

Shot Caller (2017)

Shot Caller first published by Sight & Sound, January 2018 Review: It begins with a dissonance between sound and image. We hear in voiceover the nuanced letter, filled with tenderness and pain, that Jacob Harlon (Nikolaj Coster Waldau) has just written to the beloved teenaged son whom he has not seen in 10 years and may never…

99

Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017)

Brawl In Cell Block 99 first published by Sight & Sound, January 2018 Review: “I’m not really interested in the economy,” says Bradley Thomas (Vince Vaughn) at the beginning of Brawl In Cell Block 99. Intercepted by his boss Dean in front of the car shop where he works, Bradley – who will come to be…

Nawapol

Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit Twitter-View

The highly original and talented Thai filmmaker Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit has made the formally experimental features 36 (2012) and Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy (2013) – the former conjured from 36 shots, the latter based upon a young woman’s Twitter feed. Thamrongrattanarit enthusiastically agreed to be interviewed through his natural medium, Twitter. A part of this…

Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

All films in the ongoing Star Wars saga begin with the words “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”, followed by a triangular block of prefatory text that slowly drifts away from the viewer’s gaze, as though the story itself, even as we struggle to keep up with it, is disappearing into…

Wolf

Wolf Guy (Urufu gai: moero ôkami otoko) (1975)

Wolf Guy first published by Little White Lies, as part 34 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column “A demon?’, asks one grizzled cop, incredulously, as he skims through a coroner’s official report . “It’s the only possibility,” responds his partner. “A human being wouldn’t be able to slash a body like that – and not in such…

Vengeance

Vengeance (Fuk sau) (2009)

Vengeance first published by EyeforFilm If Johnnie To was already looking towards the cinematic sensibilities of French directors Jacques Demy and Robert Bresson with his stylish pickpocket caper Sparrow (2008), then his latest film Vengeance conjures the spirit of Jean-Pierre Melville, with its noirish existentialism, its air of heroic futility, and its interest in the cool…