VHYes

VHYes (2019)

It’s 25 December, 1987 in Jack Henry Robbins’ VHYes, and 12-year-old Ralph (Mason McNulty), on the cusp of adolescence, receives a camcorder for Christmas. Over the next six days leading to the New Year, Ralph obsessively documents not just his adventures – with his family and his best friend Josh (Rahm Braslaw) – but also…

Feedback

Feedback (2019)

Feedback first published by SciFiNow “Are we safe?”, asks the voice on the radio promo. “Could we commit a crime and get away with it?” The feature debut of Pedro C. Alonso, which he co-wrote with Alberto Marini (Summer Camp, 2015), Feedback observes a near Aristotelian unity of time and place, unfolding almost entirely over…

Little

A Little More Flesh (2020)

Consenting to watch horror cinema is like entering a Faustian pact where you do not always get what you bargain for. Go into A Little More Flesh, for example, the latest low-budget feature to be written, directed, shot, edited and produced by critic Sam Ashurst, and you might be surprised to find yourself instead watching God’s Lonely…

Loro

Loro (2018)

Loro first published by VODzilla.co Loro starts with an elaborate textual disclaimer, denying the ‘objective truth’ of much of what will follow, while equivocating over just how much should be regarded as pure fiction. Director and (with Umberto Contarello) co-writer Paolo Sorrentino has played this game of (un-)Realpolitik before in Il Divo (2008), his often…

Divo

Il Divo (2008)

Il Divo first published by Film4 Summary: For his fourth feature, Paolo Sorrentino uses the ambiguous character of statesman Giulio Andreotti to uncover the slipperiness of Italy’s postwar politics. Review: “I know who you are. You can’t spend your life with a man and not know who he is. I know who you are.” These words may…

Caiman

The Caiman (Il Caimano) (2006)

The Caiman first published by Film4 Summary: In his first film since 2001’s The Son’s Room, Nanni Moretti snaps his satirical teeth at film, politics, family – and Silvio Berlusconi. Review: Bruno Bonomo (Silvio Orlando), a neurotic producer with a string of schlocky ‘fascist’ films from the Seventies to his name, is now struggling to stay afloat….

Thriller

Thriller (2018)

Thriller first published by Little White Lies You can tell from early on that Thriller is a knowing throwback to the sensibilities of the classic Eighties slasher, simply because a black character – 13-year-old Amani (Bria Singleton) – is quite literally ‘the first to die’, conforming to an old trope, well explored in Xavier Burgin’s…

Phantasm

Phantasm (1979)

Phantasm first published by VODzilla.co The paradox of death is that it is both inevitable and arbitrary. We know that it is coming, just not when or how, and this mystery of mortality is one of the more haunting parts of the human condition. 13-year-old Mike Pearson (A. Michael Baldwin) has had to learn these…

Hellboy

Hellboy (2019)

Hellboy first published by Little White Lies “Why did you bring me back anyway?”, Hellboy (David Harbour) asks his adoptive father Professor Trevor ‘Broom’ Bruttenholm (Ian McShane), who runs the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. “Don’t tell me it’s ’cause you missed me.”  The truth is, it has always been Hellboy’s destiny to come…

Reindeer

The White Reindeer (Valkoinen peura) (1952)

The White Reindeer (Valkoinen peura) first published by Little White Lies, as the 79th instalment in my Cinema Psychotrunicum column. “A lot goes on here that southerners don’t understand,” a local informs an outsider who fancies that the single white reindeer currently plaguing the village’s male populace can be stopped simply with a modern rifle….

Master's

His Master’s Voice (Az Úr hangja) (2018)

His Master’s Voice (Az Úr hangja) first published by Sight & Sound “It is in the quest for such knowledge that science is bringing us closer to an understanding of who and where we are,” says the host of a Sixties television programme about space exploration. “You were born into chaos. Those first days were…