Adoration

Adoration (2019)

Following Calvaire (2004) and Alléluia (2014), Adoration is the third and final film in Fabrice du Welz‘s so-called Ardennes Trilogy, loosely unified by their Belgian backwoods setting, the religious associations of their titles, the presence of actor Laurent Lucas, and a shared theme of amour fou, Here the infatuated party is 12-year-old Paul (Thomas Gioria),…

Deerskin

Deerskin (Le Daim) (2019)

Deerskin (Le Daim) was originally written as a capsule for a piece on the 2019 London Film Festival’s Cult strand for Sight & Sound, but for reasons beyond my control (and entirely unrelated to the quality of the film), did not make it into the final cut. So here it is. Although beginning with frustrated dreamer Georges (Jean…

Synchronic

Synchronic (2019)

Synchronic was originally written as a capsule for a piece on the 2019 London Film Festival’s Cult strand for Sight & Sound, but for reasons beyond my control (and entirely unrelated to the quality of the film), did not make it into the final cut. So here it is. Set in New Orleans, Justin Benson…

Joker

Joker (2019)

A man sits before a dressing-room mirror, applying clown makeup and forcing his face into a grotesque, contorted smile. This is Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), who like Pierrot (or perhaps Chaplin’s Little Tramp), barely conceals the deep sadness beneath his jolly get-up. He is at HaHa’s, a rent-a-clown business in downtown Gotham, preparing for a…

T'Aime

Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus (1976)

Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus first published by Film4 Summary: Serge Gainsbourg’s cinematic debut is an anal-oriented love story set in an America of broken dreams. Review: Like Edith Piaf before him, the French singer Serge Gainsbourg would become famous amongst anglophone audiences really only for a single song. Je T’Aime (Moi Non Plus) was originally…

Home

Home (2008)

Home first published by Film4 Summary: Ursula Meier’s feature debut is a surreal drama depicting a family frozen to the spot by the oncoming headlights of progress.  Review: The open highway stretches to the horizon in both directions, promising all the freedom, and all the narrative mobility, of a road movie. Yet with her big-screen feature debut…

Bettie

The Notorious Bettie Page (2006)

The Notorious Bettie Page first published (in a slightly different version) by musicOMH Times Square, 1955. A shifty looking fellow casts his eye over shelves of ‘glamour’ magazines before working up the courage to ask the shopkeeper if beneath the counter there is something a little different, “with unusual material that shows restraint”. No sooner…

Days

2 Days In New York (2011)

2 Days In New York first published by Film4 Summary: Julie Delpy’s sequel to 2 Days In Paris is a witty, irreverently coarse cross-cultural comedy about divorce, ageing and endings.  Review: “Maybe this is a little too much,” declares Mingus (Chris Rock) to live-in girlfriend Marion (Julie Delpy) near the beginning of 2 Day In New…

Paris

2 Days In Paris (2007)

2 Days In Paris first published by Film4 Summary: Julie Delpy’s second feature as director is a risqué post-romantic comedy set in the City of Love. Review: In 2004, acclaimed actress Julie Delpy was nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing Richard Linklater’s wonderful Before Sunset (in which she also starred). In the meantime, Delpy had been…

Headless

The Headless Woman (La mujer sin cabeza) (2008)

The Headless Woman (La mujer sin cabeza) first published by EyeforFilm “Don’t worry. Nothing happened.”  So says Juan Manuel (Daniel Genoud) after his cousin Véronica (María Onetto) has declared her conviction that she has struck and possibly killed a boy while out driving by a canal. By this point, about halfway through The Headless Woman…

Skin

In My Skin (Dans Ma Peau) (2002)

In My Skin (Dans Ma Peau) first published by Movie Gazette Esther (Marina de Van) is a dedicated and successful research analyst, thinking about buying an apartment together with her boyfriend Vincent (Laurent Lucas). One night, bored at a party, Esther wanders out into the building site outside, where she trips and falls over. Returning…