Possessor

Possessor (2020)

Possessor first published (in a slightly different version) by Sight & Sound Review: “When did you get so clever?” asks Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough) in an early scene from Possessor, as her young son Ira (Gage Graham-Arbuthnot) shows how he can use his laptop to choreograph the movements of a toy figurine. The apple, it…

Sleepless Beauty

Sleepless Beauty (Ya ne splyu) (2020)

“Is this like Saw irl?”, someone asks some way into Pavel Khvaleev‘s Sleepless Beauty (Ya ne plyu).  At this stage the film’s viewers too will be recognising what they are watching as conforming to the conventions of ‘torture porn’ – that horror subgenre of the mid-Noughties, kick-started by James Wan’s Saw (2004) and Eli Roth’s…

Standing

The Man Standing Next (Namsanui bujangdeul) (2020)

Woo Min-ho‘s The Man Standing Next (Namsanui bujangdeul) is a period film set, like his previous The Drug King (2018), in the Seventies, and chronicling the last 40 days of military dictator Park’s Presidency before he and his Chief of Security were assassinated by the Director of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency – who was…

Japan

Ten of the Best Films From Japan

Ten of the Best Films From Japan first published by Scene 360 So rich has been the history and variety of films from the Land of the Rising Sun that narrowing down a selection of the best – or even of favourites – is practically impossible. Here, then, is something a little more provisional: an…

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…