Hatching

Hatching (Pahanhautoja) (2022)

Menarche is the transitional rite of passage in a young woman’s life when she first starts to ovulate and to bleed. An egg, and a lot of blood, will also play prominent parts in Hanna Bergholm’s feature debut Hatching (Pahanhautoja), as Tinja (Siiri Solalinna) emerges from childhood into adolescence and from innocence into experience, along…

Are We Monsters

Are We Monsters (2021)

Are We Monsters first published by VODzilla.co “I wonder what comes after this,” says Michael (Justin Hayward) in the opening scene of Are We Monsters, in what is clearly for him the beginning of something new as much as the end of an era. Michael and his family have for generations been hunting and killing…

Reservation Dogs

Reservation Dogs (2021)

Reservation Dogs first published by Sight & Sound, Dec 2021 [review based on Series 1, Episodes 1-4] Synopsis: Okern, Oklahoma, the present. Four adolescent Native Americans commit crimes and come of age in a damaged community, hoping to raise enough money to leave. They evade Officer Big and a rival gang of teens, and have…

The Xrossing

The Xrossing (2020)

In Swan View, on the eastern outskirts of Perth where the boundaries between city and bush are ill-defined, the corpse of 18-year-old Tracey Myers has been found. Tracey is the Laura Palmer of Western Australian suburbia – a high school girl who had her whole future ahead of her, but also a junkie on a…

Becky

Becky (2020)

Becky first published by Through The Trees After a prologue – in fact a scene from the chronological end of the film – in which 13-year-old Becky Hooper (the amazing Lulu Wilson) is being interviewed by a police detective and a psychologist about an incident which she claims only partly to remember involving some men…

Dinner In America

Dinner In America (2020)

There are two reasons behind the title of writer/director Adam Rehmeier’s mannered rites-of-passage comedy Dinner In America. The first is that the film is structured around a series of dinners, all bickering and fractious, that showcase the fault lines of class, sex and ideology in the neglected suburbia of the United States. The second is…

Make Up

Make Up (2019)

Make Up first published by Little White Lies When, in the opening sequence of writer/director Claire Oakley’s feature debut Make Up, Ruth (Molly Windsor) arrives in Cornwall to be and work with her boyfriend of three years Tom (Joseph Quinn) at a seaside holiday park, she is alarmed on her first night there by the…

Reflecting

The Reflecting Skin (1990)

The Reflecting Skin first published by VODzilla.co The Reflecting Skin begins with little Seth Dove (Jeremy Cooper) carrying a large frog across a yellow field, and, with help from his friends Eben (Codie Lucas) and Kim (Evan Hall), inflating it with a reed and leaving it in the road. When the adult Dolphin Blue (Lindsay…

Older

Older (2020)

In Older, 29-year-old manchild Alex (Guy Pigden) feels lost in a world of maturity. Alex’s dream of one day making a film resulted in the slasher Orderly Misconduct that was spurned by critics and public alike, forcing the now unemployed writer/director to move back in with his parents. Despite remaining close to his best friend…

Spetters

Spetters (1980)

Spetters first published by Little White Lies, as the 93rd instalment of my Cinema Psychotronicum column “I’ve got a good head for business,” says Fientje (Renée Soutendjik). “Never had much luck.” Fientje works with her brother Jaap (Peter Tuinman) selling fast food from a mobile stall, and they are currently using a small town outside…

Dreamland

Dreamland (2019)

Dreamland first published by EyeforFilm Though its events extend further backwards and forwards in time, Dreamland is set primarily in 1935, while the Great Depression is in full swing and rural Bismark in Texas is beset with dust bowl conditions destructive of all farming efforts. In other words, this is a small-town community where dreams…