No Man Of God

No Man Of God (2021)

No Man Of God first published by VODzilla.co No Man Of God begins at its end, in 1989, with a TV news report stating that “after an exhausting series of appeals that lasted ten years, Ted Bundy is dead” – executed in the electric chair at the Florida State Prison. In this way, Amber Sealey’s…

Spotless

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind first published by Movie Gazette As a screenwriter, Charlie Kaufman is nothing if not consistent. His Being John Malkovich (1999) spins an absurdly logical yarn from a portal which enables people temporarily to enter Malkovich’s mind; Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) is based on Chuck Barris’ half-fictionalised ‘memoirs’…

Daddy

Come To Daddy (2019)

Come To Daddy first published by VODzilla.co The word ‘UFO’ appears twice in Come To Daddy. When, in response to an unexpected letter, 35-year-old Norval Greenwood (Elijah Wood, Maniac, 2012) comes visiting the father who walked out on him when he was five, and claps eyes on the remote cliffside home – all rough timbers…

Trust

The Trust (2016)

The Trust first published by RealCrime Magazine Brothers Ben and Alex Bewer’s collaborative feature debut The Trust both opens and closes with the Knights’ 1968 instrumental track Tipping Strings – its brassy, bombastic funk setting an ironising tone for the moral descent that the rest of the film will track with escalating intensity. Initially and…

Set Fire To The Stars

Set Fire To The Stars (2014)

Set Fire To The Stars first published by Sight & Sound, December 2014 Review: “Paradise!” declares Dylan Thomas (Celyn Jones, also the co-writer), as he enters a diner in Fairfield County, Connecticut. “That’s one word for it,” says his more sceptical companion, John Malcolm Brinnin (Elijah Wood). Here there appears to be more than one word…

Grand Piano (2013)

A shorter version of this was first published by Little White Lies “If you play music this dense, you’re gonna hit a wrong note. And they won’t know. They never do.” This is the reassurance that bon vivant conductor Norman Reisinger (Don McManus) gives nervous pianist Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) before a performance. Tom is…

Maniac

Maniac (2012)

Maniac first published in Sight & Sound, April 2013 Review: “You are totally not what I imagined,” says Lucie (Megan Duffy), the young date whom Frank has picked up on a website called ‘Cupid’s Rejects’. She had been expecting somebody “fat, with long dark hair and greasy skin full of acne” – in other words, somebody just…

MANIAC remake: first cut

Franck Khalfoun’s s(l)ickly stylised remake of William Lustig’s Maniac (1980) hits cinemas today, and it is everything a remake should be (contrast Evil Dead, also out this week). For it stays true to the spirit of the original while turning it inside out, bringing it up to date, and self-consciously, even melancholically ringing the changes….