Antibodies

Antibodies (Antikörper) (2005)

Antibodies (Antikörper) first published by Film4 summary: The Hollywood psychothriller meets the German morality play in Christian Alvart‘s intelligent twister. Review: There is a long tradition of police dramas (or Krimis) on German television, and sometimes on the big screen. In 2002, Robert Schwentke’s Tattoo gave the genre a Seven-inflected overhaul. Christian Alvart‘s Antibodies also draws inspiration…

Another Earth

Another Earth (2011)

Another Earth first published by Film4 Summary: Polyhyphenate documentary-maker Mike Cahill’s feature debut is a subdued science fiction, looking to the heavens for perspective on its human tragedy.   Review: Another Earth is a film of strange orbits and unlikely collisions. 17-year-old Rhoda Williams (co-writer/producer Brit Marling) is all set for a stellar future studying astrophysics at…

Año Uña

Año Uña (Year of the Nail) (2007)

Año Uña (Year of the Nail) first published by Film4 Summary: This feature debut from writer/director Jonás (son of Alfonso) Cuarón traces an impossible romance in still pictures. Review: “Photography is truth,” declares the protagonist of Jean-Luc Godard‘s Le Petit Soldat (1963), “and cinema is truth at 24 frames per second.” It is an idea both tested…

Life Through A Lens

Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens (2006)

Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens first published by Film4 Summary: Barbara Leibovitz’s broad-ranging documentary brings the life of her celebrated photographer sister into sharp focus. Review: About half an hour into Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens, we see the celebrated photographer leaning in close to talk with her friend, the ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. “This…

Allegro

Allegro (2005)

Allegro first published by Film4 Summary: In Christoffer Boe’s soulful sci-fi, a classical pianist must rediscover lost love and buried memories before giving the recital of his life. Review: Where Christoffer Boe’s Cannes-wowing 2003 debut Reconstruction told the story of a diffident lover who discovers, after leaving his girlfriend, that the entire world has forgotten who…

American Mary

American Mary (2012)

American Mary first published by Film4 (for a different review, see here) Synopsis: Canadian twins Jen and Sylvia Soska write and direct this tale of surgery and revenge, starring Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps). Review: “Surgeons don’t have the luxury of being sorry”. So Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle) is told by Dr Grant (David Lougren) after her mobile…

Alive

Alive (2002)

Alive first published by Film4 Summary: In Ryuhei Kitamura’s dystopian prison sci-fi, it is not just the humans who are trapped inside and looking to get out.  Review: If Ryuhei Kitamura exploded into the world of cult cinema with his low-budget feature debut Versus (2000), a moviegeek’s wet dream of yakuza gunplay, samurai set-pieces and zombie gore,…

Alexandra

Alexandra (Aleksandra) 2007)

Alexandra (Aleksadra) first published by Film4 Summary: In Aleksandr Sokurov’s intimate epic, an aging Russian woman mourns her own mortality while visiting her soldier grandson in occupied Chechnya. Review: “The mirror’s dirty,” complains Alexandra (Galina Vishnevskaya) to her grandson Denis (Vasili Shevtsov). “Where do you do your washing?” Dirt and washing play like leitmotifs throughout Aleksandr Sokurov‘s…

Akasen Chitai

Akasen Chitai (aka Streets of Shame) (1956)

Akasen Chitai (aka Streets of Shame) first published by Film4, 9 June 2008 Summary: Kenji Mizoguchi’s final film examines the state of prostitution in Japan at a time of shifting mores. Review: “For all the high moral purpose – they tell us this film was made as propaganda in the campaign to ban legal prostitution in Japan…

Ai Weiwei Never Sorry

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012)

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry first published by Film4, 24 July, 2012 Summary: Alison Klayman’s all-access documentary profiles China’s most famous artist provocateur. Review: At the beginning of Alison Klayman’s excellent documentary we learn that there are some 40 cats living at Ai Weiwei‘s Beijing studio, but that only one of them has learnt to let itself out….

Ahlaam

Ahlaam (2006)

Ahlaam first published by Film4 Summary: Mohamed Al-Daradji‘s feature debut shows the tragic madhouse of pre- and post-war Iraq from the ground up. Review: With Lions for Lambs (2007), Redacted (2007) and Battle for Haditha (2007) all coming out in rapid succession, Western cinema is at last beginning to examine the Coalition’s post-9/11 ventures in the Middle…