Go

Go (2001)

Go first published by Little White Lies, as entry 176 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Isao Yukisada’s Go has three beginnings. The first is a text quote from Shakespeare: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. Coming from Romeo and Juliet, this suggests that…

With Love and a Major Organ

With Love and a Major Organ (2023)

“My mother used to tell me that her heart was a ball of yarn,” says Anabel (Anna Maguire) at the beginning of With Love and a Major Organ, as she retraces a line of bright red string wound around trees in a forest, like a heroine of myth or fairytale. “That it could get caught…

The Beast

The Beast (La Bête) (2023)

The Beast (La Bête) seen for the BFI London Film Festival 2023 The Beast (La Bête) opens as it intends to go on, with a head-on shot of its protagonist Gabrielle (Léa Seydoux), whose face will remain a constant map modulating the film’s otherwise unstable narrative coordinates. Here, in a moment of pure metacinema, Gabrielle…

Fallen Leaves

Fallen Leaves (Kuolleet lehdet) (2023)

Fallen Leaves (Kuolleet lehdet) at the BFI London Film Festival 2023 Some 35 years ago, Finnish writer/director Aki Kaurismäki made the so-called underdog (or workers’) trilogy. Though otherwise unrelated to each other, his Shadows In Paradise (1986), Ariel (1988) and The Match Factory Girl (1990) all featured downtrodden protagonists struggling to find solidarity, love or revenge…

Strawberry Mansion

Strawberry Mansion (2021)

Strawberry Mansion first published by SciFiNow As he stays in the home of elderly, eccentric ‘atmosphere creator’ Bella (Penny Fuller) to audit her dreams, Preble (Kentucker Audley) finds himself sharing a room with Bella’s pet Sugar Baby. This tiny tortoise spends most of his time in a pink-lit terrarium, eating strawberries. If the terrarium is…

Fck'n Nuts

Fck’n Nuts (2023)

“I want inside your little world,” Dan (Vincent Stalba) tells Sandy (Maddie Nichols), turning up on her doorstep – with a bunch of red roses and romantic intentions – at the beginning of Sam Fox’s Fck’n Nuts. Dan loves Sandy so much that he wants to see her at home and finally to ‘meet the…

All The Old Knives

All The Old Knives (2022)

All The Old Knives first published by Sight and Sound, June 2022 Review: Janus Metz’s All The Old Knives takes its title from the 2015 novel by Olen Steinhauer (who also wrote the screenplay) – and if that word ‘old’ promises a throwback to the past, it is referring not just to the reinvestigation of an…

Molli and Max in the Future

Molli and Max in the Future (2023)

Molli and Max in the Future had its world première at SXSW 2023 Two strangers get to know one another on a journey to the Big City, and then intermittently reencounter one another over the course of twelve long years during which the circumstances of their separate lives evolve with the times even as their…

Director's Intention

Director’s Intention (2021)

Director’s Intention, transcript of introduction to a screening at the London Korean Film Festival 2022 “Your name goes on top of the ending credit, but it doesn’t mean it’s all yours. All the others care about the movie as much as you do.” This is what, some way into Kim Min-geun’s feature Director’s Intention, the…