Raw (2016)

Standard

5.0_orange_sm

Every now and then a film changes the way I see the world. I went into Raw, the stunning first feature by French director Julia Ducournau, expecting horror but instead experienced an intense metaphorical drama about female power and desire. Best suited to those who like their cinema challenging, Raw refuses to let you look away. Continue reading

Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) (2016)

Standard

3.5_orange_sm

This stunningly crafted documentary, ostensibly about the European refugee crisis, won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Without narration, context nor exposition other than a few paragraphs before it starts, the film juxtaposes the quiet life of the inhabitants of the island of Lampedusa with the horrific plight of those attempting to cross from Africa to Europe. Continue reading

Emo the Musical (2016)

Standard

4.0_orange_sm

Harold and Maude meets High School Musical in this messy, funny, teen romp of a film by Australian Neil Triffett. Ethan (Benson Jack Anthony) is a misfit in his school. Identifying as an emo with black eyeliner and a melancholic preoccupation with death, he is expelled after trying unsuccessfully to hang himself from a tree in the schoolyard. As the new kid at scruffy Seymour High, he finds his tribe with wannabe emo band Worst Day Ever who are vying for a prize in a regional band competition. Trouble arises when Ethan falls for Trinity (Jordan Hare), singer in rival Christian band Hope. Continue reading

Their Finest (2016)

Standard
their-finest-cover-2

Image via pinewoodpictures.com

3.0_orange_sm

On the surface, this is the kind of feel-good WWII movie that the British do so well. Made, though, by Danish director Lone Scherfig (An Education), it has a subtle complexity, a slightly contrived but interesting subtext and a feminist slant that makes it more interesting than it seems (and almost works). Continue reading

Get Out (2017)

Standard

3.5_orange_sm

Touted as a horror, this is really a suspenseful thriller that keeps you guessing right up until the satisfyingly violent ending. Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is getting ready to visit the parents of his new girlfriendĀ Rose (Allison Williams) for the first time. Dean (Bradley Whitford) and Missy (Catherine Keener), Rose assures him, will be totally cool that he is black as her Dad ‘would have voted for Obama for a third term if he could’ and they are ‘definitely not racist’. Continue reading

Wendy and Lucy (2008)

Standard
wendy-and-lucy-1200-1200-675-675-crop-000000

Image via letterboxd.com

3.5_orange_sm

A recent Kelly Reichardt retrospective gave me the chance to catch two of her earlier films – Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy. I really loved Certain Women at MIFF last year (I recommend you try and see it) and the same delicate, languid style can be seen in her two films from ten years ago. Wendy (Michelle Williams) is travelling across country with her dog Lucy in an old car, heading for Alaska. She has heard that work is easy to get there and she sleeps in her car and counts her pennies to make them last until she gets there. Continue reading