I Am Not Your Negro (2017)


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This unusually constructed documentary is an illustrated recitation of the words of James Baldwin, American writer and social critic. It begins with a letter to his agent about an idea to write the stories of Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X, all men who are outspoken about civil rights and all assassinated in the 60s. Continue reading

Passengers (2016)



Passengers is a neat example of how female characters are stereotyped in Hollywood films. With only four named characters of substance, it’s not surprisingly that only one is female, Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence). Her role is to meet the romantic and sexual needs of the hero, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), and to provide a framework for the essential goodness and heroism of his masculinity by personifying the worst of archetypal femininity. If you plan on seeing this film, and I wouldn’t rush out to do so, perhaps read no further. I won’t give away any plot points that aren’t obvious from the outset but I will probably say enough about the characters that you have a pretty good idea of the entire film. So, spoilers. Continue reading

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)



Faced with a choice of only three films that I could see and none of them ones that I would particularly choose (the kind of first world problem you have when your car is being serviced in a country town), I took the advice of the guy selling tickets at the cinema. He warned me off American Made (“It’s crap) and Dunkirk (“It’s boring) so The Hitman’s Bodyguard won the prize. Skimming reviews on IMDb, I expected an illogical but diverting shallow crime caper with two charismatic male leads and a few token women as love interests. And that’s exactly what I got. Continue reading

Mother! (2017)



Like a Lanthimos film in a fever dream, Mother! is Darren Aronofsky at his most grandiose. Receiving both boos and standing ovations at festivals, this is a film you will either love or loathe. Obtuse, metaphorical and surreal, its central female character and dark vision held my attention throughout, only faltering as the worthy but somewhat prosaic meaning became clear. Continue reading