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  • Set Fire to the Stars

    Set Fire to the Stars 2014

    ★★★ Watched 27 May, 2015

    Review from Next Projection

    Though it would take a purist pedant to legitimately lament the evolution of colour stock as a negative turning point in film history, there’s no doubt something was lost in Technicolor’s takeover as monochrome movies moved from mainstream to niche, and the basic joy of black and white became impossible to appreciate without express attention. It’s the great strength of Andy Goddard’s Set Fire to the Stars that its self-conscious emulation of yesteryear’s style in its…

  • Tab Hunter Confidential

    Tab Hunter Confidential 2015

    ★★★ Watched 20 May, 2015

    Review from Next Projection

    The long-lamented lack of an Academy Award for casting may come from the misgiving that the job’s all about booking big talent, but any aware audience appreciates the additions and ironies brought about by the tensions between player and played. That’s the tangential takeaway of Tab Hunter Confidential, a movie whose inability to entirely achieve its ostensible aims doesn’t preclude a poignant side-effect star studies success. As a portrait of the eponymous Hollywood heart-throb whose all-American…

  • Summer

    Summer 2014

    ★★ Watched 18 May, 2015

    Review from Next Projection

    “In the name of the father, the son, and almighty electricity” murmurs the petty paterfamilias of Summer from the head of his table, clumsily consolidating the movie’s key ideas in a way typical of this terribly erratic effort. Proposing a cultural context forged of vague religious heritage and emergent industrialisation, Dutch director Colette Bothof’s second feature’s backdrop is about as convincing as the set of a pre-school’s nativity play, and not nearly as charming. That’s a…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road 2015

    ★★★ Watched 24 May, 2015

    Do forgive what must—given its widespread adoration by everyone, ever—seem like silly contratianism for contratianism's sake, but I'm really convinced at this stage that I must just be No Fun Whatsoever. Doubtlessly Miller's something of a treasure for so wholeheartedly committing to action that's actively fucking bonkers, and I won't for a second suggest his shredding-through-a-sandstorm sensibility isn't refreshing to see in the same auditorium I've watched so much sterile blockbuster cinema of late, but between the front-loaded frame rate…

  • The Second Game

    The Second Game 2014

    ★★½ Watched 13 May, 2015

    Have all the time in the world for Porumboiu, but there's about ten minutes of allegorical anecdote here stretched across the space of ninety minutes of football, which—now—is the most sport I've ever watched all at once. It is beyond me to understand how people find football interesting, but demonstrably they do—chief among them Porumboiu Sr, who seems to enjoy this so much he just stops talking for moments on end. Nice idea. Very little more.

  • The Man Who Sleeps

    The Man Who Sleeps 1974

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 21 Apr, 2015

    Imagine that devastating Dianne Wiest-delivered voiceover that concludes Synecdoche, New York stretched to 77 minutes, and you might have some idea why I struggled to sit still in the course of this film. It is too real, really, too close to the way I perceive the world, and too good at pointing out the perils of that perception. It is at once—by way of depiction—a validation of the way I think and a challenge to it, a welcome show of…

  • Starry Eyes

    Starry Eyes 2014

    ★★ Watched 18 Apr, 2015

    Another day, another ho-hum horror to make me seriously sceptical of any popular good word within the genre. A strong central performance and committed direction can't overcome the issues of a supporting cast that's dedicatedly inexpressive and a central conceit that might, at best, be excused as earnestly overzealous. It's just a hot mess, really, neither able to sell its subtlety-free allegories for more than a second nor skirt the sense that its visceral provocation—like so much of its makeup—is anything more than an indulgence in commercially-viable cliché. Snore.

  • Goodbye to Language 3D

    Goodbye to Language 3D 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 25 Mar, 2015

    I've scoffed at Godard's soi-disant radicalism before, but there's something about, y'know, actually seeing a movie within the context it's addressing that really emphasises the enormity of what's going on. Not too keen on this genre? Close an eye, try another! Sick of the male gaze? Shut that lid, look to wangward! Not entirely on-board with everything that's going on here, but happy to hold my hand up high and call myself a convert.

  • Spring

    Spring 2014

    ★★★ Watched 26 Mar, 2015

    Never quiiiite nails the kind of Possession-esque body horror allegory for which it so admirably shoots, but that it makes an effort on that scale is almost impressive enough in itself. It's an ambitious piece that benefits from a strong, subtle directorial sensibility and a pair of performances that really, truly commit, no matter the nonsensicality of that which starts to unfold around them. That I couldn't help but laugh a few times is a mark against the movie; that I left it pretty won over all the same is indication enough of the strengths it has to its name.

  • A Clockwork Orange

    A Clockwork Orange 1971

    ★★★★ Rewatched 10 Mar, 2015

    Rewatch, now that I've read Burgess' source. Not entirely sure Kubrick's transgressive streak isn't actually responsible for exacerbating some of the novel's more concerning aspects, but no doubt his vision of the future is an efficiently over-the-top and exorbitantly articulated work of cinematic craftsmanship par excellence. It's also absolutely hilarious in that wonderful way that has you wishing you weren't cackling *quite* so much.

  • Gone Girl

    Gone Girl 2014

    ★★★ Watched 23 Mar, 2015

    Never did get around to reading the book, but having spoken to a good many people who did, it sounds like I'm not entirely incorrect in assuming this is another case of Fincher, the consummate craftsman, caring little for the material he's adapting in anything much more than a visual sense. It's rather nice to look at, no mistake, but if I'm to train my eyes on something—especially for so long; it could lose a half hour at least—I expect…

  • 22 Jump Street

    22 Jump Street 2014

    ★★★ Watched 22 Mar, 2015

    Little surprised to find myself enjoying this quite so much, but then it does not take a lot more than repurposing an Allen gag to homoerotic ends to get me on board.