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  • The Lobster

    The Lobster 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Oct, 2015 1

    Perhaps expectedly, Lanthimos loses nothing in translation: The Lobster is every bit as absurd a deadpan delight as Dogtooth and Alps before it, and perhaps even a touch more fun for the delight of seeing a boatload of famous folk act out this knowing nonsense. That Farrell's a fine actor isn't much of a surprise, but his fitting so snugly into this world I can't say I saw coming: he is perfect here, the cadence of his speech giving the…

  • Junun

    Junun 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 18 Oct, 2015

    What's with all these complaints of PTA not putting enough of himself into Junun? Whether in a static long shot that suddenly jerks up and rushes forward as if unable to stay back any longer or the wealth of wowing drone shots that fly through the sky, this is Anderson doing what he always does: training the camera on some superb talent and following their cue. Superbly cinematic: the scenes that meet the Eastern-electronic fusions with shots of ancient surrounds infused with the paraphernalia of modern life are just about everything a music video need be.

  • Following Diana (Sendiri Diana Sendiri)

    Following Diana (Sendiri Diana Sendiri) 2015

    ★★½ Watched 17 Oct, 2015

    Too short to make much of the emotional foundations it lays; too long to excuse the mere scratches it makes at the surface of this story. With a stronger hand and feature length, this might have made something. As is, it's nothing more than a calling card for a perfectly good eye yet to find something to focus on.

  • Magic Mike XXL

    Magic Mike XXL 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 29 Jun, 2015

    Review from Scannain

    “It feels like the first time,” Foreigner sang over the closing credits of Magic Mike back in 2012, “like we’ve opened up the door”. And boy, did that movie, to a frisky new franchise that’s both a prototypical product of today’s studio system and an all-too rare example of the various angles it often opts to ignore. Explicitly catering to the same mass multiplex audience each year’s slate of straight male fantasies leaves wanting, Magic Mike XXL

  • Inside Out

    Inside Out 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 26 Jul, 2015

    Woke up after a particularly far-ranging and fluid-intaking catch-up night with an old friend with all the voices in my head united, for once, in a single sentiment: ouch. So naturally I crawled my way into a room stuffed with very loud children and proceeded to do my best to save even just a handful of them from drowning in the river of mine own tears I eventually sailed out on. Most of them (the tears) were of laughter, actually:…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road 2015

    ★★★ Watched 24 May, 2015 2

    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…

  • Nicola Costantino: La artefacta

    Nicola Costantino: La artefacta 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 21 Oct, 2015

    As both a documentary that elevates the cinematic properties of the medium above the journalistic and an artist biography that examines the work without ever explaining, Cristiana's profile is ideally positioned to take full advantage of my predispositions in approaching art in its various guises is concerned. She, the director, is just as much a presence and practitioner as the subject she so evidently admires, and while much of the scripted subjective v/o might seem to yield authorial control to Costantino, there's enough in the subtlety of Cristiana's work—not to mention an excellently-implemented shared cinematic sensibility—to make of this more than mere hagiography.

  • World of Tomorrow

    World of Tomorrow 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 22 Jun, 2015

    Same story as with (the feature length) It's Such a Beautiful Day for me: if this were my first Hertzfeldt, I dare say I'd adore it. But that was Everything Will Be Ok, and for all the ecstatic aesthetic invention on display here, I'm not sure I took anything from World of Tomorrow I didn't already get from that first encounter*. He's a pretty singular filmmaker, Don, but I'm starting to worry that singularity's being exhausted on a single idea, however dynamically dressed-up it might be.

    * Sudden recollection that I saw Rejected before the lot; huh, make that "first positive encounter", I guess.

  • Spring

    Spring 2015

    ★★★ 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.

  • 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…

  • Waves

    Waves 2015

    ★★½ Watched 17 Feb, 2015

    Review from Next Projection

    A friend once asked whether that which wins Best Picture ought not also, by default, take Best Director, and—forgiving the technical ignorance—it’s not a difficult assumption to appreciate. That the idea of the respective Oscar statuettes being awarded to different films remains a relative novelty is indication enough that even at Hollywood’s heart, the strengths of a film and of its maker are thought of as all but inextricable. Thank goodness, then, for movies like Waves,…

  • The Backward Class

    The Backward Class 2015

    ★★★ Watched 15 Feb, 2015

    Review from Next Projection

    For all the gasps that may fill the cinema as Mala, one of the more prominently featured members of the eponymous group in The Backward Class, describes a vague recollection of an argument between her parents that left her mother ablaze, it’s the quiet moments of half-held gazes and forlorn looks that leave a far deeper impression. In chronicling the final year of these students’ journey to sit India’s university entrance exams—the first of their caste…