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  • National Gallery

    National Gallery 2014

    Watched 02 Jul, 2015

    •Grapples with how people describe and relate to visual art in an interesting way. The poet's comments about the gap between words and the things they symbolise could almost be a thesis statement if it didn't come so late in the film.

    •On that note there's a very funny scene in which a documentary director pushes his expert to talk about metaphors in Turner's paintings because he thinks that's what makes them more than pretty pictures. Meanwhile his expert clearly…

  • Il Mare

    Il Mare 2000

    Watched 29 Jun, 2015

    Somewhere, buried under the cloying score and de rigueur ending, there's a decent movie - or at the very least a productively unusual one. Most of Il Mare is nothing more than the film's lead actors reading out intimate letters over images of them going about their daily lives. Granted the images are very pretty (think saturated colours and the courage to use a couple of bird's eye shots) but despite that it's hard to imagine this almost plotless film…

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  • Birdman

    Birdman 2014

    Watched 10 Jan, 2015

    Birdman is so in your face that it makes a motif out of characters speaking directly to the camera. It's a manic, propulsive, eager little thing driven by a relentless drum score, a swooping camera and restless actors who talk as though they could burst into flames at any moment. It's populated by caricatures and filled with the kind of passionate nonsense that regularly fills columns exclaiming that Hollywood has run out of ideas, or that theater is a dying…

  • When Animals Dream

    When Animals Dream 2014

    Watched 08 Jan, 2015

    There's a long history of feminist werewolf stories and it's easy to see why: Aside from the terror of big, nasty dogs the horror of the werewolf lies in a loss of control over one's own body. When Animals Dream gets great of mileage out of this subtext. Before the protagonist, Marie, has even begun to wolf out she's subjected to an intrusive doctor's examination and the unwanted attentions of a local boy.

    By the time she's asserting pride in…