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  • 1974

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Jul, 2014

    Noone could accuse Luis Buñuel of mellowing in his old age. Quite the opposite in fact. The Phantom of Liberty, his penultimate film made at the age of 1974, is a scabrous, scatological, prolonged yet unfocused attack on the mores of bourgeois French society.

    Using dream logic and surreal humour, Buñuel takes us on a strange yet brutally amusing Odyssey through seventies France. Like the narrative device used by the likes of Monty Python when moving between sketches, and by…

  • 101 Reykjavik 2000

    ★★★½ Watched 28 Apr, 2013

    Neat little Icelandic comedy, with strange Oedipal undertones.
    Hlynur (Hilmir Snær Guðnason) is a feckless layabout, still living at home with his mother Berglind (Hanna María Karlsdóttir) in a cluttered flat, complete with sofa-bath (yes, really).

    In the manner of such movies, this arrangement is thrown into disarray by the arrival of Lola Milagros (Victoria Abril), a Spanish flamenco teacher who is revealed to be Berglind's lover, but not before she and Hlynur share a drunken evening together.

    It's fairly…

  • 12 Years a Slave 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 12 Jan, 2014

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

  • 13 Beloved 2006

    ★★★ Watched 26 Mar, 2012

    How far would you go to win a huge amount of money? Puchit is given the chance, via a mysterious phone call, to enter a game. Complete thirteen challenges and win 100 million baht. The first one is to kill a fly. Sounds simple enough, but these soon escalate until he's eating 'Number Two' on the menu at a Thai restaurant, whacking people with chairs and then people begin to die. An interesting premise, let down by some hammy acting, truly incompetent policemen, and a slightly weak ending. Still, this is worth a watch for some good set pieces, despite its own ludicrousness.

  • 20,000 Days on Earth 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 28 Oct, 2014

    I have to admit right away that I am not at all impartial when it comes to Nick Cave. The guy can pretty much do no wrong in my eyes. What I would say is that even if you aren't a Nick Cave fan, either of his music, novels, screenplays or film scores; what this documentary does is give a real insight into the creative process.

    Offering a fictionalised day-in-the-life (his 20,000th) from rising in the morning to performing a…

  • 2 Days in New York 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Jul, 2012 1

    Excellent sequel from the lovely Julie Delpy. A few years on from 2 Days in Paris, and Delpy's Marion now lives in New York with her partner Mingus (a more likeable than usual Chris Rock) and her eccentric family come to stay.
    It threatens at times to veer into self-indulgence, but Delpy's charisma and sheer appeal keep the rudder steady. Rock injects plenty of common sense and is a more effective counterpoint to Delpy than Adam Goldberg's whiney Woody Allen-lite…

  • 3-Iron 2004

    ★★★★ Watched 21 Sep, 2013

    This film came as a surprise for me after the almost nihilistic bleakness of the other Kim Ki-Duk films I've seen, Bad Guy, and The Isle. I really admire those films, but I found 3-Iron to be a more engaging and subtle work than either.

    The simple plot details apparently homeless drifter Tae-Suk (Jae Hee), who breaks into houses who's owners are away. He eats their food, sleeps in their beds and wears their pyjamas, but he also washes up,…

  • 8 Women 2002

    ★★★½ Watched 24 Jun, 2014

    I think François Ozon may well be the best male director of women since Pedro Almodovar. In fact, 8 Women has a similar feel to the hysterical farce of Dark Habits or Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

    Based on a 1958 play by Robert Thomas, the story involves the eight women of the title getting together to celebrate Christmas at the salubrious home of Marcel. When Marcel is found murdered, the women must get to the bottom…

  • Absentia 2011

    ★★★½ Watched 30 Sep, 2012

    Interesting and well-acted little chiller from MIke Flanagan.
    Ambiguous until the very end. The poster really doesn't do the film justice, as it's a far more subtle piece than than artwork suggests.
    Well worth a look.

  • A Dangerous Method 2011

    ★★★ Watched 06 Mar, 2013

    Is this another indicator that Cronenberg is heading in a more restrained, talky direction? Cosmopolis seemed like an anomaly for him but here is an even more mannered, speech-driven work. A sedate chamber-piece, A Dangerous Method details the relationship between revered psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, and the Russian patient who ultimately comes between them.

    Of course, there is nothing wrong with a reserved approach, for a film about psychoanalysis (particularly Freud's assertion that all psychological maladies have a…

  • Adaptation. 2002

    ★★★★ Rewatched 02 Mar, 2013

    Although this strains self-reflexivity to near breaking point, Adaptation manages to avoid becoming a self-indulgent mess. Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze achieve this by remembering to include a genuinely good plot, great characters, and a whole load of heart, which postmodern thinkers and authors often confuse with sentimentality to their own detriment.

    Getting to the very crux of the creative process, Kaufman turns his own difficulties in turning the real-life non-fiction book The Orchid Thief into a screenplay into the…

  • A Fantastic Fear of Everything 2012

    ★★★ Watched 09 Jun, 2013

    Fairly diverting quirk-fest from writer-director Crispian Mills, formerly the mainman of Sanskrit-loving psychedelic indie wonks Kula Shaker; and music video director Chris Hopewell.

    Simon Pegg plays Jack, a writer who has walled himself up in his flat having become increasingly paranoid that someone is out to kill him, having immersed himself a little too fully while researching a project on Victorian serial killers. Jack's agent calls him to tell him that a publisher wishes to meet to discuss the project,…