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  • Zama

    Zama

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Some films seem like they really are deeply meaningful, and I'm just a bit too obtuse to grasp them, and Zama is like that. Like Martel's last one, La mujer sin cabeza (2008), it seems to be deliberately opaque and unengaging, but this one offers a lot more to enjoy: dark humour, the setting, Zama's stoic journey from baffled to optimistic to devastated to resigned as he waits in vain for his transfer, the Kafkaesque frustrations of his position, strange…

  • Prevenge

    Prevenge

    It's immediately apparent that this is a rough-and-ready, no-frills sort of production, and I certainly don't mean that as a bad thing. This is one that's about imagination, not budget. The first scene is intense! Set in an exotic pet shop, full of sleazy inuendo, sudden, shocking murder, and observational humour: it's funny in a sweaty, hideous sort of way, and I'm not talking about the killing so much as just the way people are. It sets the tone perfectly.…

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  • High-Rise

    High-Rise

    ★★★★★

    Another near-masterpiece from Wheatley, perhaps my favourite UK filmmaker working today, and another entry in the subgenre of dystopic tower block fantasies along with Shivers, Dredd, The Raid, and (I guess) The Towering Inferno. It's an inherently dramatic setting: the tower's monstrous size, the claustrophobic spaces within, the vertical structure providing an obvious metaphor for society or the Freudian psyche. In this one, our hero and the architect also explicitly discuss the block as a metaphor for the body -…

  • HyperNormalisation

    HyperNormalisation

    ★★★★

    As any other Adam Curtis movie, this is a vast number of archive clips cut together with enormous artistry and eerily combined with Curtis' voice-over, block titles, and counter-intuitive but exactly appropriate music. Like all his documentaries, it has powerful political points to make, and forces you to see the world in a new light. Some of his claims may be subjective and debatable, but he certainly has a wealth of evidence to back them up. But it's not just…