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  • No Fathers in Kashmir

    No Fathers in Kashmir

    For his first feature Indian film-maker Ashvin Kumar continues his focus on Kashmir and the injustice that its people have to face. He made it under the radar of the Indian authorities, pretending it was going to be a light romance. Actually, it's the story of a naive pair of children growing up and learning a bit of personal and national history. Normally I write about what I see on the screen rather than start with background to the making…

  • Mauvais Sang

    Mauvais Sang

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

    My favourite entries on Letterboxd tend to be the ones that engage with the content of the movie, that talk about the specifics of event and character and, explicitly, how they support the message or theme, perhaps combining this with expert knowledge about the canon or the filmmakers concerned. Respect to the many insightful people I follow who do this and more. But that's not me.

    I'll always give the time of day to movies that have a good heart…

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  • Get Carter

    Get Carter

    My favourite gangster revenge film, with all the nihilistic thrills we could hope for. The protagonist is loathsome, so are most of the other characters, the settings are bleak, the theme tune is to die for.
    Newcastle at the end of the '60s is a very particular time and place, and as far as I know you won't see the like in any other movie, with its old-time pub sing-a-longs, seedy bookies', boarding houses and back-alleys, groovy parties and discos,…

  • Can't Get You Out of My Head

    Can't Get You Out of My Head

    I saw an interview where Adam Curtis said he'd rather be thought of as a journalist than a film maker. I always found him less effective as a journalist because his stories are so all-over-the-place that unless we're going to take notes it's hard to get our heads around the point he's trying to make, and more effective as a film maker because the way he selects and edits and soundtracks his clips gives them a cumulative impact that's almost…

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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 -…

  • Family Romance, LLC

    Family Romance, LLC

    A deliciously disturbing documentary version of Alps (2011). Or a mockumentary. Or fiction pretending to be a documentary. Or feature based on reality. It's so confusing, what is going on here? The subject matter is troubling enough and the layers of illusion and artifice make it much more so. That's all I'll say except that the music, mostly violins and cellos, is lovely and sad and occasionally anxious, and that it's an unusual Herzog in that he stays behind the camera—there is no narration or explanation, we have to figure it out for ourselves or, more likely, be left wondering.