RSS feed for The Essential

Favorite films

Recent activity


Recent reviews

  • David Brent: Life on the Road

    David Brent: Life on the Road


    By Bradley J. Dixon.

    Fame is a very different beast now than it was when Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant first introduced the world to David Brent, the painfully awkward general manager of mid-size paper merchant Wernham-Hogg, and star of the BBC’s game-changing mockumentary series The Office.

    “It’s worse than it was 15 years ago,” Gervais says now. “The Office came out of those quaint docu-soaps where an ordinary guy got his 15 minutes of fame. We’ve had all those…

  • The Neon Demon

    The Neon Demon


    What does it say about the current crop of emerging independent filmmakers that it took a 45-year-old Dane to distill millennial ennui to its purest form and violently thrust it onto the screen? Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon is an affront to accepted ideas of good taste, storytelling and restraint, and it will be hated by almost everyone who sees it. It’s also perfect.

    Ever since his 2011 turning point Drive, Refn has been progressively concentrating his films’ visceral…

Popular reviews

  • Stations of the Cross

    Stations of the Cross


    Indoctrination lies at the heart of Stations of the Cross, the bold, new film from German filmmaker Dietrich Brüggemann. Simplistic in form, the film utilises fourteen breathtaking, unbroken shots that unfold within the boundaries of the fourteen Stations of the Cross, traditionally a central, expressive narrative of Catholicism in which Christ is nailed to the cross which is here re-positioned into the slow unravelling of a young teenage mind caught at an involuntary crossroads.

    Continue reading Simon Di Berardino's review over at The Essential.

  • Interstellar



    By Richard S. He.

    Back when science fiction and real-life space travel coexisted, those stories served a social purpose. Before genre was a marketing concept, before Star Wars defined the modern blockbuster, even the pulpiest science fiction reached into the future to warn us about our present. Space amplifies our wildest dreams and fears, because there’s literally nothing else there. Interstellar is Christopher Nolan’s tribute to cinematic and scientific visionaries alike – and hopefully, not a premature wake for their…