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  • True History of the Kelly Gang

    True History of the Kelly Gang

    ★★★

    There have been adaptations of the Ned Kelly story for as long as cinema has existed - the world’s first feature length film, at a then unprecedented 60 minutes, was 1906’s The Story of the Kelly Gang. But although the quasi-mythical status of Kelly has endured for more than a century after his death, that same long held fascination rarely translates to the screen. Biopics starring Mick Jagger and Heath Ledger were released to mixed-to-muted responses, and the only Ned…

  • Dark Waters

    Dark Waters

    ★★★½

    Todd Haynes is one of the great chameleons of contemporary cinema, as comfortable emulating the style of a Douglas Sirk melodrama as he is telling a simple love story in the same vein as one of David Lean’s British romances. So the news that he had made a straightforward, ripped from the headlines legal drama in the same vein as Spotlight naturally caused confusion. His films have flirted with prestige respectability before, but never by sacrificing his own peculiar character…

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  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    ★★★★

    In an era when most budding horror filmmakers look up to James Wan, emulating his jump scare schtick wherever they feel fit, a boldly original voice in the genre like Robert Eggers needs to be celebrated. After the critical success of his abstract 2016 horror The Witch, he signed on to direct a reimagining of Nosferatu - but with that project seemingly fallen by the wayside, he’s instead channelled his desire to update the early horror films of the German…

  • Kong: Skull Island

    Kong: Skull Island

    ★½

    I have rarely seen a cinema audience as rowdy as the crowd at my screening of Kong: Skull Island yesterday evening. Roughly ten minutes in to the film, peaceful decorum in the auditorium seemed to be abolished, with audience interaction reaching a level usually associated with cult classics like The Rocky Horror Picture Show or The Room, not a preview screening of a would-be franchise starter.

    Here was a crowd actively hating a movie in real time, loudly questioning plot…