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  • Sorcerer



    It's 2017 and this is getting its 40th anniversary re-release. I'd not seen it before, but it's clear now that of 1977's most vaunted Hollywood films, this is the one that's the most interesting. It's difficult to imagine it ever being a success, given the bleakly existential atmosphere that Friedkin creates amongst his four anti-heroes, their stories set up in the opening sequences, nimbly edited together as four short films which start to make sense when we shift to the…

  • The Party

    The Party


    Ostensibly a dinner party celebrating a politician's ascendancy within their political party, this quickly turns into something of a pity party all round, albeit shot through with occasional flashes of wit and ending on a fine joke, all in well under 80 minutes which is enough for me to applaud it for its brevity. I was all ready to hate the film when near the start a character (apparently unironically) rhymes "banker" with "wanker", while another calls a German character…

Popular reviews

  • Arrival



    There's a sort of sweet hopeful belief in the unifying power of language at work here, and Amy Adams is exactly the face for that, but there's also a mind-bending take on temporal awareness that reminds me of the WTF-ness of Interstellar and which I don't really find quite as fulfilling as the film evidently does. It's all very nice, though muted in its colours and uncluttered in mise en scene, and I sort of want to like it more than I did.

  • Baden Baden

    Baden Baden


    Trading on all those classic elements of the cinema of self-indulgent continental introspection -- a young woman returns home to her ailing grandmother to tidy up shattered plans, creating new messes to tidy, and reopening some fresh wounds -- but it's done with such verve, such control of the medium, and such fine performances in the lead roles that what initially sounds like it might be drab and unengaging is really compelling. Sure, Ana's life may or may not be…