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  • When I Saw You

    When I Saw You

    ★★★½

    I'm a fan of director Annemarie Jacir's style, which is there visually in some striking sequences but also allows its characters to quietly shine. The film is set in the late-60s and takes as its point of view a young kid called Tarek, living with his mother in a refugee camp in Jordan, displaced from their homeland. He falls foul of his teachers for showing them up, and eventually falls in with some fedayeen, a group of guerrilla soldiers who…

  • The Young Girls of Rochefort

    The Young Girls of Rochefort

    ★★★★½

    Cherbourg will always have the strongest place in my heart among Demy's films -- among film musicals, among French films of the 1960s, among impeccably-crafted brightly-coloured widescreen films about romance, love and loss -- largely because of when I saw it and how it's been imprinted onto me. However, as time passes, I'm start to feel that Rochefort may be the more resilient film, the one which somehow has those moments that stay with me. It's so insular, so self-regarding…

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  • Arrival

    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.

  • Beau Travail

    Beau Travail

    ★★★★★

    It's almost impossible to form into coherent words how wondrous this film by Claire Denis is to me, not least because there's very little that's actually said in the film which tells you what it's about. Like some of the greatest cinematic works, it expresses its story through images, performances, bodies, movement, the interplay between these and the camera. Denis Lavant's pock-marked, angular face against Grégoire Colin's youthful, almost Classical one, staring at each other and (in the case of…