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  • The Untamed

    The Untamed

    ★★½

    Mexican director Amat Escalante has developed something of a reputation for his confrontational filmmaking style. Heli, his 2013 Cannes award-winning film about the Mexican drug trade, took delight in shocking the Cannes elite with a torture scene that depicted a young man having his penis set on fire (CGI thankfully). His response was typically blunt, calling his critics cowards, asking them to visit Mexico to view how violence is so graphically portrayed in the media. Moving into quasi sci-fi territory,…

  • Quest

    Quest

    ★★★★

    Jonathan Olshefski's simple and intimate documentary won the hearts of visitors to Sundance earlier in the year, filming the ups and downs of the Rainey family over an eight year period. What started out as a photo essay blossomed into a film that reflects a way life experienced by far too many black working class families in America. Olshefski, a Philadelphia resident, knew of Chris ‘Quest’ Rainey’s home recording studio in North Philly and initially wanted to profile how he…

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  • There Will Be Blood

    There Will Be Blood

    ★★★★★

    There is Daniel Day Lewis' performance, a standard which has become almost ludicrously normal for the man now. Paul Thomas Anderson's assured writing and direction instils an epic feel within the stripped down surroundings. Then there is the music. The score by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood will be the first thing that coats you in the thickness of the black atmosphere.

    Greenwood's compositional skills have developed over the arc of Radiohead's career, pushed forward after the group dropped their guitars post…

  • 12 Angry Men

    12 Angry Men

    ★★★★★

    How do you ever begin to top a directorial debut such as this? Well Sidney Lumet certainly gave it is best shot over the years that followed creating an enviable filmography packed with cinematic gems. That he can turn a simplistic set-up of twelve men stuck together in a steaming hot room, into such a in-depth social, intellectual and thrilling 90 minutes speaks volumes for the man.

    What does remain a mystery is how the creator of the screenplay Reginald…