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  • Faces Places

    Faces Places

    “Chance has always been my best assistant”, the inimitable Agnès Varda intones towards the beginning of her newest film essay, Faces Places. Varda’s career is a gorgeous synthesis of innovative fiction films (Cléo From 5 to 7 [1961], Le Bonheur [1965], Vagabond [1984]) and even more inventive documentaries (Daguerréotypes [1975], Murs murs [1981], The Gleaners and I [2000], and, very much the best single work of her career, The Beaches of Agnès [2008]). She is taking another chance with this latest project, and it pays off magnificently.

    Varda and JR's joyous collaboration is reviewed here.

  • The Rider

    The Rider

    Director Chloé Zhao was filming her first feature, Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015), on the Pine Ridge Sioux reservation in South Dakota when she met Brady Jandreau. He was a promising bronco rider, until he was bucked off his horse during a rodeo; he was severely injured, requiring surgery to insert a metal plate into his skull. She returned to the area during Jandreau’s recovery, and suggested that they make a lightly-fictionalised version of his own life story. The…

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  • You Were Never Really Here

    You Were Never Really Here

    The film I was most eagerly awaiting of this year so far. Amazing: it's a thunderstorm of brilliance.

    The noise of this film is astonishing. It pressed home the idea of Phoenix's Joe being out at sea ALL OF THE TIME; there is no respite for his psyche, the associations are incessant and they are brutal. Greenwood's score is an audible assault on the sense, and the sound design is a calibrated delirium.

    And while it's a painful experience, largely…

  • The Square

    The Square

    "The Square" is loathsome, reactionary nonsense.

    There is no short supply of satire surrounding the contemporary art world, so a new work that centres on this really has to be funny, really has to have something to say. What does Östlund settle for? This: the obscurity of contemporary art is not warranted by its vague subject-matter, and is packaged with a surfeit of vague corporate-speak, delivered to you by shallow and pretentious hacks. Wow! I've never heard that before! It's…