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  • When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

    When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

    ★★★★★

    Takamine Hideko is absolutely devastating as the ageing geisha in 60s Ginza faced with the difficult decision of whether to marry one of her rich customers or set up a bar of her own. Already a widow burdened with debts, derision and illness, Mama becomes a symbol of women's battle for independence in post-war Japan. Naruse's direction is unobtrusive and stylishly laid back, accompanied by a breezy jazz soundtrack symbolising the city's complacency to the plight of our heroine.

  • Interstellar

    Interstellar

    ★★★★★

    Interstellar is quite possibly Christopher Nolan’s most personal film to-date, a grand spectacle of deep space exploration involving wormholes and theories of relativity, but which ultimately rests on the relationship between one man and his daughter. For all its epic visual splendour and scientific mumbo-jumbo, Interstellar is at its heart an intensely human drama. Its success, and indeed the success of the mission on screen, relies less on mathematics, mechanics and technology than on real emotion – and as a result, the film may alienate and upset those looking for a simple white-knuckle thrill ride.

    Read my full review here: marshattacks.com/2014/10/31/interstellar/