• The Seduction of Mimi

    The Seduction of Mimi

    ★★★★½

    Making up for not going to Cannes like everyone else on film twitter by mainlining Lina Wertmüller's filmography was probably one of the best decisions I could have made. Love this! It's a perfect satire on ideology and betrayal, to that ideology, your class and on a personal level, tackling strong themes and grounding them in a specific era and location - with Wertmüller using her films to explore the divide between North and Southern Italy superbly, entrenching the sense of unescapable paranoia within its script that is always easy to find, but hard to get away from.

  • Seven Beauties

    Seven Beauties

    ★★★★★

    From the opening moments of the archive footage with its unique choice of music (oh, yeah!) to back up the montage, Lina Wertmüller introduces you to a mastery of an anti-war, war is hell film like no other and the unique uncomfortableness of Wertmüller's direction means that this film has a way of getting under your skin from pretty much the word go. Like Love & Anarchy, Seven Beauties packs a powerful punch in its third act as all the pieces…

  • Firestarter

    Firestarter

    ★★★

    More of an anti-superhero origin story in the vein of Brightburn with deliberate riffs off Man of Steel than a straightforward horror; this film feels remarkably tame compared to Stephen King's more established work, more grounded with almost a network TV pilot feel to it that shows especially in its CGI effects budget. Firestarter is muted and a bit too obsessed with getting straight to the point - it feels like it was missing a middle act and just has…

  • The Canterbury Tales

    The Canterbury Tales

    ★★★½

    A comedy that had has a hard task translating from its Chaucer origins into its Pasolini free-spirited sensibility separated by multiple time periods and countries - Monty Python it isn't, but it does a good job at capturing the seedier side of the medieval era in a way removed from others of its time - there's no adaption quite like it. Unashamedly horny from the first frame to the last - with no subtlety or shame at all.

  • The Wonders

    The Wonders

    ★★★★

    A sort of magical realist fantasy that shares a kindred spirit with the likes of Celine Sciamma, The Wonders is a heartwarming delight that carries on over to Alice Rohrwacher’s Happy as Lazzaro with a kind hearted tenderness to it that basks in a sense of welcome sentimentalism. The plot is thin as they come, revolving around a family - a controlling patriarch Wolfgang, his wife and his daughters - whose world is upended when a German boy comes to live…

  • All Screwed Up

    All Screwed Up

    ★★★★½

    As always, Lina Wertmüller is just out-of-this world good. A bitingly satirical critique of commerce and capitalism as ever - using it as a lense to explore Wertmüller's classic themes of sexuality and oppression, class, the divide between women and men and the cultural divide between the North and South of Italy - so many complex themes at play make this such a rich work by comparison - and worthy of a reappraisal despite its somewhat aimless second half. It feels very much like a proto anarchist The Spanish Apartment - fearlessly idiosyncratic and completely peerless.

  • Casablanca Beats

    Casablanca Beats

    ★★★

    Charmingly fun but ultimately a bit too predictable, by the numbers and safe - Casablanca Beats is a broadly accessible crowd-pleaser in the School of Rock mode. Its celebration of music, specifically hip-hop - as a tool for youth rebellion is earnest without feeling the need to talk down or patronise.

  • Charade

    Charade

    ★★★★★

    The old adage for this film is that it's the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock didn't make, and it's easy to see why - all the twists and turns are there and the chase scenes through the streets of Paris are as thrilling as any Mission Impossible film with moments of deliberately chaotic fight scenes and high tension. The dashes of comedy are fun and Charade is a movie that knows how to get the best out of a natural chemistry between Carey Grant - electric as an old conman, and the terrific Audrey Hepburn, that mainly comes from the repetitively charming back and forth dialogue.

  • Shaft's Big Score!

    Shaft's Big Score!

    ★★★

    Super fun as usual, especially with a memorable chase scene in the final third - this sequel isn't quite as good as the first one but tons of fun and the music is as iconic as ever - and Richard Roundtree's performance is ice-cool - you couldn't have wished for a better lead. Moses Gunn is great opposite him, and Shaft's Big Score! has a unique stylish look that Gordon Parks revels in bringing to the table.

  • Love and Anarchy

    Love and Anarchy

    ★★★★★

    Been giving out a lot of 5 stars lately but they're all to movies that completely deserve them: and this is a fierce, anti-fascist feminist film that combines love with anarchy for a memorable experience that pulls all its punches in the emotionally moving finale. Like a seedier; more chaotic and messier Visconti with plenty of lavish touches and a doomed romance at its core - Love and Anarchy is a triumph for director Lina Wertmüller. Instantly a fan. If you have Criterion Channel, watch this before it leaves at the end of the month.

  • Police Story

    Police Story

    ★★★★★

    After an action packed lightning fast first twenty minutes that all films should aspire to match the tone and pacing of, Police Story understandably slows down for a little bit after that - but when your movie is in slow down mode and still throws everything at the wall in a bid to see what sticks and it all does; you can't help but love it - some of the most creative action set-pieces ever put to film and just a non-stop romp from start to finish, but then with Jackie Chan involved were you expecting anything else?

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★★★★

    Had an hour's delay until this film started (Cineworld Unlimited Screening, so there was no others and likely will not be at my local cinema, which is a shame as this requires at least one more viewing to take everything in) - but it was worth the wait and I've waited longer for worse films at festivals. The performances are off-the-charts good, especially from Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu and Ke Huy Quan - from the moment of inception to conclusion…