Stories

Shot Verse Shot: "Benediction" and Poetry in Cinema

Films about art and artists face different obstacles in making the art itself cinematic. A movie about a painter, like Pollock (2000) or My Left Foot (1989), can simply observe them at work. Keiichi Hara’s animated film Miss Hokusai (2015), about the artist Hokusai and his daughter, can visually quote its subject’s ukiyo-e prints directly. On the same wavelength, Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s Loving Vincent (2017) tells of van Gogh’s final days with animation composed of oil painting cels imitating the artist’s own style. Writing is more difficult to depict. “Writer”…

Recent reviews

One of the great visionaries of a bygone age. A studio with no idea what to do with him. Foolish Wives was decimated on release, only later reconstructed to its current, fragmented form. And yet its majestic grandeur remains—testament to the peerless innovation of its director, Erich von Stroheim.

Now showing here.

A brilliant Ruth Wilson and Tom Burke vividly inhabit the dangerous liaison at the centre of this audacious sophomore feature from British filmmaker Harry Wootliff (Only You). Ambitiously stylised, this tale of amour fou is an intoxicating study in romantic obsession and impulsive desire.

Now showing here.

Another gorgeously sun-drenched drama from New Wave director Éric Rohmer, this tender, often playful coming-of-age story captures the curiously mercurial nature of first love. One of his “Tales of the Four Seasons,” it stars Amanda Langlet, who played the titular character in Pauline at the Beach.

Now showing here.

Who’d have expected a Japanese TV host and comedian to turn to such poignant filmmaking? Winner of the Golden Lion, Fireworks has proven to be one of Takeshi Kitano’s best films: a masterpiece of sublime simplicity and staccato force, combating unsparing violence with bare sentimentality.

Now showing here.

Centered on a powerful bravura performance from breakout star Sofia Kappel, Pleasure is the refreshingly uncompromising debut feature from Ninja Thyberg. An unflinching exploration of agency, ambition, and consent in the adult film industry that seeks to bust stale taboos about sex work.

Now showing here.

Named after the phenomenon of male seahorses who carry and give birth to their young, this intimate documentary tells the moving story of a trans man’s path to parenthood. Master documentarian Jeanie Finlay captures the arduous and ultimately courageous journey with a singular sense of compassion.

Now showing here.

With a clear statement of intent—to blast transphobia into smithereens, queer French filmmaker Alexis Langlois shakes up this fizzing cocktail of fantasy, femininity, and cold-blooded vengeance. A raunchy, raucous genre mashup that foregrounds the very real threats faced by the trans community.

Now showing here.

Reminiscent of Charulata, the heady love triangle at the heart of this Rabindranath Tagore adaptation blends privates passions with political fervor. Gorgeously lit and meticulously framed, Ray’s masterwork deftly juxtaposes the early 20th-century nationalist movement with the emancipation of women.

Now showing here.