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  • Elle

    Elle

    ★★★★

    First off this is a clear demonstration of what a monster of storytelling Verhoeven is. The first fifteen-twenty minutes are a succession of scenes, each of which clicks satisfyingly into the preceding one, each of which exponentially increases the tension and the stakes of the story & each of which comes as a surprise.

    But I am pretty well used to Verhoeven as a great audience-pleaser or at least stringer-along of audiences, and what I wasn't really ready for was the…

  • The Other Side of Hope

    The Other Side of Hope

    ★★★★

    A comforting mash-up of elements from Le Havre, Man Without A Past & Drifting Clouds, but with an undercurrent of real anguish about the plight of refugees. It feels like he came out of retirement to make this because he had to say something. But it's an oddly discomfiting film, bereft of his usual sweet ending, leaving you not filled with certainty that all will be well. Which is pretty much as it should be, in 2017. Very happy this won him a prize in Berlin, and I hope it's seen by lots of people. It's very, very funny in places, which should help.

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  • World of Tomorrow

    World of Tomorrow

    ★★★★★

    A dizzyingly sad, funny, overwhelmingly beautiful short film that manages to contain almost every fear imaginable about what the future of humanity might bring inside a brief fifteen minute running time. I've only watched this once but will be watching it repeatedly, not just to delve into its mysteries but to enjoy the journey. What you'll only get one time, though, is the jaw-dropping horror of the final moments. I shouted at the screen when *the thing* happened. Then the…

  • Zootopia

    Zootopia

    ★★★★

    Wildly inventive use of the 'mismatched buddy' paradigm in a film that interrogates ideas about racial stereotyping in a way that genuinely surprised & excited me. It's also a sly satire on the War On Drugs with a nice little nod to Breaking Bad near the end. Social satire in the guise of kids' entertainment- stuffed with visual & verbal wit. Highly recommended. I would prefer to see it 2D however- the noir visuals are at times too dark for the 3D glasses to handle.