• Poison for the Fairies

    Poison for the Fairies

    ★★★

    Very dark Mexican tale about young girls, jealousy, being spoiled and believing in witches. I think there are just 3 times when an adult's face is on screen, which as a technique, draws the viewer into the world of the young girls. There is some creepyness and the ending is very sinister.

  • The Life of Oharu

    The Life of Oharu

    ★★★★½

    137 minutes of misery, heartbreak and devastation. Loved every second of it.

  • House of Hummingbird

    House of Hummingbird

    ★★★★

    A very promising debut feature from Bora Kim. A coming of age type film about a girl trying to find her way in the world surrounded by a family that has more important things to deal with than her. There are some sombre scenes but some moments of beauty too. Fine performance from Ji-hu Park as the central character.

  • Oleg

    Oleg

    ★★★★

    A really impressive film about workers sent to other countries to send hoe money to their families. Lots of underlying themes included too. Great acting, and the direction is superb. Hand held camera can be nauseating but it was done well here, mixed in with some very impressive snow / underwater sequences.

  • The Wind Will Carry Us

    The Wind Will Carry Us

    ★★★½

    Probably the least accessible Kiarostami I've seen, which would normally not be a factor in how I view a film, but I did find the repetitive nature of our main character driving around the hills of Kurdistan somewhat challenging. He's there to photograph a funeral ceremony. But has to wait for the old woman to die. In the meantime we see him observe daily life in a tiny village.

    The rewards are there, especially towards the end. And the landscapes look beautiful, but you really have to look hard.

    6.9/10

  • Quo Vadis, Aida?

    Quo Vadis, Aida?

    ★★★★½

    Moved me beyond belief. Earth shattering performance from Jasna Djuricic as the titular character. The horrific events of Srebrenica in the mid 90s unfold as history sadly repeats itself. Feels like a massively important film.

    9/10

  • Altered States

    Altered States

    ★★★½

    What an absolute visionary Ken Russell was. You can see clear lineage from 2001 a space odyssey and the Holy Mountain and then to projects like The Fly, American Werewolf in London etc. Above all the horror and sci-fi, it's a love story about mending a relationship and learning to love again Altered States isn't flawless but it's a bold piece of filmmaking that crosses genres, makes you think and inspires.

    7.1/10

  • Violent

    Violent

    ★★★½

    Interesting arthouse film from Norway/Canada about a girl having 5 separate flashbacks of the last 5 people that loved her. Smart concept with stunning visuals, very dream-like and ethereal. The score and sound design is very good too - performed by the band that Director Andrew Huculiak is a member of.

  • A Moment of Innocence

    A Moment of Innocence

    ★★★★★

    This film is incredible.

    In 1990, Abbas Kiarostami made 'Close-Up', which is a re-enactment of the real life trial of the man who steals the identity of filmmaker Mohsen Makmhalbaf, using the real life people as actors.

    6 years later, Makmhalbaf himself goes a step further and makes a film about the making of a film. In the 70s, Makmhalbaf got into an altercation with a policeman and was arrested for it. 20 years later he gets the real people…

  • Distant Voices, Still Lives

    Distant Voices, Still Lives

    ★★★

    This was almost a musical. It plays out like a version of Terrence Davies' memories as songs and arguments. Told in 2 distinct halves it feels very personal and although all the music did become a bit too much at one point, it is clear to see what the director was aiming for. Voted as the 3rd best British film of all time by 150 critics in 2011 - it's a good film but not the masterpiece some have made it out to be.

  • Violent Cop

    Violent Cop

    ★★★★

    Kitano's debut. Excellent film which he stepped in to direct after the original director walked off set. Trademark ice cold charisma from Kitano as a lone wolf type cop, and with all the usual violence. Shocking couple of twists at the end too.

  • Nosferatu

    Nosferatu

    ★★★★½

    Pretty creepy, some great visuals and make up. Banned in Sweden for 50 years.