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  • Thelma

    Thelma

    ★★★★★

    Powerful story of the danger of suppressing feelings and the damage of guilt (this is a reading I felt particularly). It's told through the prism of a genre film but like the best genre films, it isn't afraid to have characters bare their souls and show real emotion. Stunningly shot across some beautiful locations, both natural and man-made, this deserves a wide audience. Just go see it.

  • Zama

    Zama

    ★★★★★

    Only my second Martel film and my first seen on the big screen. What can I say, I love her take on the travails of a local Spanish official who finds himself increasingly frustrated in trying to get out of his current posting. I'm unfamiliar with the novel on which this is based but for the film, the satire on colonialism is biting, and seemingly through a Buñuelian prism as the frustrations that Zama encounters at every turn make this…

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  • Sign o' the Times

    Sign o' the Times

    ★★★★

    The funky sex god concert movie I needed to close out my NZ International Film Festival for the year.

  • Friend

    Friend

    ★★★★

    I feel like African cinema has the greatest untapped potential in the world right now, and I'm trying not to seem like a patronising Western film fan because I do really mean it. This is a firecracker of a film, filled with immense and vibrant colour and daring to tell a story which currently has the film banned in Kenya, where it was made. It may seem like a cliched story of two people trying to find love against the…

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  • Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler

    ★★★★

    The polite but nervous energy of Norman Bates crossed with the relentless drive of Travis Bickle is what you get from Jake Gyllenhaal's Lou Bloom, a sociopath for the new millennium.

    Less a critique of modern day TV news, more a character study, as you see Bloom begin the film with petty crime before stumbling on an opportunity to gather footage of crime and accidents for a cable news channel. Bill Paxton's Joe, a competitor for this footage uses the…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★★★

    2015 is all over for action films now that the smartest, most breathtaking and completely batshit cray-cray movie has arrived in cinemas.

    Go see it on the biggest fuckoff screen you can find and revel in a film that grabs you by the scruff of the neck then tosses you around like a washing machine on meth. That it avoids the rampant misogyny that normally characterises this genre is a welcome bonus - so much so that Furious Furiosa might…