This Boy’s Life.

  Based on the life and memoir of writer Tobias Wolff, This Boy’s Life captures the frustrations of childhood and the trust we place in our elders to protect us until we’re capable of doing it for ourselves. We first meet the young Toby on the run with his mother. Escaping her latest abusive boyfriend, the … Continue reading

Giant.

Set against the dusty backdrop of Texas, Giant spans over 25 years and 200 minutes. It is an extravagant tale about identity, race, pride and the dawn of the age of oil. Giant follows stubborn and determined Texan rancher Bick Benedict as the industry he loves gradually deteriorates whilst oil drilling rises. After Bick marries the strong-willed, and equally … Continue reading

Rebel Without a Cause.

James Dean only made 3 films before his death at age 24. East of Eden came out in early 1955, half a year before its star died in a car crash. A month after his death, his second film was released, followed by his last, Giant, in 1956. With the tragedy of his death still looming and his portrayal … Continue reading

Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Thanks to Tim Burton’s questionable take on the franchise, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was initially something to be wary of. Successfully reinventing a classic takes astute direction and vision, something Burton’s re-imagining lacked. Luckily, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a reboot rather than a remake. This is a new story that pays great tribute to … Continue reading

Sightseers.

Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers fell between two very interesting pieces in the rest of his filmography. Kill List combined gritty British realism with terrifying retro horror whilst A Field in England echoed back to the folk horror genre and reminded me of Witchfinder General. Wheatley’s work is astutely British and combines dark comedy with the weird and surreal. Sightseers sits between each film both chronologically … Continue reading

The ABCs of Death.

I first heard about this “super-anthology” at the press event for last year’s Bradford Film Festival. The film was to be shown late at night, midway through the festival. I was a student in Leeds at the time and although I was enthusiastic to attend as much of the festival as possible, I was restricted … Continue reading