The Look of Silence.

When I first watched Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing I didn’t know how to process it. Repeat viewings haven’t helped. Although there is much to admire about his initial documentation of the remaining killers from the Indonesian genocide of the 1960s, I was left unsettled by the fantasy and surreal approach to a harrowing … Continue reading

Slow West.

John Maclean’s feature length debut is a road movie. A young Scottish man, determined to get across America to find the woman he loves, is joined by a mysterious, ruthless loner who takes on the role of his mentor, guide and protector. Nobody knows who to trust and everyone’s intentions are questionable. Slow West is about … Continue reading

Tomorrowland.

Set across several different times and spaces, Tomorrowland tells the story of a childlike android, a child inventor and a determined, scientific teenager as they attempt to save planet earth via another world, time and place. What begins as a family adventure film soon wilts into a poorly executed environmental flick with an admittedly sincere … Continue reading

Jurassic World.

About half way through Jurassic World, lead actors Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard kneel down beside an injured Brachiosaurus. A close-up encounter with the beast reminds us of what was so great about Spielberg’s original. Relying so heavily on CGI up until now, this moment in Jurassic World finally captures some of the magic of … Continue reading

Timbuktu.

Beautifully shot and hauntingly relevant, Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu is undoubtedly one of this year’s greatest triumphs. The tranquil lives of a cattle herding family are only occasionally disturbed by the Jihadist law they find themselves living under. That is until one unfortunate event threatens their peaceful existence. Sofian El Fani’s cinematography overwhelms – beautiful imagery … Continue reading

Listen Up Philip.

Many of us first fell in love with Jason Schwartzman as the egotistical, over-confident and deluded Max Fischer. Listen Up Philip is about a deeply troubled and painfully self-obsessed writer, awaiting the publication of his second novel. It could easily be a sequel to Rushmore. Philip could be an adult Fischer; an arrogant ‘one-of-a-kind’ whose naivety … Continue reading

Mad Max: Fury Road.

I’ve allowed myself over a fortnight to digest George Miller’s re-invisioning of his original dystopian franchise. Time away from Mad Max: Fury Road has proved as crucial to my criticism as time spent with it. Nobody will forget their experience of watching Mad Max: Fury Road for the first time; mine having been slightly tainted by the light … Continue reading