American Animals

American Animals

Dramatised non-fiction is old territory for director Bart Layton whose first feature documentary The Imposter included tense re-enactment. His latest work takes things even further in an attempt to intertwine documentary and drama even more tightly. American Animals, based on a shambolic real-life heist at an American University in 2004, is for the most part a … Continue reading

The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

Adapted from Emily M. Danforth’s book, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is the second feature from director Desiree Akhavan. In 2014, Akhavan explored the complexities of a modern woman’s sexuality (simultaneously winning over indie film audiences) in Appropriate Behaviour – a film which refreshingly focused on bisexuality – more specifically in conflict with family heritage, culture and … Continue reading

BlacKkKlansman

BlacKkKlansman

Spike Lee’s latest, loosely based on the early career of police-officer Ron Stallworth, opens with an icon scene from 1939’s Gone With the Wind. An iconic moment in American cinema, a distressed Scarlett O’Hara is wading through a sea of injured civil war soldiers. The camera gradually draws out, revealing the vast extent of the wounded. … Continue reading

Heathers: 30 Years On.

Heathers: 30 Years On.

Popularity and cruelty have gone hand in hand since the dawn of the high-school movie. Every American coming-of-age romp explores high school’s twisted social hierarchy. Mean Girls, Welcome to the Dollhouse, Grease and The Breakfast Club; these movies all explore the inner politics of the playground within an age old status quo. A dog-eat-dog world, high-school has never been more … Continue reading

The Escape.

The Escape.

On the surface, Tara seems to have everything any mother and wife could ever want; two young children, an attentive husband, a beautiful house, two cars and financial security. With her husband earning enough money to support them both, Tara’s days are spent getting the children to and from the local primary school, tending to … Continue reading

Apostasy.

Apostasy.

Stern, tight-lipped mother and devoted Jehovah’s Witness Ivanna is raising her two teenage daughters within the strict, secular religion to which she has committed her life. Each daughter carries with them weighty doubts and when one sister falls away from the faith, Ivanna is faced with pressure to minimise contact with her in order to … Continue reading

Remembering John Cazale.

Remembering John Cazale.

James Dean, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix; actors we most prominently associate with dying young. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Steve McQueen and James Gandolfini; others who died not particularly young, but certainly too soon. Yet, for me there is one actor who stands above them all, if not for his near-perfect body of work but purely for … Continue reading