The Club.

Following on from his triumphant success No from 2012, Pablo Larrain returns with The Club – an unsettling story about four priests living in repentance in a cottage by the sea. Their warden – an ex-nun – cares for them without judgement and with affection. All are guilty of a variety of heinous crimes. The priests’ livelihoods … Continue reading

A Young Patriot.

We first meet Zhao Chantong at the age of 19. Like many young men, he’s idealistic, passionate and naive. Like many young men, Zhao will change and grow greatly over the next three years of his life. Haibin Du’s documentary paints an intricate picture of youth and lost souls. A Young Patriot handled not only … 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

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

Ana Lili Amirpour’s directorial debut feeds on an array of different influences and inspirations whilst experimenting with style and tone. Its playfulness is counteracted by its gothic undertones. Based on the director’s own graphic novel and described by her as “the first Iranian vampire spaghetti western”, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night has individuality … Continue reading

The Tribe.

Rarely does a debut feature reach the ambitious heights of Miroslav Slaboshpitsky’s The Tribe. With its bleak aesthetic and harrowing themes of abuse, sexual exploitation, violence and manipulation, this Ukrainian horror drama portrays the cruel happenings in a boarding school for deaf students. Despite the school setting, there are only two classroom scenes. The majority … Continue reading

Two Days, One Night.

Sandra is a proud, dignified yet broken woman. She hates receiving pity but is forced to rely on the generosity of those she works alongside. Cotillard is an unstoppable actress – even more explosive when making films in her native language. Despite her incomprehensible beauty she gets you to believe she is a minimum wage … Continue reading

Ida.

At one point in the movie Ida a young woman preparing to take her vows and commit to a life as a nun is asked about what it means to sacrifice a life of carnal love and sin when she has never experienced it. If one does not have thoughts of the flesh than surely that … Continue reading

Caramel.

Caramel, the debut feature film from director, writer and actress Nadine Labaki, took me completely by surprise. The film focuses around four co-workers and friends who reside in a beauty salon. As the film progresses we are welcomed into their personal lives and their personal problems. We also come into contact with a seamstress called Rose, … Continue reading

The Wind Rises.

Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film is hard to review fairly because of our awareness that it is his last – or so he says. For decades, Miyazaki has been animating, directing and writing for cinema and is responsible for some of contemporary cinema’s most moving and philosophical animated films. A master of his specific style of … Continue reading