My week in film: Iberodocs, Green Room and a Captain America movie

After a hiatus shaped like Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (which I produced), my viewing journal returns with a typical mix of artistic expression and popcorn nonsense. On Wednesday night the third edition of Iberodocs – Scotland’s only dedicated documentary festival and a celebration of Ibero-American cinema – opened at Filmhouse in Edinburgh to a packed audience. Begun as a way to showcase the … Continue reading My week in film: Iberodocs, Green Room and a Captain America movie

My week in film: Berlinale and a ‘hateful’ Tarantino

You might have missed this weekly viewing journal of late – this writer has been engaged elsewhere, covering the Berlin Film Festival competition (and some other films) for other outlets. For CineVue, I reviewed André Téchiné’s rewarding French drama Being 17 (****); Alone in Berlin (**) starring Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson; the dense and deftly handled Death in Sarajevo (****), which won the Silver … Continue reading My week in film: Berlinale and a ‘hateful’ Tarantino

My week in film: Beyond the Lights, Brooklyn and Joy

Viewed this week, three films about female lives that in different ways present the difficulties of balancing a personal and professional life. Gina Prince-Blythewood’s Beyond the Lights went without a cinema release in the UK last year, despite its excellent cast (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Minnie Driver, Danny Glover) and pertinent plot – it concerns a young R&B singer struggling with fame and self-perception – and critics … Continue reading My week in film: Beyond the Lights, Brooklyn and Joy

My week in film: Melissa McCarthy twice plus Tangerine

Pretty soon the viewing habits of this writer will all feature the sight of a Christmas tree, tinsel, presents and/or snow, but for the last week before the festive holidays commence proper, there’s been time to catch some of the year’s lauded comedies and acclaimed dramas. Sean Baker’s Tangerine has been widely praised and discussed since its world premiere at Sundance in January. Shot using … Continue reading My week in film: Melissa McCarthy twice plus Tangerine

My week in film: Carol, Sunset Song and more…

As the red curtains are soon to close on 2015, the impetus to catch up on films I’ve missed has set in. It’s also the time for ‘Best of’ lists and for my part I’ve already contributed to one – in early November I was asked to select my ‘preferred five films’ of 2015 for Sight & Sound magazine’s annual poll. Since then I’ve seen … Continue reading My week in film: Carol, Sunset Song and more…

My week in film: shorts aplenty in Leeds and Bratislava

Mid November involved my visiting two international film festivals, Leeds and Bratislava, to sit on their short film juries. Two days in Leeds, thirty four films over six programmes in one screen at the Everyman cinema, resulted in one minor headache (probably from sitting too close to the screen), four satisfying meals, some very well crafted works and the pleasure of the company of fellow … Continue reading My week in film: shorts aplenty in Leeds and Bratislava

My week in film: Spectre, Crimson Peak and more…

I’ve been catching up on my horror viewing recently, mainly inspired by Halloween and the glut of recommendations that appear at this time of year. The Shining was amazing, Teeth (Mitchell Lichtenstein, 2007) was camp and creepy, Mary Harron’s American Psycho (2000) was even better the second time and Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976) was dreamy and sad, though somehow not as wicked as I … Continue reading My week in film: Spectre, Crimson Peak and more…

Halloween special part 2: Fear Itself

‘Maybe when we indulge the things that scare us, we stop being victims of fear and become co-conspirators.’ Do we get that control back, when we watch scary films? Is our fear manageable when we’ve volunteered to feel it? Director/writer/editor Charlie Lyne’s latest film, Fear Itself, like Beyond Clueless (2014) before it, takes a film genre – this time the horror film – and examines … Continue reading Halloween special part 2: Fear Itself

Halloween special part one: time to Shine

I used to like asking fellow critics and programmers which famous or ‘important’ films they would admit to having not seen. It was a good game to find out two useful things, 1. If everyone’s view of canonical films is the same and 2. Whether the person I had asked was secure enough in themselves to reveal a gap in their film viewing. One of … Continue reading Halloween special part one: time to Shine

My week in film: Suffragette and two rom-coms

Since returning from London Film Festival, I made it a priority to see Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette. It should be a priority for everyone to see this film, especially given that it’s the first ever theatrical feature film to tell the story of the suffragettes. Gavron and writer Abi Morgan chose to focus on the lives of working women in 1912 in East London, as a … Continue reading My week in film: Suffragette and two rom-coms