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Film

Review: Boy Meets Boy

While on his last night on holiday in Berlin, Harry (Matthew James Morrison), a Black British junior doctor, meets the eyeline of Johannes (Alexis Koutsoulis), a white German dancer. Emerging sweaty from the club in the morning, they stroll the city together, passing the time before Harry has to scuttle to the airport and return […]

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Film

Review: Apples

I’ll get the Yorgos Lanthimos connection out of the way immediately: director Christos Nikou was second assistant director on Dogtooth; actor Aris Servetalis appears in both Lanthimos’s Kinetta and Alps; and the idea of hospitals full of “unclaimed amnesiacs” more than slightly resembles the characters in the singles’ hotel in The Lobster. But Apples is […]

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Film

Review: Poppy Field

Here is a clear instance of a feature that would have made a devastating short film, but at 82 minutes is stretched way in excess of its capacities. Eugen Jebeleanu’s film concerns Cristi (Conrad Mericoffer), a closeted member of the Romanian gendarmerie, who’s called in to manage a disruption of a queer film screening by […]

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Film

Review: Castro’s Spies

Castro’s Spies is exactly the sort of thing that ends up being presented as an episode of BBC Storyville under a new, vaguer title. Which isn’t as pejorative a judgement as it sounds. It’s a fleet, well-structured assembly of interviews and archival footage (earlier documentaries, news footage and advertising), following the five Cuban agents who […]

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Film

Review: Steelers

Whoever wrote the programme blurb for this film is doing their job well. Its final, irresistible line reads: ‘Who says you can’t be an ace rugby player and a fabulous drag queen?’ Lovely! Except the film could hardly be more cursory on the subject, since Dean, the player and queen in question, only speaks about […]

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Film

Review: Mekong 2030

Commissioned by Luang Prabang Film Festival, MEKONG 2030 comprises five short films by Southeast Asian directors, all of which are concerned with what the conditions of the Mekong River (flowing through each of their respective countries) will be in little under a decade’s time: “Soul River,” by Kulikar Sotho (Cambodia); “The Che Brothers,” by Anysay […]

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Film

Review: Spring Tide

In more than one scene in Yang Lina’s Spring Tide, Jianbo (Lei Hao) has to squeeze her way through crowds, the camera bobbing and weaving its way alongside her. This repeated action sets the tone of her embattlement. Jianbo is a journalist, a social reporter, who maintains a curious disconnection from her family life: her […]

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Film

Review: Minari

Appropriately enough for a film set in the past and during a formative moment in life, Minari begins with a look in the rear-view mirror. The looker is David (Alan Kim), a seven-year-old boy enroute to a new life in 1980s Arkansas with parents Monica (Han Ye-ri) and Jacob (Steven Yeun), and sister Ann (Noel […]

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Film

Review: Cenote

A cenote is a sinkhole, but the term originates from Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, where the Maya would draw water from them. Water, and the spaces in which it’s found, are often linked to a civilisation’s rituals (the Maya also used the cenotes for ceremonies of sacrifice), and Oda Kaori’s documentary-sensorium immerses itself in the cenotes […]

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Film

Review: Saint Maud

One thing that’s worse than having a new Mica Levi score to put up with is the prospect of new work by one of their imitators. In the case of Rose Glass’s Saint Maud, Adam Janota Bzowski’s choral phrases battle against discordant strings and resounding, heavy honks, mirroring the way the film pulls in two […]