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Film

Review: Taming the Garden

Salomé Jashi’s The Dazzling Light of Sunset (2016) has the habit of meandering through its community portrait, trailing a small TV news station in the Georgian town of Tsalenjikha, whether following the capture of an owl, a local talent show, or the possibility of a stolen council election. Jashi is honest enough to cover moments […]

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Film

Review: Parallel Mothers

If there’s such a thing as an Almodóvarian logic, then it’s best exemplified by the sudden and more than serendipitous reappearance by Leonardo Sbaraglia’s character in Pain and Glory (2019), a former lover of Antonio Banderas’s protagonist, who happens to see a one-man play in which their story is reframed, but not enough for the […]

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Film

Review: A Hero

The opening credits of A Hero play over a shot of Rahim (Amir Jadidi), a prisoner granted two-day leave from his sentence, climbing the scaffolding erected on the outside of the Tomb of Xerxes, part of Naqsh-e Rostam; the length of the take encourages a visual irony: his ascension in this moment likely heralds the […]

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Film

There are so many stories already: On Memoria

Paying attention to the films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul always reveals something deeply immodest at their cores, despite their placable surfaces, beautiful visual arrangements and soundscapes. Tropical Malady (2004), for instance, begins as a coy, tentative romance, before a destabilising reset, which recasts the young men at its centre as figures in an allegorical tale of […]

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Film

Is this lines, or is this real?: On Licorice Pizza

Ever since relinquishing his desire to make self-assertively bravura, high-momentum Masterpiece Cinema, Paul Thomas Anderson has settled into a unique groove within film culture: that of the maturing wonderkid, still drawn to the formal flourishes that made his name, but employing these now to concrete cinematic designs. Those designs are what mark Anderson’s run from […]

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Film

2021 Favourites

I Was at Home, But… (Angela Schanelec) First Cow (Kelly Reichardt) “America” (Garrett Bradley) Mayor (David Osit) The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion) Beginning (Déa Kulumbegashvili) It Must Be Heaven (Elia Suleiman) Cenote (Oda Kaori) The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão (Karim Aïnouz) Undine (Christian Petzold) This is not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection […]

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Film

Review: Boiling Point

What makes Stephen Graham a great actor is his ability to float between moods, shifting from apoplectic to apologetic in a matter of seconds, tipping from warm generosity to imperilled anguish at the earliest inconvenience. In Philip Barantini’s Boiling Point, which is expanded from a short of the same name, the mercurial swings in Graham’s […]

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Film

Review: Memory Box

Even while moving into the territory of fiction, documentarians Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige keep themselves rooted in the past. The pair’s new film, Memory Box, is built out from Hadjithomas’s record of living in Lebanon in the 1980s, during the protracted civil war. In present-day Montreal, Alex (Paloma Vauthier) takes a keen interest in […]

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Film

Review: Pig

On more than one occasion in Michael Sarnoski’s Pig, Robin (Nicolas Cage), a stout, unkempt man in search of a beloved sow, is framed by a doorway, the camera peeking at him from within a house. The composition knowingly evokes the final shot of The Searchers (1956), where John Wayne’s Ethan Edwards is excluded from […]

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Film

Review: The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet

The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet is structured like a reminiscence. Ana Katz’s film moves in a conversational rhythm, leaping perhaps years at a time in a straight cut, presenting in miniature some formative years of Sebas (Daniel Katz, the director’s brother), moving from one vignette or episode to the next as he slides from […]