BFI London Film Festival 2019

The King (Review) – An insecure but stoic young King in a world of political manipulation

Henry IV part one and two and Henry V combine into a singular story that pays homage to Shakespeare’s characters. While creating a completely fresh take on his famous plays in David Michôd’s new Netflix film The King. The King is not a Shakespearian adaptation, and anyone watching the film expecting such should watch the divine ‘The Hollow Crown’ instead. …

Little Joe (Review) – A spoon full of pollen helps the happiness goes viral

There is much to be admire in Jessica Hausner’s first English language film ‘Little Joe’. It’s glorious cinematography and unconventional score mixing with a homage to both Day of the Triffids and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. While also embracing the tongue in cheek mystery of Tales of the Unexpected. However, despite its glorious visuals and promise of excellence this …

Matthias and Maxime (Review) – A beautiful portrait of male love and friendship

Friendships change over time, especially the ones born of childhood and adolescence. Sometimes those friendships hide the true feelings of the journey from boy to man (or girl to woman). While sometimes, they hide, repressed desires that surface on the road to adult life. These are all themes that Xavier Dolan’s latest film explores with tenderness and ease. Bound together with …

The Dude in Me – Fun, frothy but nothing new

‘내안의 그놈’ Quick Read Review Body swap comedies have a long history in film, from Freaky Friday to 17 Again . It is therefore a challenge to offer anything fresh in a genre housing dozens of films that have borrowed from one another over the years. The response to this challenge from South Korean director Hyo-jin Kang is to create …

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Review) – An Ode to friendship, place and loss

There are few films in modern cinema that exude their brilliance within the first 10 minutes. But in a similar vein to Barry Jenkins ‘If Beale Street Could Talk‘. The Last Black Man in San Francisco grabs your heart and soul from the start. The vibrant cinematography dovetailing with a sublime score, its characters rich in belonging, emotion and depth. …

Tremors (Review) – The conflicted interface between faith, love & community

In 2015 Guatemalan Director Jayro Bustamante received an Oscar nomination for his debut feature Ixcanul. While also winning the Alfred Bauer Prize at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival for the same feature. Now with his latest picture Tremors (Temblores). Bustamante delves into the world of gay conversation therapy, family and faith in a polarised Guatemalan community. Tremors is certainly …

The Lodge (Review) – An icy blast of psychological horror

In 2014 writer/directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz brought us one the best horror films of the past decade with Goodnight Mommy. Now teaming up with screenwriter Sergio Casci they are back with a psychological horror that once again proves their place in the horror fall of fame. With ‘The Lodge’ wrapping you a feeling of quiet discomfort and unease …

End of the Century – A fleeting connection that could have been love

‘Fin de siglo’ What if we had made different decisions as a result of the random meetings, and fleeting love affairs we have had? This is the question posed by writer-director Lucio Castro. His debut feature ‘End of the Century’ focusing on the power of chance encounters and the fear of commitment. The passion for personal freedom often wrapped in …

Deerskin ‘Le daim’ (Review) – The jacket to end all jackets

The power of filmmakers to laugh at that own craft is a precious and valuable thing. Especially when combined with stories that fly in the face of reality while played with deadpan sincerity. Quentin Dupieux‘ latest offering does just that with a killer black comedy about a Deerskin jacket, psychosis and a rural snuff movie. Of course, anyone familiar with …

Rialto – A lifetime of emotional containment released

Premiering at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Peter Mackie Burns’s latest film, ‘Rialto’, offers a stunning and nuanced journey into emotional containment, belonging, and identity. At the same time, creating an unlikely safe space in the relationship between a teenage rent boy and a father whose life is spiralling out of control. Colm (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) has spent his life working the docks of …