Film of the Week

The Devil All The Time: A relentless, twisted and assured Southern Gothic horror

The Devil All The Time is available now on Netflix Based on the relentlessly dark Southern Gothic novel by Donald Ray Pollock. The fourth feature film from director Antonio Campos (Simon Killer) is both stark and enthralling. With a truly stunning ensemble cast offering both gravitas and depth to Pollack’s story; a sweeping, grisly and lurid family drama. One where community …

The Captain: Prey becomes predator as war ends

The Captain is available to stream or buy on all major platforms now, including Amazon Prime Video from 4th September. The year is 1945, and the end of the Second World War in Europe is just weeks away. The German war machine all but collapsing into chaos as men desperately flee the horror of battle. Despite it being April the landscape is …

Boys State – A heady mix of testosterone, politics, and popularity

What makes a world-class documentary? Is it the topic and case studies? The fly on the wall realism and free-flowing discussion? Or the ability of filmmakers to reflect uncomfortable truths and glimmers of redemption and hope? The answer to these questions will, of course, differ for every viewer. But, for me, world-class documentaries reflect all of these traits and more. …

Shine Your Eyes: Family, love, belonging and obsession on the bustling streets of Sao Paulo

The year is 1988, the country, Nigeria. Two young brothers lay talking, gazing into one another’s eyes as the sun streams through a window. The older brother ‘Ikenna’ telling his younger brother ‘Amadi’ that they are one. His soul reincarnated into his young brother. A shadow of control and subservience descending on the younger brother that will affect the destiny …

Around the Sun – The mysteries of life in a universe of possibilities

In 1686 the philosopher and scientist Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle published Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds. A pioneering mix of discussion and science that centred on his five-night stay at a chateau in France. The conversations with his hostess focusing on the nature of the universe and planets. And the infinite possibilities of the stars above us. These themes …

The Painted Bird (2019) and Come and See (1985): The horror of War through the eyes of a child

Back in February, I sat in a press screening room in central London; the film was a comedy/drama. The type of light frothy movie that proves to be a crowd-pleaser in most multiplex’ across the UK. Next to me sat a fellow critic, and as we waited for the screening to start our discussion naturally focussed on recent films we …

Fanny Lye Deliver’d (2019) – Film of the Week

Thomas Clay’s third highly anticipated film ‘Fanny Lye Deliver’d’ has had a long and challenging journey to the screen. Languishing in post production for almost three years due to funding pressures. However, after much delay it premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in 2019. With Vertigo Releasing now bringing the film to a wider audience via streaming services. But …

Welcome to Chechnya: The atrocities of state orchestrated hate uncovered

Welcome to Chechnya changed the names and facial details of all those victims interviewed. In order to protect their human rights from further state persecution. As someone who has spent my adult life fighting for LGBTQ equality, I watched the growing persecution of LGBTQ people in Russia with horror. The introduction of the 2013 ‘gay propaganda law’ a mere tool …

Heartstone (Hjartasteinn) 2016 – Film of the Week

At what age does the freedom and innocence of childhood become consumed by the mists of adolescence? The answer, of course, differs for every person, the journey to adulthood one of personal self-discovery. It’s jarring and uncomfortable dawn bringing with it the realities of adult life, sex, and relationships. Creating a transition that is often both painful and joyous in …

Days of the Bagnold Summer – Film of the Week

Do you remember the long summer holidays away from school at the tender age of 15? For many of us, we now look back at this time through the rose-tinted specs of adulthood. But the truth is these breaks were often painful, disappointing and challenging for both us and our parent/s. Our hormonal confusion and desire for freedom clashing with …