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Michelle Yeoh in kung fu action

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Starting with its title and ending at infinity, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a “more is more” kind of movie that looks as if it was designed to be the last word in multiverse sci-fi. The plot is Matrix-shaped – nobody becomes somebody – but instead of a young dumb male as its protagonist, … Read more
WC Fields has a drink

The Bank Dick

The Bank Dick is one hour 12 minute of WC Fields doing what WC Fields does – comedy in an erratic, chaotic, incoherent and brilliant way. It’s barely a film at all, more a series of sketches linked together by the familiar Fields character, a dyspeptic layabout and drunk who spends so much time and … Read more
The troops in the First World War foxhole

Foxhole

Seven key players are spun through three different related scenarios in Foxhole, writer/director Jack Fessenden’s experimental-theatre approach to film-making. There’s more than a blank stage and a couple of chairs, but not much. As if to prove that statement nuts, Fessenden opens with an overhead shot of a mass of dead bodies on a battlefield … Read more
Planes dogfighting in the sky

Hell’s Angels

Howard Hughes had almost finished his action-packed, stunt-driven epic Hell’s Angels, at vast expense, in 1928 when silent movies were suddenly made obsolete by the vast success of The Jazz Singer. So he did what any mega-rich tycoon who just happened to own a film studio would do – he remade it. Out went his … Read more
Nick Cage makes the palm hold fist salute

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Hell yeh – The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is that sort of movie, a brash, fun one-joke affair with a concept strong enough to keep itself motoring until about half an hour from the end. Your mileage may vary. The joke comes in two versions. One is the Larry David one about a person playing … Read more
Jack Lemmon with drink in hand

Days of Wine and Roses

You might know the title Days of Wine and Roses from Ernest Dowson’s 1896 poem Vitae Summa Brevis – “They are not long, the days of wine and roses/Out of a misty dream/Our path emerges for a while, then closes/Within a dream”. Or you might know it from Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini’s Oscar-winning theme song … Read more
A black haired figure interrupts a broadcast

Broadcast Signal Intrusion

Broadcast Signal Intrusion is a horror film set in ye olden tymes when VHS was still standard-issue home-entertainment tech and people stood outside to smoke cigarettes. Before then they smoked inside; after then, they’d mostly given up. So it’s the 1990s. But the film reaches further back, into the mists of the 1980s where, it … Read more
Old Isak and young Sara

Wild Strawberries

Ingmar Bergman released both Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal in 1957. So not one but two classics for the ages in one year from the same guy, who wasn’t very well at the time and in fact wrote the screenplay for this film in his hospital bed. Not bad going. Perhaps it’s not surprising … Read more
Angela at work

Kimi

When did Zoë Kravitz get so good? In Kimi she’s not only the star of the film but almost the only person in it, and she has a grip like a tractor beam on the attention. It helps that she’s beautiful, of course, but there’s more going on here than that. She plays Angela, a … Read more
Bruno, Vera and Jo hug

Don’t Follow Me Around

Don’t Follow Me Around (Komm mir nicht nach) is the second of the Dreileben trilogy set in a quaint old German town in the heavily forested state of Thuringia. Goethe, Schiller and Johann Sebastian Bach are all associated with the area, though nowadays it’s got more of a name for what doesn’t happen there rather … Read more
Russ in the crawlspace

Bad Bones

Bad Bones has good bones. Which is handy because microbudget movies have hurdles to get over, and a good story really helps. No prizes for guessing it’s a horror movie, what with a title like that. It’s also director/writer Stephen Eggleston’s feature debut and he teases to deceive in the opening setups – a pre-credits … Read more
Katrin and Nike drink wine

Summer in Berlin

One of the big films of 2006 in Germany, Summer in Berlin (Sommer vorm Balkon) caused barely a ripple anywhere else. Which is a pity, because it’s a great example of a precisely acted, brilliantly crafted film telling a good story without histrionics. In a world dominated by superhereos, subtlety sometimes struggles to get a … Read more

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