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Tom and Buster the elephant

Zoo

There’s the bones of a true story inside Zoo, a light British cocklewarmer about a boy who, during the Second World War, spirited a baby elephant away from his local zoo and housed it in a back yard until danger from the Luftwaffe had passed. So, no, this is not to be confused with Robinson … Read more
Angeliki Papoulia as Chara

Patchwork

At the Raindance film festival, London, UK, 27 October–6 November 2021 Motherhood is what Patchwork is all about, something women are meant to take to naturally, according to its central character, Chara, who really really wants to be the perfect mother to her lovely daughter, but something isn’t quite right. Chara just isn’t feeling it. … Read more
Gen Z participant Noella

I Am Gen Z

At the Raindance film festival, London, UK, 27 October–6 November 2021 I Am Gen Z is a documentary about, er, Generation Z, and while it kicks off with a quick intro as to who Gen Z are NOT – they’re not millennials (born early 80s to mid 90s), instead they’re the next cohort (mid/late 90s … Read more
June and Diego

All Sorts

At the Raindance film festival, London, UK, 27 October–6 November 2021 You’re either a fan of the wacky, the quirky and the whimsical or you’re not. All Sorts is all three and yet manages to avoid the can’t-be-arsedness of so many films that think that they only have to be zany and suddenly every other … Read more
Elpida in the stirrups

Pause

At the Raindance film festival, London, UK, 27 October–6 November 2021 When is she going to crack? It’s the question asked by Tonia Mishiali’s feature debut, Pause (aka Paúse), and then answered in a series of gotchas. Pause as in Menopause, the film’s working title, and in an opening scene that’s more amusing to watch … Read more
Gabi with Tomasz

The Hater

The Hater (Sala Samobójców. Hejter in the original Polish) slots in alongside Brechtian “man on the make” dramas like The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, or the novel/film Room at the Top, or even Mephisto, the Klaus Mann novel and 1981 movie by István Szabó. It’s a film about a young man who believes in … Read more
Tommaso and his wife Nikki

Tommaso

Tommaso is a film by Abel Ferrara that’s essentially a film about Abel Ferrara, with Willem Dafoe in the lead role as an avatar of the writer/director, a creative dude trying to live out his golden years in Italy but finding old demons constantly resurfacing. It’s an uncomfortable and not entirely gripping drama, though Dafoe’s … Read more
Leyla, Joe and Sami

Sami, Joe and I

At the Raindance film festival, London, UK, 27 October–6 November 2021 Swerving the woe-is-me of the issue-driven drama, Sami, Joe and I (Sami, Joe und Ich) takes on the sort of problems teenage girls encounter without becoming a hostage to them and also celebrates the vital force of female friendships without becoming sappy. Quite a … Read more
Family photo of grandma, daughter and granddaughter

Relic

Relic is a horror film that’s abnormally effective because it’s about something that’s going to happen to us all – old age (if we’re lucky) and death. As it opens Grandma Edna (Robyn Nevin) has gone missing. And so her daughter, Kay (Emily Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) have turned up at her house to … Read more
Alexandre and Aðalbjörg in a field

The Noise of Engines

At the Raindance film festival, London, UK, 27 October–6 November 2021 French-Canadian film-maker Philippe Grégoire’s debut feature The Noise of Engines (Le bruit des moteurs) starts off with various shots of cars donutting away in rubber-burning circles, going nowhere, but fast. It’s a metaphor, of sorts, for a story about a young man who seems … Read more
Nóra and Dénes

As Far As I Know

At the Raindance film festival, London, UK, 27 October–6 November 2021 As Far As I Know (Legjobb tudomásom szerint in the original Hungarian) is the smart and subtle feature debut of Nándor Lörincz and Bálint Nagy, a writing/directing duo who have been working together for ten years, with a run of shorts and a couple … Read more
Guy in a war zone

Free Guy

An update on the Truman Show idea, Free Guy follows a Non Player Character in a game – the ones who get shot at or driven into in shoot-em-ups and driver games – who starts to get an inkling of what he is. Ryan Reynolds plays the guy called Guy – he’s got a buddy called … Read more

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