8 December 2014-12-08

The cartoonised Robin Wright in Ari Folman's The Congress

Out in the UK This Week The Congress (StudioCanal, cert 15) With Waltz with Bashir, director Ari Folman used Tintin-esque animation as the visual clothing to a set of sober taped interviews between himself and the buddies he’d served with in Israel’s war against Lebanon. The Congress does similar unusual things, propelling Robin Wright – playing an actor called Robin Wright who has elected to have herself digitised and therefore immortalised – into an animated world when she attends “the congress”, the occasional gathering of other fictional figures. The real world looks like a workaday real world, as lived by rich Hollywood, leading to the suspicion that Folman is remaking Andrew Niccol’s digitised-actors … Read more

The Best Films of 2014

Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin

Of the 350+ films I saw this year, these are the best ones. Some of them were released last year and I’ve been a bit slow getting round to them. Some of them were released even longer ago. The criteria are – I watched them in 2014 and I liked them. That’s it. The Best Computer Chess (2013, dir: Andrew Bujalski) Andrew Bujalski, inventor of mumblecore, proved there’s life in the old beast yet with this retro-verité drama about geeks meeting in the 1980s to pit their programs against a chess-playing computer. Shooting on original video cameras in fuzzy-edged boxellated black and white, Bujalski catches the moment when the let-it-all-hang-out era died and our … Read more