Part way through this film, we have the scene from which it gets it title. It is a visual metaphor that overhangs the whole film and gives us the best window into the film's message. A man grabs a bird in his hand and he paints it, marking it as different. He lets the bird … Continue reading The Painted Bird
You can sense the award winning novel at the heart of this adaptation. There are moments of fascinating subtext and well judged relationships - novelistic moments. Unfortunately, this film is overwhelmed by surface, and by aesthetic, turning an interesting exploration of the pernicious impacts of the Indian caste-system (and ingrained inequality) into something flashy but … Continue reading The White Tiger (Review)
This 2020 short from Maddin, Johnson and Johnson feels like it comes from a parallel reality. This is true of both the craft and the narrative, both consistently surreal and beguiling. The result of this is an uproariously fun twenty minutes, in the hands of people with astonishing visual animations, that takes you on an … Continue reading Stump the Guesser (Review)
Welcome to ‘Have You Seen….’ a regular column exploring an interesting film that is worthy of greater attention – for good or for ill. The focus is on the underseen, the undersung or the underrated – or just those films you just need to write about. The focus is analysis more than evaluation so, expect … Continue reading Have You Seen… Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)?
It feels like too much has been written about Malcolm and Marie already, mostly because of how utterly inessential and forgettable the film is. When taken as proof that you can make a film during Covid-19 - that is thankfully not about Covid - it is, well, just that. It is also proof on the … Continue reading Malcolm and Marie (Review)
Welcome to ‘Have You Seen….’ a regular column exploring an interesting film that is worthy of greater attention – for good or for ill. The focus is on the underseen, the undersung or the underrated – or just those films you just need to write about. The focus is analysis more than evaluation so, expect … Continue reading Have You Seen… Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris (1971/2021)?
A vital and affecting exposé of a horrifying system. The filmmaker takes us inside a centre where Filipino women are trained to work as maids overseas, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The whole situation is horrible, the women are preparing to be sent off into slavery - given a meagre wage for exploitative contracts that they … Continue reading Overseas (Review)
The best way to describe Simon Stone’s film about the monumental discovery at Sutton Hoo in 1939 is through the metaphor of a dig itself. This is something that was definitely worth uncovering - you can tell there’s gold here. However, in approaching this project, Stone has dug too widely and only scratched the surface … Continue reading The Dig (Review)
Art can do so much, especially when intersecting with reality. It is so tempting, when presenting reality, to slip into the objective and the strictly realist - thinking it adds reality and truth. Of course, none of us experience the world objectively and art that explores reality is at its best when it takes advantage … Continue reading Josep (Review)
The short film shot from a filmmaker’s room during lockdown has already become somewhat of a cliché (Mati Diop’s In My Room being a highlight of the genre). This view out of a London window during Covid lockdown fits firmly into that category, but filmmaker John Smith adds a political edge that makes this stand … Continue reading Citadel (Review)