ABR Arts Film

The Second ★★

Lauren Carroll Harris
Monday, 02 July 2018

For its first Original film, Stan could have opted for a cleanly prescribed, commercial genre piece, as per its Wolf Creek series – clearly pitched at millennials. But the trailer that emerged in late 2017 for The Second promised something unusual: a psychological thriller defined by a love triangle between a novelist, her publisher, and an enigm ...

Foxtrot ★★★★★

Tali Lavi
Thursday, 21 June 2018

A doorbell rings. Along with the Feldman family, we are catapulted into Samuel Maoz’s mesmerising drama, one worthy of its Greek tragedian and European absurdist antecedents. Deeply shocked, a woman faints and fits; a man is frozen. Their son Yonatan, a soldier, has been killed ...

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Brothers' Nest ★★★

Lauren Carroll Harris
Monday, 18 June 2018

The fate of the duo at the centre of Brothers’ Nest is inevitable from the start: the camera, with gloomy portent, looks up and idles toward their decrepit childhood home. Writer-director-actor Clayton Jacobson’s new, largely housebound crime comedy hinges on a dark homecoming: Jeff (Jacobson) has hauled his younger ...

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Disobedience ★★★

Anwen Crawford
Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The sky is a wintry grey when Ronit (Rachel Weisz), a photographer, arrives in London, recalled to her hometown from New York by the death of her father, a local rabbi. The Orthodox Jewish community to which she returns dresses sombrely, in shades of black, and comports itself strictly. Dovid (Alessandro Nivola) ...

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Gauguin: Voyage de Tahiti ★★★

Barnaby Smith
Monday, 28 May 2018

Paul Gauguin’s storied journey to Tahiti represents one of the great exotic odysseys in modern art. In 1891, in a fit of frustration with the superficiality of the Parisian art world and a city that was ‘rotten, filthy and disgusting’, as Gauguin’s titular character puts it, Gauguin left his young family and journeyed to the proverbial ...

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On 'Black Panther'

Dilan Gunawardana
Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The Marvel film Black Panther has currently earned more than US$1.3 billion dollars at the box office worldwide since its release on 13 February 2018, which places it high among the most financially successful films of all time. Such an achievement isn’t necessarily indicative of quality – the Fast and the Furious and Minions ...

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The Bookshop ★★1/2

Jake Wilson
Monday, 21 May 2018

Watching The Bookshop, adapted from the late Penelope Fitzgerald’s 1978 novel by the Catalan director Isabel Coixet, admirers of the English novelist have the chance to test their memories. Which parts of the dialogue and the third-person voice-over narration (delivered by Julie Christie), come directly from the book? ...

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BPM (Beats per Minute) ★★★★★

Anwen Crawford
Monday, 14 May 2018

BPM, or 120 battements par minute, to give its more expansive French title, is not the first film to be made about the charismatic activist group AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, better known as ACT UP, but it is the most lyrical piece of cinema so far to have emerged from ACT UP’s history. ACT UP, founded in New York ...

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On Body and Soul ★★★★1/2

Dilan Gunawardana
Monday, 07 May 2018

On Body and Soul opens to a stag and doe wandering in a snowy forest to the slow, meditative sound of wind chimes and cowbells. The stag sniffs the doe cautiously and then tenderly rests his head on her back for a few seconds before cantering away, leaving the doe looking forlorn. Edited in a way that anthropomorphises ...

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Breath ★★★★

Brian McFarlane
Tuesday, 01 May 2018

In Simon Baker’s film, there is a visually stunning moment – one among many – of a giant curving wave on the verge of breaking that recalls the Japanese artist Hokusai’s famous ‘The Great Wave of Kanagawa’. What these two images share is the sense of rapturous beauty that doesn’t underestimate the challenge it offers ...

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