Anwen Crawford

No Document begins with a description of the opening sequence of Georges Franju’s Le Sang des bêtes (Blood of the Beasts, 1949) in which a horse is led to slaughter – a significant misremembering that Anwen Crawford rectifies later. Franju’s black-and-white documentary actually begins with a collage of scenes shot on the outskirts of Paris; surreal juxtapositions of objects abandoned in a landscape devastated by war and reconstruction.

... (read more)

Judy and Punch 

Madman Films
by
18 November 2019

The fictional town of Seaside is ‘nowhere near the sea’, state the opening credits of Judy and Punch. Fine, but where or even when this film is set remains a puzzle throughout. The two titular characters, puppeteers Judy (Mia Wasikowska) and Punch (Damon Herriman), speak with an Irish lilt. The rest of the townsfolk – who come bedecked in grimy pirate shirts and motley, corseted gowns – possess an array of Scottish and English accents. The film opens with the medieval spectacle of three accused witches being stoned to death, and yet Seaside also boasts a uniformed police constable. Enough eucalypts are glimpsed in the background to alert any attentive viewer to the fact that, wherever Seaside is meant to be, this film was shot in Australia – in Eltham, Victoria, as it happens. Yet no reference is made to Australia at any point.

... (read more)

Belgian theatre director Ivo Van Hove has an appetite for bringing cinema to the stage. As artistic director of the Toneelgroep Amsterdam since 2001, he has directed stage adaptations of three Ingmar Bergman films, made work inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini and Michelangelo Antonioni, and staged a version of John Cassavetes’ 1977 drama ...

... (read more)

‘I’m starting to see why Canada is so appealing,’ says Deb (Lily James) to her older sister Ollie (Tessa Thompson) as the two of them sit on the kitchen floor of their mother’s house trying to figure out their lives. Their mother has died after an unspecified, difficult illness; Ollie was her live-in carer and still sleeps on the sofa, out of habit and grief ...

... (read more)

Loro ★★½

by
11 January 2019

Though it begins with an elaborate disclaimer regarding its status as a work of fiction, Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro (aka Them) is manifestly a portrait of Silvio Berlusconi, former prime minister of Italy, media tycoon, populist, authoritarian, and playboy. Befitting its subject, the film is showy and often crude ...

... (read more)

Lean on Pete ★★★1/2

by
26 November 2018

Charley (Charlie Plummer), the vulnerable teenage protagonist of Lean On Pete, is always on the move. We first see him jogging at dawn, past suburban streets and out towards to the local racecourse. The morning light is benevolent; the camera keeps a smooth distance: all is promise and potential in Charley’s life, or should be...

... (read more)

I began to lose count of the murders in You Were Never Really Here around the halfway mark. The film is only ninety minutes long, so quite a lot of carnage is crammed into it. Sometimes, the violence takes place just past the edge of the frame. Several gruesomely bloody scenes are ...

... (read more)

BlacKkKlansman begins with Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939), picking her way through a mire of injured Confederate soldiers. Then it cuts to Alec Baldwin as a fictional mid-twentieth-century eugenicist spewing racist pejoratives and bilge about ...

... (read more)

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) ...

... (read more)

We invited some writers, film critics, and film professionals to nominate their favourite film – not The Greatest Film Ever Sold, but one that matters to them personally.

... (read more)
Page 1 of 2