Monsters from the Sea

Leviafan (Левиафан), dir. Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014 Zvyaginstev's earlier 2003 film, Vozvrashcheniye (The Return) impressed for the...

Crime and Punishment

Les Quatre Cents Coups, dir. François Truffaut, 1959 The 400 Blows - an odd and misleading English translation - is regarded as one of...

Mother and Son

Le souffle au cœur, dir. Louis Malle, 1971 I came across this film as part of a retrospective of the French New Wave - a movement this...

A Descent into Madness

El hoyo, dir. Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, 2019 The "allegory of the long spoons" is a thought experiment which contextualises effortlessly...

Passion Ablaze

Portrait de la jeune fille en feu, dir. Céline Sciamma, 2019. Much has been made of the concept of the "male gaze" in the arts,...

A Eulogy for Jacques

Jacquot et Nantes, dir. Agnès Varda, 1991 The legendary French auteur, Agnès Varda, passed away in March 2019, aged 90, and what has...

Silence is Golden

The Lodger, dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1927. Silent Hitchcock Retrospective, Harvard Film Archive, 2020. I have to confess that my interest...

Destructive Necessities

The Souvenir, dir. Joanna Hogg, 2019 Honor Swinton Byrne is Julie, a young sensitive woman raised in a loving and supportive middle-upper...

The Power and the Light

The Lighthouse, dir. Robert Eggers, 2019 As a psychological thriller, The Lighthouse crawls under your skin in ways many other films in...

Midsummer Madness

Midsommar, dir. Ari Aster, 2019 Hereditary, Aster's previous film, impressed me for its fine sense of characterisation and for what I...

Ignorance is Bliss

The Farewell, dir. Lulu Wang, 2019 Lulu Wang's screenplay is perhaps one of the most impeccably crafted pieces of writing I have come...

The Devil in a Red Dress

In Fabric, dir. Peter Strictland, 2019 On first viewing, it's tempting to sum up In Fabric as a ludicrous indulgence of horror-noir...

Can We Camp-Up Hitler?

JoJo Rabbit, dir. Taika Waititi, 2019 The first thing to say is that it's stupidly outrageous that a 10 year old kid can give such a...

Little Women, Big Hearts

Little Women, dir. Greta Gerwig, 2019 If ever we needed film to supply a much-needed tonic for our caustic, worrisome times, Greta...

In praise of sight and sound

Pan's Labyrinth, dir. Guillermo del Toro, 2006 I saw this on a restored 35mm print: what a revelation. The depth of colours, the rich...

Tarantino's Nirvana?

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, dir. Quentin Tarantino, 2019 To watch this new movie is to witness Tarantino not as we’ve come to expect -...

Grass, Anyone?

Greener Grass, dir. Jocelyn DeBeer, Dawn Luebbe, 2019 Set in the syrupy world of soccer moms, everyone in this turgid town wears braces...