Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier, 2015)

Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier’s follow-up to Blue Ruin, trades the latter’s revenge thriller territory for the mode of siege movie – albeit one with a twist along the lines of Blue Ruin’s architect of revenge being an inept, hangdog vagrant. Here the besieged party is a young punk band trapped in the green room of a backwoods club they’ve begrudgingly agreed to play. The party keeping them from leaving? The club’s very far-right staff, including proprietor Darcy (Stewart, in a wonderful piece of stunt casting), after the band witnesses a crime the neo-Nazi group’s extremely keen to cover up…

Full review for The Skinny

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High-Rise (Ben Wheatley, 2015)

It’s the near future, though it (deliberately) seems to be the near future as imagined in the 1970s. Dr Robert Laing (Hiddleston) has set up home in a lavish high-rise designed by a grand architect (Irons). Presiding on the 25th floor, he develops trysts with the higher classes and friendships with those relegated below, including a documentarian (Evans) keen to provoke the dangerous social situation between levels. Violence and disarray are but a ticking time bomb away…

Full review for The Skinny

Six of the best films featuring all-female rock bands

With the live-action adaptation of ’80s cartoon Jem and the Holograms finally out in UK cinemas (arriving a truly, truly outrageous time after its US run), now seems as good a time as any to throw a spotlight on some other strong films about fictional all-female rock groups, including fellow adaptations of popular animations, music genre-inspiring cult hits and one of the sweetest coming-of-age tales in recent memory…

Full feature for Little White Lies

Ben Wheatley on ‘High-Rise’

The Skinny’s chatting to director Ben Wheatley on the phone on the evening of the Glasgow Film Festival programme launch, with the Scottish premiere of his new film being among the screenings publicly announced as we speak. High-Rise, his fifth feature, is an adaptation of JG Ballard’s beloved 1975 novel. It’s a dystopic tale of alienation, corruption and societal breakdown within the confines of a lavish apartment complex that starts off sleek and appealing, only to gradually transform into the kind of tower block that wouldn’t seem out of place in the world of Judge Dredd. Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons, as grand architect Royal, topline an impressive cast for the British director’s first foray into bigger budget filmmaking.

“What it gives you as a filmmaker is much more control,” Wheatley says of the scale change. “You can have much more control on very basic stuff like the colours of the rooms, how costumes relate to spaces, and how spaces relate to the overall design of the whole film. I think it’s a big difference…

Full interview for The Skinny