Category Archives: Little White Lies

The five best films from IndieLisboa 2016

Now in its 13th year, the IndieLisboa International Independent Film Festival offers the people of Portugal’s capital a chance to see a wide array of new films from around the globe, as well as attend a bunch of awesome accompanying parties and concerts. We had a swell time at this year’s instalment over its final weekend, encountering enthusiastic audiences, cool venues spread out across the city, and a cinephile culture keen to take things well into the night – seriously, some of the screenings start super late. Here’s five highlights from our stop-over…

Full feature for Little White Lies

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A brilliant film about pregnancy plays at IndieLisboa

When it comes to browsing a festival programme, it’s usually wise to take any blurb comparisons to other filmmakers or famous films with a pinch of salt – just how many times have you seen anything with dark, violent comedy get explicitly compared to the Coen brothers?

The catalogue for this year’s IndieLisboa International Film Festival, based in the Portuguese capital, offered a particularly curious comparison point, describing Petra Costa and Lea Glob’s Olmo and the Seagull as, ‘the most powerful film about maternity since Rosemary’s Baby.’ Considering that the film is a fiction/non-fiction hybrid and not an out-and-out genre piece, the reference to Roman Polanski’s classic chiller certainly creates some intrigue. While it never veers into the realm of the fantastical, the link does feel appropriate, particularly in how Glob and Costa create a fragmented, hallucinatory portrait of the toll of pregnancy which comes with an element of the claustrophobic – a documentary by way of psychological thriller…

Full feature for Little White Lies

Hardcore Henry (Ilya Naishuller, 2015)

Comparing films to video games doesn’t necessarily carry the stigma it once did, mainly due to the steady infiltration of game textures and language into genre cinema – Tom Cruise vehicle Edge of Tomorrow, for one, fully embraced the game logic of resets and trial-and-error puzzles.

In the case of Hardcore Henry, an action movie told entirely through first-person visuals, the intent seems to be to mimic the video game aesthetic more than any film before, specifically the first-person shooter genre. In form and content, it’s all there: a mute protagonist that’s effectively the viewer, racing to various checkpoints, constant instructions from supporting characters, shaky-cam spasms as Henry gets hit, and numerous weapons to collect along a killing rampage to save a damsel in distress…

Full review for Little White Lies

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…

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Swung (Colin Kennedy, 2015)

Director Colin Kennedy’s debut feature tackles a novel subject: people in Glasgow having sex without the aid of Scarlett Johansson turning up in a van.

Unlike Under the Skin, this adaptation of Ewan Morrison’s 2007 novel follows thirtysomething couple David (Owen McDonnell) and Alice (Elena Anaya), whose floundering love life (the film opens with an erectile dysfunction joke) provokes excursions into unfamiliar sexual territory, namely the world of swinging…

Full review for Little White Lies

The Hallow (Corin Hardy, 2015)

Outside of the Leprechaun series, Irish mythology has been rather underserved by genre-inclined filmmakers. With his debut feature, backwoods horror The Hallow, director and co-writer Corin Hardy goes some way to trying to rectify this, even if the end result isn’t completely successful, nor as psychologically resonant as the best of legends…

Full review for Little White Lies