Hounds of Love (Ben Young, 2016)

Aside from sharing a title, thriller Hounds of Love has little obviously in common with the Kate Bush song and album of the same name, though it ends with another atmospheric 80s hit and is set during the same period. Perth, Australia is the location for Ben Young’s impressive, near-unrelentingly unnerving debut feature…

Full review for The Skinny

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The Big Sick (Michael Showalter, 2017)

A regular writing collaborator of David Wain (on the likes of Wet Hot American Summer and The State), Michael Showalter’s own directorial efforts have tended to veer away from absurdist humour towards more grounded comedies with romantic-dramatic registers.

He’s back in dramedy mode for The Big Sick, though writing duty is here left to Emily V Gordon and stand-up/actor Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), who bring to the screen a version of how their real-life relationships began: Pakistani man starts dating white American woman, with cultural differences and family disapproval causing a rift even before the latter ends up in a medically induced coma, courtesy of an unclear illness…

Full review for The Skinny

Before I Fall (Ry Russo-Young, 2017)

Though its origins lie in a YA novel by Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall, in film form, can’t help but recall Harold Ramis’ Groundhog Day in its tale of someone forced to live the same day over and over again. That said, the story of Ry Russo-Young’s movie – her five-years-later follow-up to Nobody Walks – has a little more in common with a more recent example of the repeating-day narrative: Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow (or whatever we’re calling that film these days).

While not a sci-fi feature, Before I Fall shares with Edge of Tomorrow the concept of a time loop being kicked off by its protagonist’s death. Once they realise what’s going on, both films concern the central figure trying to right a wrong to prevent both their own demise and, if not immediately, due to their own personal baggage, some other major event from taking place…

Full review for VODzilla.co

Bong Joon-ho on ‘Okja’ & Netflix

“Someone said it’s very difficult to define, this movie. For me, that is the biggest praise.” South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho is speaking of his latest project, but such a query of genre and tonal classification could easily be applied to most of his prior features as a director – from debut Barking Dogs Never Bite to Memories of MurderThe HostMother and Snowpiercer. With pretty much all of them, you think you know what you’re going to get based on a glance at the plot synopsis, only for a considerably different beast to emerge during viewing; sometimes multiple different beasts…

Full interview for The Skinny

Marianna Palka on ‘Bitch’, ‘GLOW’ & feminist films

The Skinny is chatting to Marianna Palka, the Scottish writer, director and actor, who’s fresh off the close of the Sundance London film festival where her latest directorial effort, Bitch, has just played. Glasgow-born though largely US-based since her teens, Palka has her “finger in both pies”, as she describes it, regarding filmmaking in her two home countries. “I’m always working on getting stuff done in Scotland and getting stuff done in America at the same time,” she says, “so it’s kind of like whatever happens first happens. But there’s many plans to do many things here that are really exciting…

Full interview for The Skinny

Transformers: The Last Knight (Michael Bay, 2017)

Transformers: The Last Knight makes no sense, but somehow still makes more sense than the previous film, Age Of Extinction. In almost only that sense, it is a success…

Full review for SciFiNow

Writing by Josh Slater-Williams