Spectral (Nic Mathieu, 2016)

If there’s something strange
In your conflict zone,
Who ya gonna call?
James Badge Dale!

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The Wailing (Na Hong-jin, 2016)

As a follow-up to The Yellow Sea and The Chaser, it should come as little surprise that Na Hong-jin’s The Wailing is a slippery beast to define, opening as one thing and ending as something completely different, while also becoming several very different things on the road there. It is a furiously weird and inventive film, and thanks to those qualities being stretched over a two-and-a-half-hour-plus runtime, it’s also something of an exhausting journey. But the bonkers ride is definitely worth it…

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Gimme Danger (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)

Jim Jarmusch directing a film about The Stooges is one of those perfect matches of artist and subject. Though the resultant documentary, Gimme Danger, is, at the very least, good, there’s the persistent sense throughout that something’s missing…

Full review for Little White Lies

Richard Linklater: Dream Is Destiny (Louis Black/Karen Bernstein, 2016)

A couple of years back, critic-turned-director Gabe Klinger made a film called Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater. Instead of a traditional documentary tour of the respective filmographies of his director subjects, Klinger instead presented a series of extended chats between Linklater and his (perhaps unexpected) friend Benning, the latter being an older filmmaker better known to fans of the experimental and avant-garde. It allowed you to get a sense of Linklater’s ideas as an artist through more laidback means, rather befitting of the nature of his films, as he goes about doing various activities with Benning, such as hiking or playing catch, offering anecdotes to the other artist, instead of delivering filmmaking mantras to camera in an interview set-up.

Flash forward to 2016 and now we have Richard Linklater: Dream Is Destiny, a biographical portrait of Linklater alone that’s certainly much less innovative in terms of form, and ultimately feels less insightful. The personal connection isn’t lost, though. Dream Is Destiny is co-directed by Louis Black, a founder of the South By Southwest festival that has played host to many of Linklater’s films across his career. Occasional actor Black can also be found in Linklater’s breakthrough film Slacker, credited as Paranoid Paper Reader…

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After Love (Joachim Lafosse, 2016)

“People used to be able to mend stuff. They’d mend socks, fridges… Now, they throw them out at the first problem. A relationship is the same. No desire, out it goes. But nobody’s perfect.”

The above dialogue comes from the mother of one of After Love’s protagonists. Considering how it sounds like a mission statement of sorts when taken out of context, one who’s not yet seen the film might expect that the marital feud at the film’s centre eventually dissipates, that perhaps the people facing an amorous breakdown might seek to persevere and stay together for the kids. But happy endings aren’t really the forte of Belgian director Joachim Lafosse, whose international breakthrough, 2012’s Our Children, was based on a true infanticide case…

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The Handmaiden (Park Chan-wook, 2016)

After a polarising foray into English-language filmmaking with 2013’s Stoker, Park Chan-wook returns to his native South Korean cinema for The Handmaiden. The results on display suggest a director rejuvenated. With this period epic of lust, love and (lady) vengeance there’s still all of the off-kilter bombast and blunt force that has characterised his career to date, but with a much more assured control of tone, pitch-black humour and his maximalist stylistic tendencies that makes this a career high…

Full review for The Skinny

Tokyo Tribe (Sion Sono, 2014)

From the ever-prolific cult Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono comes Tokyo Tribe, an anarchic hip-hop musical about gang warfare that may be the director’s most unhinged film yet. And that’s saying something, considering the man’s made at least one four-hour movie about an upskirt photographer…

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Writing by Josh Slater-Williams