Tag Archives: Review

Natan (Paul Duane/David Cairns, 2013)

When a person is murdered and the body burned, all that is left is a name and a sum total of everything said about them; distort the shape of their life’s outline and the truth will become lost. Cairns and Duane’s documentary implies that early film innovator Bernard Natan died a second death through becoming largely forgotten and misremembered through exaggerated misinformation, spread both during his life and much later. An inventively told film, Natan seeks to rehabilitate the image of an arguable giant of French cinema, who once had ownership of the still prominent Pathé Studios, and advanced colour and sound filmmaking…

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This Is Martin Bonner (Chad Hartigan, 2013)

Martin Bonner (Eenhoorn) is at a lull in his life. An Aussie expat, he finds himself leaving his grown-up east-coast family and moving to Reno, Nevada for the only job he can get after three years of searching – transitioning ex-convicts into society. Through this new position, he forms a friendship with one of the people he mentors, Travis (Arquette), who’s been released into a city he does not know, following a 12-year stretch for involuntary manslaughter, and is desperate for help in getting a fresh start…

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We Are the Freaks (Justin Edgar, 2013)

Following three teenage friends on a night out in 1990, after Thatcher has just stepped down, We Are the Freaks opens with self-reflexive narration that posits that “this is not a teen movie”; this follows an opening tirade that includes the lead expressing contempt for films where people talk to camera, right after doing so himself. It’s a film that, through meta stylistic tics (“Got any music that won’t be in wanky nostalgic films in 20 years time?”), constantly draws attention to itself; the problem is that it never provides anything to warrant the viewer’s attention…

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From Tehran to London (Mania Akbari, 2012)

Mania Akbari’s film is dedicated to “all those filmmakers in Iran, who have served a prison sentence and the ones who are still in prison.” A hypnotising exploration of a dissatisfied couple, the film conveys imprisonment in its own aesthetic. Relegated solely to a rural home’s interiors and shot in long, unbroken takes heavy on close-ups, it is a series of electric dialogues between wife, husband, sister and servant over the course of a few weeks, addressing both a specific relationship and the issue of women’s roles in Iran…

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Gimme the Loot (Adam Leon, 2012)

In Adam Leon’s debut feature, two teenaged graffiti artists, Malcolm (Hickson) and Sofia (Washington), attempt to leave their mark on an iconic monument at a New York baseball stadium. Needing $500 to pay off stadium security, the pair manoeuvre through a myriad of loosely-conceived schemes and disparate characters over 48 hours, from flirtations with over-privileged slackers to break-ins with irritable tattooed thieves…

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Stoker (Park Chan-wook, 2013)

Stoker marks the English language debut of contemporary South Korean cinema poster child Park Chan-wook (OldboyThirst), and the film is full of the striking compositions and sweeping camera movements of his prior acclaimed work. Unfortunately, free of compelling, well-realised material to frame his style around, Stoker sees the director’s worst tendencies in full force; those of garish melodramatics and shallow showiness…

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