Review: Pain and Glory

Every Almodóvar film is emblematic of the filmmaker’s age: his early work with its cross-dressing, joyful kitsch and burlesque antics (ladies getting horny when they see urine, anyone?) is definitely a young man’s curious take on the world, while more mature masterpieces like Volver (2006) or the director’s own favourite Talk to Her (2002) show Almodóvar at his golden prime. Being his 21st film now – and his most openly autobiographical one to date – Pain and Glory doesn’t show the filmmaker’s skills waning but smooths down some potentially eccentric narrative edges while still using those rich and creamy Almodóvar ingredients we all love.

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Review: Midsommar

Hell doesn’t so much break loose as steadily ooze out through flowers and bright sunlight in Ari Aster’s second feature Midsommar, a mesmerising tale steeped in intricate symbolism that the director insists is more of a break-up story than a horror film.

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Review: Meursault – Crow Hill

The more the merrier seems to be Edinburgh-based Meursault’s motto for their long-anticipated album Crow Hill, a remastered version of the digitally released Fuck Off Back to Art School and Other Stories from last year, which blends a kaleidoscope of musical experimentations with mini narratives from a fictive small town.

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Review: Aldous Harding

A chunk of the audience who attended Aldous Harding’s highly anticipated performance at the Art School seemed to have done an eeny meeny miney mo between the gig and the live-TV Eurovision happening that evening. That meant high expectations: stimulated by Harding’s spookily hilarious music videos for her new songs The Barrel and Fixture Picture from her new album Designer, people were ready for some El Topo-style visual extravaganza, funky costumes (the ribbon-adorned sun hat, the outsized cylindrical hat, any old hat) and other treats. During the performance, someone next to me started pushing towards the exit and I caught him grumble “Terrible”.

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Review: I Am Easy To Find

It’s not like The National need to reinvent themselves. But their new collaboration with filmmaker Mike Mills (Beginners, 20th Century Women) brings some fresh colour into their much-loved repertoire of dark romanticism and ruminations on modern male anxieties. Infused with a cornucopia of artistic input and strong female presences, I Am Easy To Find is a touching fusion of National classics like gripping-you-by-the-guts sound and superb lyrics together with new perspectives, delicious visuals and one hell of a lead performance.

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