Film

Review: Pain and Glory Rating 65%

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: Bill Drummond – Best Before Death Rating 75%

Review: Bill Drummond – Best Before Death

Avant-garde Scottish artist Bill Drummond, best known for his work with 1980s electronic outfit The KLF, brought his new documentary film Best Before Death to Stonehaven Town Hall recently. Directed by Paul Duane, it documents two years of the 12-year World Tour, which he intends to be his final project. Beginning in Kolkata, India, then moving on to Memphis, Tennessee, Drummond spends his time in these areas building beds, making soup and baking cakes, among other seemingly mundane tasks – to mixed reactions from those he meets on his travels. Apart from the film crew, Drummond is accompanied on this journey by Tracy Moberly, and towards the end we are shown his efforts to bring the story to the stage, with Tam Dean Burn playing Drummond and Moberly being portrayed by Charlie Sellers.

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Review: Armstrong Rating 75%

Review: Armstrong

Sat down with my boyfriend, I put on a space documentary, the first I had watched in a while. A little background about me; my space knowledge is next to nothing, and my boyfriend’s more than average. I was looking forward to learning at least a little bit more about the first man on the moon, so when it came to talking about it with him I could give more than the occasional ‘hmm’ and ‘ahh yes’.

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Review: Midsommar Rating 90%

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: Tesis, EIFF 2019 Rating 85%

Review: Tesis, EIFF 2019

Alejandro Amenábar’s feature debut Tesis (Thesis) is one of a number of films made at the tail end of the last millennium exploring our relationship with, and the effects of, on-screen violence (Funny Games, Existenz, I Stand Alone, etc). However, after international box office success, multiple awards and a limited VHS release on Tartan video, the film disappeared from circulation – and was never given a DVD release in the UK. In my mind it took on the stature of one of those video nasties that the narrative revolves around – a tantalising item that I desperately wanted to see, but could never get hold of. So this screening was an extremely exciting addition to the ‘Once Upon A Time In Spain’ strand at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

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Review: John Wick 3 – Parabellum Rating 74%

Review: John Wick 3 – Parabellum

We are far beyond killing someone with a pencil. In this new instalment in the Keanu Reeves Can Still Go franchise, the limit is pushed even further than in John Wick Chapter 2. The world of John Wick is utterly ridiculous, with talk of shadowy organisations better suited to trashy conspiracy mysteries, reaching a level of farcical nonsense on a par with the latter Fast & Furious movies. Why does it not receive the same level of scrutiny?

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Review: I Am Easy To Find Rating 85%

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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Review: Beats Rating 86%

Review: Beats

It’s a pivotal point in any night out when the music transitions and this is certainly no different in Brian Welsh’s film Beats, as the drugs take effect and the black and white grade of the film is opened up to allow a little colour in, until the sobering moment of the film becomes real.

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Steven Lewis Simpson: He puts his spirit on screen and takes the material to a new height

Kent Nerburn’s Native American novel, Neither Wolf Nor Dog, has been adapted into a feature by Scottish filmmaker, Steven Lewis Simpson, which is in the midst of the longest first-run theatrical release of any movie in the US in at least a decade, which is all the more remarkable as he self-distributed it through his Edinburgh production company. Steven spoke with The Fountain about how it came about as well as other projects he is presently working on.

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