Review: Of Time and the Sea Rating 45%

Review: Of Time and the Sea

Technically masterful but narratively opaque, Australian director Peter Sant’s Maltese-language debut feature Of Time and the Sea (Ba?ar ?mien) is steeped in enigma so thick you can’t see through until the end. Part post-apocalyptic fable, part avantgarde rumination on existential themes, Sant’s struggle to create a meaningful message is both hypnotic and rambling.

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Review: Uncut Gems Rating 90%

Review: Uncut Gems

It feels a somewhat unlikely fit for Adam Sandler, star of varying quality comedies, to take the lead in the new Safdie Brothers film as a fast-mouthed gem dealer Howard Ratner but it is a perfect piece of casting with Sandler emerging as the infuriatingly reckless chance taker. The film is a nail-biting whirlwind of undermined opportunity, ridiculous risk and missed chances. Head in hands, groans of frustration and elated whoops came from all around the cinema as Howard’s attempt to get the life-changing score he seeks gets increasingly desperate. The stress level of the audience mimics the onscreen action as you simultaneously root for Howard to dig himself out of the mess he has created and grabbing his gaudy lapels shouting ‘for crying out loud cut the crap, stop endangering your family and reconcile with your soon to be ex-wife’ pitch-perfectly played by Idina Menzel.

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Jamie Robson: Live the lie truthfully

My introduction to Jamie Robson was through a series of confusing emails (due to our similar names) between The Fountain, myself and Edinburgh Short Film Festival, which I was reviewing at the time. As luck would have it, he had a spare ticket for the Festival’s Opening Night at the Filmhouse. My introduction to his acting was in one of the films shown that evening, My Loneliness is Killing Me. His introduction to me as a writer was my review of another ESFF evening, where he was on the post-screening discussion-panel.

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Review: Little Women Rating 89%

Review: Little Women

In my review of Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird I wondered whether we might see Saoirse Ronan’s eponymous character in a future film. To an extent, playing Jo March in Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women, Ronan is embodying another incarnation of the same character, insofar as the film seems to be another veiled autobiography for this writer-turned-director. Casting Ronan a second time, if the gossip is correct, was not Gerwig’s original intention, but since the actor insisted on playing her, it was such a ‘Jo’ thing to do that the director couldn’t say no.

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Allan Hunter: It is a small country whose films make a big impact in the world

The Glasgow Film Festival have announced its first events for the festival in 2020, which includes their Country Focus, Iceland. With many screenings including The County, a humanistic look at a small farm and the eagerly-awaited follow-up from Grímur Hákonarson, and a documentary about Bjork, as well as new feature from Yrsa Roca Fannberg, The Last Autumn. Film Festival Director, Allan Hunter, spoke with The Fountain about the Focus in more depth as well as some of his personal highlights that are programmed for 2020.

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Review: Conventiality Isn’t Me, ESFF 2019 Rating 87%

Review: Conventiality Isn’t Me, ESFF 2019

In the ESFF trailer that I mentioned in one review a tiny clip beguiled me: someone on a motorway bridge drawing an imaginary white line on the road below. I had to wait until the penultimate night of the festival to discover this was from a quirky film called On the Road where a man controls motorway traffic as if he is playing with toys, or a computer screen. Yet the cars are ‘real’ – which makes this five-minute film even more surreal.

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Review: In ? We Trust, ESFF 2019 Rating 95%

Review: In ? We Trust, ESFF 2019

Having said all the programmed screenings of the Edinburgh Short Film Festival have been well-balanced, the second Sunday night screening was a highlight. The selection of films was exceptional. With the theme of faith and belief, of humour and tension in religion, and with the usual contrast of styles and lengths, it was an evening of soul-searching, gut-wrenching, and thought-provoking films.

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Review: The Irishman Rating 95%

Review: The Irishman

WWII veteran Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) reminisces about his time as muscle to Philadelphia mobster Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and his friendship with legendary – and legendarily disappeared – union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino).

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Review: Collective Consciousness, ESFF 2019 Rating 92%

Review: Collective Consciousness, ESFF 2019

Does film have the power to change society? With Ken Loach’s latest film, Sorry I Missed You now in cinemas, this seemed to be a very pertinent question when considering this selection of short films entitled Collective Consciousness. Co-hosted by the Cyrenians, it was clear from the start that there was an agenda: these films were intended to expose human rights abuse and exclusion, and to provoke discussion.

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