Little White Lies
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A well-curated selection of genres and themes made for a diverse and fascinating programme at this year's festival.
Charlotte Wells: 'Adults are locked in the roles that they perform for kids'
Charlotte Wells: ‘Adults are locked in the roles that they perform for kids’ The Scottish filmmaker behind breakout indie Aftersun explains the complex process of portraying memory in cinema. Cinema is rooted in the exploration — and manipulation — of memory. This notion feels ever true in Charlotte Wells’ directorial …
Saint Omer – first-look review
This deeply nuanced treatise on the tragedy of motherhood marks the extraordinary feature debut of Alice Diop. Th film Saint Omer, which premiered in the 2022 Venice Film Festival competition, is built around its clever handle on notions of suppression: suppression of information; feelings; certainty. Lauded documentarian Alice Diop’s first …
Feature: Climbing the Company Ladder Means a lot of Bootlicking in I Was Born, But…
Fathers and sons, daughters and fathers, mothers and daughters – few filmmakers have so repeatedly evinced the perpetual disappointments that form between parents and their progeny, whether it’s the dashed hopes an impoverished silk-mill worker holds for her titularly singular child in The Only Son, or the permanent split an …
The Eight Mountains – first-look review
Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch's is a poignant study of the friendship between two young men across four decades. The first time Pietro lays his big blue eyes on Bruno is by the kitchen table of his family’s homely summer house in Grana, a small commune in the Italian …
Warren Ellis and Andrew Dominik on This Much I Know to be True
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds had pursued an intrepid path before Warren Ellis added violin to 1994’s ‘Let Love In’. But once the Dirty Three founder and multi-instrumentalist Ellis established himself a de facto Bad Seed in 1997, the green shoots of a special relationship appeared.
Heart of Oak – first-look review
As William Blake once put it: “To some people a tree is something so incredibly beautiful that it brings tears to the eyes. To others it is just a green thing that stands in the way.”
Dreaming Walls – first-look review
Maya Duverdier and Amelie Van Elmbt investigate the legacy and current precarious state of one of New York’s most enduring cultural landmarks. “I’ve always liked to be where the big guys were,” says a young, Horses-era Patti Smith from the roof of New York’s Chelsea Hotel. For over a hundred …
Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free: The Making of Wildflowers review
Tom Petty has always seemed to imbue the sound of Central America in the sort of way a Wrigley’s chewing gum ad or a pair of Levi’s 501s might conjure images of stars and stripes.
The woman who styled your favourite ’80s teen movies
Costume designer Marilyn Vance knows a thing or two about creating iconic looks for the movies, having designed Julia Roberts’ red gown in Pretty Woman and collaborating with John Hughes on many of his cherished coming-of-age features. From Ferris Bueller’s leopard-print vest to Bender’s flannel shirt, Vance has a knack …
J Mascis: ‘In the early days, venues banned us for being too loud’
For 37 years, J Mascis has pushed the alt-rock envelope with his seminal band Dinosaur Jr, backed by a Marshall stack with his trademark Fender Jazzmaster in tow. The guitarist’s blunt-edged riffs, solos and nonchalant vocals have inspired generations. Inter-band harmony, however, hasn’t been quite so sanguine.
Some Kind of Heaven review
This poignant documentary throws open the pearly gates of Florida’s largest retirement village.
Feature: How capitalism breeds blue-collar burnout in Thief
In his 1981 debut narrative feature, director Michael Mann scrutinises the American Dream as it is sold to blue-collar workers. Played with an apathetic swagger by James Caan, Frank is the logical end point of a capitalist society that exploits manual labourers, selling them a white picket-fence fantasy they’re ultimately …
Why The Prestige is the greatest trick Christopher Nolan ever pulled
A whole decade ago cinemagoers were subject to the illusionary spectacle of Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige. Lead by a vengeful Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, the English-American director’s adaptation of Christopher Priest’s 1995 novel is one of the new millennium’s most extraordinary cinematic achievements.
In praise of Hellboy – Why this subversive superhero movie still slays
As Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds foretold in 1994, a tall handsome man with a red right hand was approaching – and 10 years later, Ron Perlman’s Hellboy swaggered onto the big screen. Okay, so maybe the ‘handsome’ part could do with a polish, but otherwise this cigar-chewing demi-demon …
Jurassic Lark: The satirical genius of Jim Henson’s Dinosaurs
Animatronic puppets, searing social commentary, this short-lived early ’90s sitcom had it all.
The spectre of dementia haunts Emily Mortimer and Bella Heathcote in this taut Australian Gothic.
In praise of Robert Redford’s Ordinary People
In a year of Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull and David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director went to Robert Redford’s Ordinary People, an intimate look into a WASP family slowly disintegrating under the heavy blanket of loss. Forty years after its initial release, …
Why does the white boy always get the girl in Netflix rom-coms?
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Kissing Booth are two of Netflix’s most popular young adult franchises, having already spawned multiple sequels (the third instalments are slated for the near future). As with the majority of American high school movies, both are replete with mean girls, bad …
Why I love Dakota Johnson’s performance in Suspiria
Susie Bannion is born unto us as a hesitant girl navigating the Berlin U-Bahn. With her clunky bag and map in hand, it would be easy to mistake her for a scared freshman university student attempting to make it on her own for the first time. This early sequence in …
Why mansplaining ruins Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho
The patronising psychiatrist’s explanation strips away the mystery and fear that Hitchcock so impressively builds. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is rightly regarded as one of the most important works in cinema history. Combined with Bernard Herrmann’s shrieking score and Saul Bass’ title design, the pacing, editing and composition of each scene …
How Halloween stoked our fears and misunderstanding of mental illness
“I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up, because I realised what was living behind that boy’s eyes was pure and simply evil.” These are …
Berlin Film Festival 2020: Days (2020)
Taiwanese master Tsai Ming-liang returns with a profound, meditative poem on the human need for connection.
Berlin Film Festival 2020: The Roads Not Taken (2020)
Prostrate and with eyes wide open, Leo (Javier Bardem) lies on the bed in his dilapidated New York City apartment. Trains rumble past his window, cutting through the inner-city thrum. Leo ignores a door buzzer and the persistent trill of a telephone.