Finding hope in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia

As Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia turns 25, we explore how it continues to offer hope to its characters and its audience.

*This article contains spoilers for the entirety of Magnolia.*

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past”

When William Faulkner wrote “Requiem For a Nun,” he couldn’t have imagined how much the lines above would stick with the general populace. We are all products of the past, but we are also slaves to it, never able to escape. Paul Thomas Anderson’s magnum opus Magn

DIFF 2024 Preview | 10 Must-See Movies Coming to the Dublin International Film Festival

Since its inception in 2003, the Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) has endeavoured to bring the best of international cinema to Irish audiences, and the 2024 slate is no exception. With films from some of the most exciting filmmakers around, this year’s selection offers plenty to ponder, revile, provoke and amaze.

This year’s festival takes place from 22nd February – 2nd March. Here are 10 films we recommend catching:

London-based Irish filmmakers Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy return

Always Crashing in The Same Car: 25 years of Cronenberg’s CRASH

On a hot, glistening day in May 1996 on the Côte d’Azur, a furore was unleashed in a torrent of engine coolant and raw sexual energy. Prompting boos, walkouts, and the alleged ire of no less than jury president Francis Ford Coppola, David Cronenberg’s Crash went on to receive a rare Special Jury Prize at Cannes “for originality, for daring and for audacity”. The jury’s decision seems prescient; 25 years on, Crash feels as original, daring and audacious as it must have done to those Cannes jury m

“It’s just a business”: The Cynicism of KILLING THEM SOFTLY

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you may have noticed that the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election comes surrounded by a thick cloud of cynicism. It’s not surprising; after all, the main parties have selected the most unpopular set of candidates imaginable (at least, statistically speaking). However, we tend to forget that any candidate can be met with distrust, even someone as idealistic and idealised as the outgoing president, Barack Obama. Killing Them Softly is a brutal, upfront puncturi

Walking in the Light: Illuminating religion in Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER

At one point in Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, Joaquin Phoenix’s drugged-up detective Doc Sportello enters a plush Malibu house, to be asked by his hostess, “Do you like the lighting?” (He responds with a semi-stoned, semi-horny, but quietly emphatic ‘Uh-huh.’). Anderson’s previous film, 2012’s The Master, is all about the lighting. In particular, it’s all about people looking for the light, being bathed in glows and beams, only to wind up darkened and despa

What’s the French for ‘binge-watch’?: Rivette’s OUT 1

So, would you watch a 13-hour film?

That’s the inevitable first question that crops up in any discussion of Jacques Rivette’s 1971 opus Out 1: Noli Me Tangere. But that run time is just one element of a glorious mystique that has built up around this masterwork. The release of a brand new Rivette Collection box set (by Kino Lorber in the U.S., and Arrow Video in the U.K.) with Noli Me Tangere (plus its shorter version, the 4-hour Out 1: Spectre) brings the film to the masses, and demystifies on

Starman: Thoughts on an Ordinary Icon

Death is a subjective experience. We go through it alone, and those that remain remember the deceased in their own selfish way. It’s a truth that becomes more clear when many mourn at once.

After the initial, sudden, oh-God-it-can’t-be-true shock of the passing of David Bowie this morning, I began to think about when I first became a fan. It’s a tricky thing to do because there are so many moments and reasons in Bowie’s career that could turn anyone into an aspiring aficionado. The many changes

No Longer In Control: revisiting Blackhat

On a first viewing Blackhat seems, for a Michael Mann movie, uncharacteristically uninterested in its characters. The film opens with a view of our planet defined by its international online connections rather than by borders. It glows bright blue with the voluminous links and transactions traversing our planet. The scope of this tale is laid down; the cops and criminals in Mann’s latest picture are working on a global scale. Considering the damage Mann’s damaged men can cause on a local level,

Calling the (Gun)Shots: The directorial visions of American Sniper and Selma

As the awards season rambles on, its controversies add flavour to the otherwise bland backslapping to which these things boil down. Two films in particular have been criticised for their portrayal of historical events. All publicity may be good publicity but, for American Sniper and Selma, their efforts are being given short shrift, particularly from outlets that should probably know better. The debates about historical accuracy and point of view detract from the work done by two talented direct