Eephus review: Out with the old, but one more game first

With humour and insight, Carson Lund paints a vivid portrait of Americana in flux in baseball gem Eephus.

For his debut feature as director, the indie baseball comedy Eephus, he also co-wrote, co-produced, edited, and worked on the soundtrack. Our passions can mean the world to us, and Lund uses his debut to explore what happens when an outlet for those passions gets taken away. For all the brawny energy it brings, Eephus mourns the passing of tradition in subtle but potent ways.

It’s Sunday a

Parthenope Review: Pretty siren with nothing to say

Sorrentino delivers a typically gorgeous but shallow tribute to his hometown in Parthenope. Plenty of bodies on display, but little soul.

Sorrentino has built a career of toying with the balance of style against substance, but he’s overegged the recipe with this one, delivering a gorgeous confection that’s all frosting and no cake.

One hates to suggest that Sorrentino has flirted with self-parody throughout his career, but his distinct shooting style and use of similar tropes and themes over a


THE STORY – 1978. Cambodia, which was renamed Democratic Kampuchea, has been under the rule of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge for three years. The country is economically devastated and nearly 2 million Cambodians died during an as-yet unspoken genocide. Three French people have accepted the regime’s invitation in hopes to get an exclusive interview with Pol Pot – a reporter who’s familiar with the country, a photojournalist and an intellectual who feels close to the revolutionary ideology. But as

The Shrouds review: A howl of grief from Cronenberg

Even if the plotting could be tighter, the ideas at work in The Shrouds mark it as Cronenberg’s most personal feature.

In The Shrouds, David Cronenberg touches on a great many worries, from the invasive prescience of AI, to the foreign infiltration of surveillance systems, to the rise of antisemitism. For all that, though, the primary takeaway from The Shrouds is that Cronenberg misses his wife. Carolyn Zeifman Cronenberg passed away in 2017, but the effect of her death weighs on her husband st

#Review: The Surfer – Cannes Film Festival 2024

Lorcan Finnegan’s The Surfer owes a considerable debt to Frank Perry’s 1968 psychological odyssey The Swimmer. Mind you, Burt Lancaster never had to contemplate eating a rat. Such behaviour, however, is absolutely in the wheelhouse of Nicolas Cage. While he is currently enjoying a resurgence thanks to some canny choices of scripts, Cage’s most notable performances of late have been more muted than his brand suggests. The likes of Dream Scenario or Pig require a greater degree of interiority than

Emilia Pérez Film Review: Audiard the Audacious

Emilia Pérez is about as unlikely as a musical gets, but bombastic performances and direction make it a very memorable watch.

The French director never shies away from a challenge. After forays into English and Tamil, Audiard hops to Mexico City for his Spanish language debut, and throws himself into the staging of this most unlikely sing-song. That any of it works at all is a miracle, but it gets by on sheer chutzpah.

As a story, Emilia Pérez is pure Audiard. As a screenwriter and filmmaker,

Oh, Canada Review: Schrader's Cannes confession

Paul Schrader’s Oh, Canada is a critical but moving account of confession in the face of one’s own mortality.

If the protagonist of Oh, Canada is an avatar of the writer/director, then his anger has curdled into sickness and loneliness. This is no bad thing. The bracing honesty of Oh, Canada is refreshing, not an adjective you expect to use for work from a 78-year-old filmmaker. It refreshes because the film is so open about its main character being a terrible person. Leonard Fife isn’t a facto

#Review: The Second Act – Cannes Film Festival 2024

Quentin Dupieux is a busy little bee. The 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival opened with The Second Act (Le Deuxième Acte), the fifth film the renegade French director has made in three years. The efficiency of Dupieux’s work rate also extends to the films themselves. None of the five runs longer than 85 minutes and, like so much of his oeuvre to date, are all predicated on relatively simple plots which he infuses with surrealistic whimsy. They’re definitely not for everyone, especially wh

#Review: On Becoming A Guinea Fowl – Cannes Film Festival 2024

Introducing her Zambian/British/Irish co-production On Becoming A Guinea Fowl to the attendant audience at Un Certain Regard at Cannes, writer/director Rungano Nyoni confessed to being teary-eyed when she realized it was the first film from Zambia to play at the festival. The honour is a welcome one, but the remarkable thing about her sophomore feature is the fine line it walks between universality and peculiarity. The film achieves a mood that’s at once calm and foreboding, which is appropriate

Megalopolis Film Review: Coppola’s Grand Folly

Francis Ford Coppola’s self-made epic Megalopolis is big, brassy and dreadfully indulgent. Years of cult fandom and overanalysis await.

Coppola is one of the few filmmakers who can make projects of this scale, ambition and abrasiveness. Any fallout from his filmmaking remains to be seen, but Megalopolis should be appreciated for getting made in the first place, especially when risk-averse studios claim they can’t market such grandiosity and visual lunacy (How hard can it be to put “From the leg


THE STORY – Barbie, once an attractive, devoted mother and partner, faces newfound challenges as she turns 55, descending into darkness, violence, and absurdity while grappling with her identity, relationships, and life’s complexities.

The 55th edition of the Director’s Fortnight (Quinzaine des Cinéastes) at the Cannes Film Festival opened with “This Life of Mine” (or “Ma Vie Ma Gueule”). The film arrives tinged with sadness, as writer/director Sophie Fillières died in 2023 from a long illness

Simon of the Mountain Review: A Tricksy Charmer

A great cast of mostly first-timers and sensitive writing mark Simon of the Mountain as an ambitious and smart feature debut.

On the surface, Simon of the Mountain (Simón de la Montaña) looks like a predictable drama about an endearing but disadvantaged group, but for his debut feature, Argentine filmmaker Federico Luis commits to making their tale as relatable as possible. A ragtag bunch of disabled youths are given remarkable complexity his hands. They’re given a dash of dignity, but cruciall

Unfrosted Film Review: Tastes Tart, Lacks Pop

Jerry Seinfeld’s corporate satire Unfrosted fails to bring many effective jokes or a strong message to the (breakfast) table.

Thankfully, Unfrosted is just that. Director/co-writer/star Jerry Seinfeld is the world’s best-known connoisseur of breakfast cereal (Can you think of any others?), and opts to take a curious side-eyed look at the creation of that snack that you might recall having a few times as a child, but haven’t given an active thought to in decades. No-one was screaming out for Unf

DIFF 2024 Review | Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World is Consistently Funny and Shockingly Intelligent

You shouldn’t judge a film by its title any more than you should judge a book by its cover, but the ethos of Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World is summed up in that title. Radu Jude’s masterful exploration of modern malaise is despairing but wise, trying to make sense of the modern world’s woes. The title evokes another woebegone exploration of the contemporary world, T.S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Hollow Men’. Like the modernist Eliot, Jude trades in provocative imagery and caustic commen

Disconnect Me Film Review: Phones It In

Well-intentioned but unoriginal, Disconnect Me reminds us how addicted we are to our phones, but offers no solutions.

There’s a good chance you’re reading this review on a smartphone. The ubiquity of iPhones, Androids and the like is only matched by their addictiveness, and it is the latter of these phenomena that Australian writer/director Alex Lykos seeks to explore in his well-meaning but frustratingly unoriginal documentary Disconnect Me. In his examination of this most modern of vices, Lyk

Eureka Review: Alonso Hypnotises us Again

In Eureka, Lisandro Alonso delivers another meditative and surprising examination of humanity and the nature of film itself.

A director like Lisandro Alonso is a rare thing. He invites viewers to take leaps of faith, because you can’t be sure where his films are going to go, or what they might say. His films can take leaps through time, but his fans will know to expect his usual fixation on characters driven by their own obsessions, desires and sometimes inexplicable needs. You’ll often find Li

Bright Star: Film Review

Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw dazzle in Bright Star, Jane Campion’s sumptuous tale of a simple romance that inspired great art.

As a director, Jane Campion is surprisingly hard to pin down. She is one of the world’s most acclaimed female film directors, and champions the feminine in her films, but she’s never bogged down by staying in one mode or genre. 2009’s Bright Star was her first feature in six years, and was defiantly different from the features that preceded it, the violently ragged In

#Review: Wonka

In the opening scene of Wonka, Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) arrives in an unnamed town in an unspecified year, and hops off his boat with a spring in his step and a dream in his heart, namely to set up shop in a renowned galerie of chocolatiers and make his fortune. He skips along with a pep in his step and a knack for illusions and tricks. Walking behind the credits floating onscreen, this new Wonka feels more like a magician than a candyman, and is lighter and more approachable than any ver

Anselm: Wim Wenders Film Review

Wim Wenders introduces the artist Anselm Keifer to a broader audience in Anselm, an insightful portrait of a most unconventional creative.

It’s just typical: you wait ages for a good Wim Wenders movie, and then two come along at once. The German filmmaker’s most ardent fans have to concede that his work’s varying quality is a feature, not a bug. Even when starring the likes of James McAvoy, Alicia Vikander or James Franco, Wenders’ more recent narrative features have struggled to get distribu

High and Low - John Galliano: Film Review

High and Low – John Galliano is a compelling, honest and intelligent examination one man’s meteoric rise and self-inflicted fall.

“I’m gonna tell you everything” says John Galliano at the beginning of Kevin MacDonald’s new documentary High and Low – John Galliano. If ever a man has experienced highs and lows, it’s him. Having brought haute couture down (or up, if you like) to his level as creative director of Givenchy and Dior, he was brought down to Earth with a thump by his own excesses. Ma

#Review: That They May Face The Rising Sun

The cinema of Pat Collins is defined by thoughtfulness and calm. Whether making a documentary or a narrative feature, consideration goes into every frame’s meaning, and each scene unfolds at its own unhurried pace. Collins’ oeuvre could be categorised as ‘slow’ cinema, but that tag has the potential to undermine what the films try to say. In Collins’ latest, That They May Face The Rising Sun, the slow pace doesn’t change the fact that people are busy, lives are being led, and emotions are being

Daaaaaali!: LFF Film Review

Daaaaaali! is sublimely nonsensical fun, not at all to be taken seriously, yet with some clever commentary at play too.

At this year’s autumn film festivals, first Venice and now London, biopics of all shapes and sizes showed that this often-predictable genre is capable of taking risks and unleashing surprises. While the likes of Ferrari and Priscilla play things safe, you’ll also find the likes of the hilarious Hit Man or the deeply felt Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus to challenge expectations. Eve

The Eternal Memory: LFF Film Review

The Eternal Memory is a moving portrait of the pain of Alzheimer’s Disease, but it desperately needed more context and depth.

Early on in The Eternal Memory (La Memoria Infinita), its subject, former journalist and writer Augusto Góngora, asks the eternal question: “What are we doing here?” It’s a question none of us can answer, but the answer is particularly elusive for Augusto, as he is slowly succumbing to the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. The pain of the illness lies in watching a perso

Baltimore (2023): LFF Film Review

Try as the cast might, Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy‘s film Baltimore fails to get under the skin of a determined firebrand.

In their 2022 film essay The Future Tense, husband and wife filmmaking duo Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy took stock; of themselves, their careers, their country. Though London-based, the pair retain a distinctly Irish point of view in their films, either setting them in Ireland, or at least featuring characters from the diaspora. One of the throughlines of The Futur
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