cinema

Film review: Crawl

 Originality can be tricky to maintain in cinema, but the once formulaic horror genre has enjoyed something of a resurgence in recent years with filmmakers continually tweaking their interpretations. French director Alexandre Aja has previously tackled the slasher movie as well as delving into the downright absurd, and his latest effort falls firmly into the creature feature category. Crawl’s preposterous plot follows aspiring swimmer Haley (Kaya Scodelario) who, in the midst of a Florida hurricane and against the instruction of the local authorities, decides to visit her father. What’s the worst that could happen?

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cinema · EIFF19

Film review: Sons of Denmark (Danmarks sønner)

Writer and director Ulaa Salim taps into the tortuous topic of terrorism with his feature debut Sons of Denmark. Set in the near future, the plot follows Muslim teenager Zakaria (Mohammed Ismail Mohammed) in the wake of a major bomb attack in Copenhagen. Feeling marginalised due to the rise of a right-wing political group, he is led down a dark path where he meets Malik (Zaki Youssef) and the pair are assigned an extremely dangerous mission.

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cinema · EIFF19

Film review: Thirty (Dreissig)

Bulgarian filmmaker Simona Kostova taps into the societal pressures and insecurities of getting older with German indie drama Thirty. Writing, editing, and directing the project, she tells the story of five friends approaching the end of their twenties. Birthday boy Övünç, and his friends Pascal, Raha, Kara, and Henner come together in celebration, and head out into the busy streets of Berlin to mark the occasion.

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cinema · EIFF19

Film review: Strange But True

British filmmaker Rowan Athale heads across the pond for his latest feature Strange but True, based on John Searles’ novel of the same name. The noir-thriller plot follows Philip (Nick Robinson) who has moved back to his hometown to recover from a broken leg. When heavily pregnant Melissa (Margaret Qualley) turns up at his door, she tells him that his brother Ronnie (Connor Jessup) is her child’s father. The strange part is…Ronnie was killed in a car accident five years earlier.

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cinema · EIFF19

Film review: The Tobacconist (Der Trafikant)

Based on Robert Seethaler’s best-selling novel of the same name, director Nikolaus Leytner presents a coming-of-age historical drama set in Nazi-occupied Vienna. The plot follows teenager Franz (Simon Morzé) who moves to Austria to be the apprentice of titular tobacconist Otto (Johannes Krisch) at his shop. As he settles into the community, he falls in love with dancer Anezka (Emma Drogunova) and befriends Sigmund Freud (Bruno Ganz) who offers words of wisdom as Franz experiences vivid dreams.

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cinema · EIFF19

Film review: Schemers

 Scottish films have a tendency to be Highlands-based horror shows, or to take place within Edinburgh or Glasgow, or so it’s refreshing to have a Dundonian tale in Dave McLean’s autobiographical drama Schemers. Based on the teenage years of the first-time writer and director, the story follows David (Conor Berry) in 1979, the exciting coming-of-age phase of his life. When a nasty football injury forces him to reevaluate his career options, he seizes an opportunity in music promotion with pals Scot (Sean Connor) and John (Grant Robert Keelan) but runs into trouble along the way.

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cinema · EIFF19

Film review: Them That Follow

 Indie writer and directors Brittany Poulton and Daniel Savage come together for their feature debut Them That Follow, a religious thriller set deep in the Appalachian Mountains. Pastor Lemuel Childs (Walton Goggins) is a revered snake-handler at the heart of the close-knit community’s church, but the story focuses predominantly on Mara (Alice Englert), his repressed yet beloved daughter. She’s engaged to marry local lad Garret (Lewis Pullman) but is carrying a controversial secret that forces her to question her faith.

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