cinema

Film review: Censor

Writer and director Prano Bailey-Bond plunges into the wacky world of video nasties for her feature debut Censor. Penned with her regular co-writer Anthony Fletcher, the psychological horror centres around Enid (Niamh Algar), a reticent film censor who spots something in a movie which triggers dark memories from her childhood. The shocking discovery prompts her to dig deeper into the works of controversial filmmaker Frederick North (Adrian Schiller) and his creepy producer Doug (Michael Smiley) as she becomes increasingly obsessed with the mystery surrounding her younger sister’s strange disappearance.

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cinema

Film review: Zola

It’s the norm for screenplays to be adapted from novels, plays, short stories, and other mediums, but writer and director Janicza Bravo has broken new ground by developing her latest picture from a series of tweets. The 148-tweet thread in question was posted in 2015 by Aziah “Zola” King and went viral, starting with now meme-famous line ‘Y’all wanna hear a story about why me and this bitch here fell out? It’s kind of long but full of suspense’. If you haven’t already read the now-deleted chain of events, the black comedy plot follows the titular Zola (Taylour Paige) who works as a waitress and part-time stripper. One day, she serves sex worker Stefani (Riley Keough) who invites her on a wild weekend of ‘dancing’. A little reluctantly and rather naively, she takes her up on the offer, joining her, her gormless boyfriend Derrek (Nicholas Braun), and her apparent roommate who goes only by the name X (Colman Domingo) on a tempestuous road trip to Tampa Bay, Florida.

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cinema · DVD & Digital

Film review: Settlers

Writer and director Wyatt Rockefeller boldly embarks onto the Martian frontier for his feature debut Settlers, a dystopian sci-fi western. The plot centres around parents Reza (Jonny Lee Miller) and Ilsa (Sofia Boutella) as they seek refuge whilst striving to build a prosperous life for their young daughter Remmy (Brooklynn Prince). When their home is threatened by the mysterious Jerry (Ismael Cruz Cordova), the family face a desperate battle for survival.

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cinema

Film review: In the Earth

After earning a reputation for his unique brand of violent, satirical films, writer and director Ben Wheatley went off-piste for a couple of years to make a Shakespeare-inspired family drama and a glossy, Netflix-produced romantic thriller. His directorial tangents have been met with mixed critical response but for his latest effort, he returns to his indie horror roots with a point to prove and an axe to grind.

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cinema · GFF21

Film review: American Badger

 Kirk Caouette has a wealth of film industry experience in a multitude of roles, most notably as a stuntman and fight choreographer. With hitman drama American Badger, he writes, directs, and takes on the leading role, playing ruthless gun-for-hire Dean. When he is assigned the task of befriending call girl Velvet (Andrea Stefancikova) and then subsequently ordered to take her out, he is faced with a dilemma that challenges his immoral attitude.

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cinema · GFF21

Film review: Shorta

Police corruption stories have emerged as their own sub-genre of crime films of late, and due to the actions which reignited the Black Lives Matter movement last year, these reactionary tales are unlikely to stop anytime soon. The writer-director duo Frederik Louis Hviid and Anders Ølholm join forces to address some of these societal issues in Danish drama Shorta, a common Arabic word for police.

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cinema · GFF21

Film review: The Toll

“The expert in battle moves his enemies but is not moved by them” is just one of the phrases slightly misquoted by the stationary anti-hero in black comedy The Toll, the first time feature from director Ryan Andrew Hooper. An extension of his 2019 short film Ambition, the crime caper centres around an unnamed toll-booth operator (Michael Smiley) who appears to enjoy the simple things in life. His peace is shattered by various incidents occurring in and around the nearby small Welsh town, meanwhile traffic cop turned detective Catrin (Annes Elwy) is looking for answers.

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cinema · GFF21

Film review: Black Bear

A filmmaker suffers from writer’s block in jet-black comedy drama Black Bear, the latest effort from Lawrence Michael Levine. The initial plot sees struggling artist Allison (Aubrey Plaza) head to a rural retreat seeking inspiration for her next feature. She is entertained by expectant couple Gabe (Christopher Abbott) and Blair (Sarah Gadon) who own the lake house and after a few bottles of wine, the evening takes an unexpected turn.

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cinema · GFF21

Film review: Jumbo

Premises don’t come weirder or more wonderful than with the feature debut by writer and director Zoé Wittock. Jumbo is a fantasy drama which follows painfully shy Jeanne (Noémie Merlant) as she returns to her summer job at a local amusement park. Still living with her supportive, if a little overbearing, mother Margarette (Emmanuelle Bercot), she struggles with social interactions, but when a new fairground ride opens at her work, her fascination with attractions develops into something more romantic.

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cinema · GFF21

Film review: Riders of Justice

Having worked together many times before, writer and director Anders Thomas Jensen and actor Mads Mikkelsen come together in collaboration again for revenge comedy Riders of Justice. Disaster strikes on a commuter train in the opening act, leaving maths nerd Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) analysing the algorithms of his lucky escape as troubled soldier Markus (Mikkelsen) returns from war to support his teenage daughter Mathilde (Andrea Heick Gadeberg). When a conspiracy suggests the explosion was caused by a local biker gang known as the Riders of Justice, a violent plan for retribution ensues.

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