cinema · DVD & Digital

Film review: The Green Knight

With visionary tales of western love, animated dragons, and supernatural presences to his name, the eclecticism of writer and director David Lowery’s work reflects the expansive nature of his imagination. His latest feature is medieval fantasy epic The Green Knight, adapted from a 14th century poem of chivalric romance, and it could be his most imaginative to date.

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DVD & Digital

DVD review: The Many Saints of Newark

Before iconic mobster drama The Sopranos altered the landscape of television forever, the writer David Chase, whilst waiting for the show to be picked up, actually considered developing the pilot into a feature to pursue his dream of becoming a film director. Thankfully, HBO eventually greenlit the series and the rest is history. Over twenty years later, the show creator has revisited the New Jersey mob for prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark. Directed by Alan Taylor, who worked regularly on the series, the plot follows gangster Dickie Moltisanti, a soldier of ‘Johnny Boy’ Soprano (Jon Bernthal) within the DiMeo crime family. Set against the backdrop of the 1967 race riots, tensions are running high between Dickie and his former street enforcer Harold (Leslie Odom Jr.), leading to a brutal feud that would divide the communities in the city.

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DVD & Digital

DVD review: The Nest

Writer and director Sean Durkin made an impact with his acclaimed cult thriller debut Martha Marcy May Marlene, and remarkably, a decade has gone by since. His long overdue sophomore effort is psychological relationship drama The Nest, which explores the gradual decline of a middle-class marriage.

Rory O’Hara (Jude Law) is a smooth-talking trader who has left his lowly London roots behind, now living the American dream in New York with wife Allison (Carrie Coon) and their children. Eager to grasp his next big opportunity at the height of Thatcherism, he convinces his family to move with him across the pond to an English countryside manor, but his motivations soon become unclear.

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DVD & Digital · EIFF21

DVD review: Annette

The artistic style of French critic turned director Leos Carax has divided audiences for a while, the most notable example being his 2012 fantasy effort Holy Motors which was hailed a masterpiece by some but left others bewildered by the acclaim. His latest piece is romantic musical drama Annette, marking his English-language debut and with a screenplay penned by musicians Ron and Russell Mael, the idiosyncratic brothers behind the band Sparks. The bizarre plot follows comedian Henry (Adam Driver) and opera singer Ann (Marion Cotillard) as they begin a very public courtship. However, when they marry and have their daughter, the eponymous Annette, their relationship soon hits the rocks.

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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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DVD & Digital · Interviews

Settlers Interview: Wyatt Rockefeller – ‘Film is an emotional medium. Audiences don’t see something unless they feel it’.

Set on an evolving Martian frontier in an unknown future, sci-fi drama Settlers centres around a family’s battle for survival. As parents Reza (Jonny Lee Miller) and Ilsa (Sofia Boutella) try to build a life for their daughter Remmy (Brooklynn Prince), their home is threatened by mysterious stranger Jerry (Ismael Cruz Cordova) who is looking for answers. I took the opportunity to sit down with the writer and director Wyatt Rockefeller to chat about his striking debut…

You’ve had quite the journey to finally making your first feature, after lots of shorts, commercials, and docs and a break for politics too. What was it about Settlers that made you take the plunge?

 Well, when I first had the idea for Settlers, I was actually working on another feature to come off the heels of one of my shorts. I had the spark of an idea and then it all came really quickly. It hit me at a gut level which is a good sign! I mentioned it to a few producers including my wife who’s actually one of the producers on this, and the story really told itself. Within 15 minutes, I had the plot in my head right up until Jerry puts the gun on the table.

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DVD & Digital

Film review: The Birthday Cake

An amazing ensemble cast has come together for gangster drama The Birthday Cake, the directorial debut of Jimmy Giannopoulos. The contained ‘day in the life’ plot centres around Gio (Shiloh Fernandez), the youngest footsoldier of an Italian American organised crime family who, as a tradition, continue to celebrate the birthday of their late patriarch. To mark the tenth anniversary of his passing, an extra special gathering is arranged, and Gio’s mother Sofia (Lorraine Bracco) assigns him the task of delivering the cake. He arrives to a warm reception from Angelo (Val Kilmer), Joey (John Magaro), Vito (Vincent Pastore), Ricardo (William Fichtner), and more. However, when it transpires that Leo (Emory Cohen) is missing, a chain of events is set in motion that reveal a dark secret from his past.

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DVD & Digital

Film review: Giddy Stratospheres

We’re transported back to the indie era of one-pound pints, sweaty walls, and those coloured framed sunglasses that everyone wore to nightclubs for Giddy Stratospheres, the debut of musician, model, and actress turned filmmaker Laura Jean Marsh. As well as writing and directing the piece, Marsh plays the lead role of Lara; an art-school scenester whose party lifestyle begins to catch up with her. Reeling after a boozy night out with her best pal Daniel (Jamal Franklin), she is called away to a family funeral where she is forced to face up to her mounting problems.

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DVD & Digital

DVD review: Another Round

Writer and director Thomas Vinterberg reunites with actor Mads Mikkelsen for their latest effort which studies binge drinking in Denmark. Comedy drama Another Round, also known as Druk in its native language, follows old pals who work together at the local school. Whilst out celebrating at birthday dinner, Martin (Mikkelsen), Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Peter (Lars Ranthe), and Nikolaj (Magnus Millang) discuss psychiatrist Skårderud’s theory that maintaining a low but steady blood alcohol content helps us live more creative, fulfilling lives. Willing to give this unconventional lifestyle a try to shake up their middle-aged existence, they embark upon a social experiment.

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DVD & Digital

DVD 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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