Your Name (12A) | Review

Can you trust an anime outside the Ghibli brand? One that can deliver the spiritual, allegorical and distinctly Japan-centric themes that makes them so attractive? As When Marnie Was There marked the end of an era for the iconic studio, Your Name picks up where it left off. Both films explore the power of another state of consciousness to connect two individuals who are not living contiguously, but that meet on a deeper, emotional level. This ambitious, modern, sharp film is unashamedly thrust

Contact on Arrival: how aliens connect us

Watching Arrival in a spectacular fashion and later Contact (1997) in the comfort of my own home it made me think about how science fiction, while seeming so distant with ideas of space and aliens is actually so very tuned in to exploring how close humanity is, or at least can be. Granted many science fiction stories focus on conflict, battles and creating a ‘them and us’ polemic, but both these films beautifully unite Earth in a genuinely life-affirming ways. There are an especially high number

Hail, Caesar! (PG) | Review

Squint against the grandeur as the dazzling firmament of 21Century Hollywood graces the Coen’s latest caper. They come dressed up as 1950s fixers, starlets and diva directors. Larger than life sets, situations, cameras and cameos poke fun at modern and vintage Tinseltown alike in this affectionate, silly homage. The plot, for we shall use our film words even if they aren’t entirely necessary, revolves around Capitol Picture’s plate-spinning ‘fixer’ Eddie Mannix (Brolin) and his manic attempts t

Tim Burton Interview - Big Eyes

ShowFilmFirst talked to Tim Burton about his Boxing Day release of ‘Big Eyes’ starring Christoph Waltz (‘Inglorious Bastards’, ‘Django Unchained’) and Amy Adams (‘American Hustle’, ‘The Master’). The truly surreal, true story of Margaret Keane and her ‘waif children’ paintings proved to be ideal material for the ‘Edward Scissorhands’ director to explore the absurd, the marginalised and the artistic through the ‘big eyes’ of Margaret and her increasing menacing husband Walter. It is however, a fi

Christoph Waltz Interview - Big Eyes

Christoph Waltz  is real-life’s larger-than-life Walter Keane in Tim Burton’s (‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’) latest box office release ‘Big Eyes’. The Austrian plays the entrepreneurial husband of Margaret Keane, played by Amy Adams, claiming with her reluctant consent, to be the painter of the eponymous ‘big-eyed’ kitsch-art sensation of the 1950’s. He explained how much he enjoyed portraying such a flamboyant and unstable character, why in his opinion this is NOT a biopic and h

Taxi Driver (18) | Review

See a classic with new eyes. Sony Pictures have restored Taxi Driver up to a 4K standard viewing experience with the ‘guidance’ of cinematographer Michael Chapman and Scorsese himself. Up-scaling from the original negatives doesn’t lose any of that New York grime of the hazy VHS experience from 40 years ago, the period is still unforgettable given the film’s saturation in the‘70s, but it raises the level of technology to compliment a piece that is self-evidently already artistically poignant.

Kubo and the Two Strings (PG) | Home Ents Review

A magical shamisen (a ‘three-stringed’ Japanese banjo-type instrument) enables a young Kubo to animate swirls of paper into origami and illustrate tales of legendary samurai. When he breaks the rule set by his mother not to stay out after sundown he is plunged into an epic adventure of his own across wild landscapes in this gorgeously crafted Laika production (ParaNorman, Coraline and Boxtrolls). The story isn’t particularly special, but it does go to some dark places thematically and includes

Close-Up with... Billy O’Brien and Alice Diop

The London Film Festival is a busy time for both filmmakers and press. However, an excellent part of it is the opportunity to meet the directors behind some of the films on show in a more informal way than unusual. A series of afternoon teas are organised in order to match-up, speed-date style, journalists and directors over a cup of tea and a scone or three. I spoke to Billy O’Brien (Isolation, The Hybrid), who is the man behind I Am Not A Serial Killer and Alice Diop (Le Mort De Danton), the woman behind the French documentary On Call.

When Marnie Was There: A New Book in the Ghibli Fairytale

As the Studio celebrated its 30th birthday last year it was also experiencing a huge transition. Co-founder and figurehead Hayao Miyazaki had stepped down from creating feature films. This was not an unanticipated announcement and by now is old news, however for Western fans that finally had access to the cinematic release of When Marnie Was There; the profound creative changes that accompanied the structural change have come to light and are celebrated with the home entertainment release of the film this month.

When Marnie Was There (U) | Review

This film seems a much more comfortable fit for the ‘Ghibli magic’, be it literal or emotional. Where ‘The Borrowers’ have their inherent intriguing otherworldliness, but the mechanics of that world lacks any further layer of mystery. When Marnie Was There has (via rural Japan, not the Cornwall of the book) a slippery existence, between worlds in the delightful way so many Ghibli films float across into the land of the spirits. It’s not to say Ghibli can’t do literalism, think of the masterful a

Daredevil’s Charlie Cox about his new-found love of comic books.

Close-Up caught up with Charlie Cox, star of Netflix’ ‘Daredevil’, to find out about new-found love of comic books, the legacy he hopes the show will leave and which characters might crop in season 2. He plays a blind lawyer, Matt Murdock in Marvel’s latest television outing. Lawyer by day, vigilante by night, the show returns to the darker, dirtier underbelly of fighting for justice in spandex and a mask.

Spotlight (15) | Home Ents Review

The news story that earned The Boston Globe the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003 is dramatised by some of Hollywood’s best in this film which was Academy Award-winning for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. A remarkably large part of the depiction is spent watching the famous faces of the cast undertaking a heady amount of journalistic footwork, as they begin to look into and then heavily investigate the cases of child abuse by the Catholic Church in Boston. As a result, the sh
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