Close-Up Film

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.
Close-Up Film

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 Film

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
Close-Up Film

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
Close-Up Film

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.
Close-Up Film

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.
Close-Up Film

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
Close-Up Film

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
Close-Up Film

Room (15) |Home Ents Review

Adapted by the best-selling author of the book of the same name, director Lenny Abrahamson recreates the horrific, claustrophic, but bloomingly hopeful atmosphere for cinema audiences that captured reader’s imaginations. If you’ve been trapped under a stony material for the last few months without access to the outside world then you may not know that the plot centres on a mother and son relationship, set against the dark backdrop of kidnap and abuse. The remarkable method of storytelling howev
Close-Up Film

Boulevard (15) | Review

Narrative direction lets down Robin Williams’ in his last silver screen appearance, Career local bank employee Nolan Mack (Williams) is seemingly happy with his ritualistic middle-class, middle-aged life with his longstanding wife (Baker). Aspiring writer, but languishing teacher Winston (Odenkirk), who is dating a student while he attempts to achieve the dreams of his youth, is Nolan’s only friend and single outlet for a limited ability to express his deeper feelings. However, when he nearly h
Close-Up Film

Anomalisa (18) | Review

Charlie Kaufman has broken the mould once again, this time with stop-motion, one-sixth scale animated puppets painstakingly filmed on purpose built mini-sets. This is very much a product for an adult which manages to immerse you in a hyper-reality that is eerily more convincing that most live action musings on the human condition. Michael Stone (voiced by Thewlis) has travelled to Cincinnati as a guest speaker on customer service. His recent book has bestowed an esoteric air of celebrity to his
Load More Articles