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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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