Big Screen

RAW

REVIEW RAW is an unsettling film that gets under your skin and stays there like a terrible, tunnelling disease. Some of the early scenes are the most compelling as Justine (Garance Marillier) joins her older sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf) at veterinary college. The newbie is thrown into a radical hazing that provides both the trigger […]

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TORREY PINES

Review of TORREY PINES (2016, 60min), a centrepiece screening at FLARE, London’s LGBT Film Festival. BFI Southbank, 18.03.17. A hand-drawn, stop-motion animation, TORREY PINES tells of a transgender pre-teen’s life and impromptu road trip with his schizophrenic mother. Part PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, part TARNATION, Clyde Petersen’s film is packed full of humour and surreal discovery as […]

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KONG: SKULL ISLAND

To many critics, Kong is always – and only – the A-list original and Peter Jackson’s handsome remake. They forget that RKO went for cheap thrills with SON OF KONG and get snooty when Dino De Laurentiis’s enjoyable KING KONG and KING KONG LIVES swing into view. However, there has been another parallel universe – one of island gods […]

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FEAR ITSELF

(2015) 1hr 28min Made almost entirely from existing horror films, Charlie Lyne’s Halloween haul of clips was originally commissioned for BBC iPlayer but has now been remastered for the big screen. Delightfully abandoning canonical reverence and best-of oversight, FEAR ITSELF is a study of how it feels to be at the horror movies. Using films he’s seen, half-remembered and […]

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THE HUMAN SURGE

(2016) 97min Eduardo Williams’ roaming docudrama THE HUMAN SURGE (2016) follows young people across three continents as they spend aimless hours in search of connectivity. His title may suggest an ascendant species but any “grandiosity”* is swiftly undermined by the futility of lived existence. Humans could easily be replaced by the ants that occupy one […]

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THE EAGLE HUNTRESS

(2016) 1hr 27min Regardless of the veracity – and relative superficiality – of this handsomely staged documentary, the stirring sight of eagle and hunter owning the air never gets old. In moving pictures? Any and every time the eagles take flight. Featured image: THE EAGLE HUNTRESS (2016)

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MARTIN SCORSESE CURATES

There’s a real joy to having someone else make the decisions in adult life. We call it the Lazy Susan effect. You’ve bought into the idea of a Chinese meal but are happy for your mates to spin the dishes so you get a little bit of everything. It’s like that with MARTIN SCORSESE CURATES […]

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LA LA LAND

(2016) 2hrs 8mins Opening like a glorified Gap advert, this is a movie musical for the Strictly generation. Despite its many good-natured charms, LA LA LAND is a low-cal homage that doesn’t fully satisfy: the songs, singing and dancing simply lack the propulsive power of MGM’s originals.

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THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE

(1973) 1hr 35mins Failed on-set experiments seeking genuine ectoplasm aside, THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE delivers spine-chilling tension through its claustrophobic setting, slowly escalating chaos and ferocious outbursts of psychic violence. Unleashing Roddy McDowall to sell the suitably gothic finale proves to be the movie’s most satisfying special effect.

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ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

(2016) 2hrs 14mins A thrilling vision of what could happen if Disney/Lucasfilm granted access to the sandpit without need for prequel, sequel or pastiche. ROGUE ONE suffers when docked too closely to the mothership. It soars when its distinctive band of rebels fights through vicious land and space battles unrivalled in the Star Wars galaxy […]

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