BLIND

★★★★ Dir: Eskil Vogt (2014) Brilliant Norwegian writer Eskil Vogt (Oslo, August 31st and Reprise) makes his directorial debut with this sensory drama which plays with the idea of the creative mind being its own worst enemy. We’re locked in with Ingrid (an excellent Ellen Dorrit Petersen) a woman who has recently lost her sight and …

THE BORDERLANDS

★★★★ Dir: Elliot Goldner (2013) This passed over horror gem from last year is a genuinely rattling found footage effort which blends a Peep Show inspired POV flavour of comedy and chemistry with the most visceral elements of The Blair Witch Project. Elliot Goldner puts us in a cottage in the hills …

The Bad Seed

★★★★★ Dir: Mervyn LeRoy (1954) Released amid censorship during Hollywood’s Golden Age, The Bad Seed continues to shock and frighten viewers by expertly breaking the illusion of a just and upright society. The film questions whether a child raised by loving parents within a safe environment could develop into a ‘bad …

The Arrangement

★★★★ Dir: Elia Kazan (1969) In 1969, at the end of his long and successful career, filmmaker Elia Kazan (despised in Hollywood for having betrayed his friends by ‘naming names’ at the McCarthy HUAC hearings) directed The Arrangement, a relatively unknown gem. As usual, Kirk Douglas is exceptional portraying the sullen …

Possible Worlds

★★★★★ Dir: Robert Lepage 2000 So, there is a deeply philosophical theory out there that doesn’t just appear in science fiction or romance films. The theory is called ‘possible worlds’ but we may all know it as parallel universes. That we all exist in many other ‘realities’. One world, for …

Wake In Fright

★★★★★ Dir: Ted Kotcheff (1971) Since its re-release in 2009 fans and detractors of the Australia New Wave classic Wake In Fright have been talking and talking and talking about the film. The director Ted Kotchef has been put through the ringer a few times already by an angry Australian …

Black Pond

★★★★ Dir: Tom Kingsley & Will Sharpe (2011) Tom Kingsley and Will Sharpe‘s wonderfully dark and intensely British comedy is another fine example of work from a new line of director’s exploiting the traits and idiosyncrasies of the fair isle. It’s a sweet, funny and sad tale of a family suffering in their own different …

It’s Such a Beautiful Day

★★★★★ Dir: Don Hertzfeld (2012) The definition of the word animation in our vocabulary has undoubtably changed of late. Years ago, teams of artists would sit hunched over for days and nights furiously penning away illustrated masterpieces for months and months and months. The “tweening” of frames (a process of …

Two Years At Sea

★★★★ Dir. Ben Rivers (2012) Ben Rivers revisits Jake Williams from his 2006 short film This Is My Land in this 88 minute near wordless portrait of a man living in the Scottish wilderness. Rivers’ flickering vintage Bolex 16mm simply captures a series of set up sequences with this real life wilderness man in …

The Punk Syndrome

★★★★ Dir: Jukka Kärkkäinen (2012) Pertii Kurikka’s Name Day are a Finnish punk band you may never of heard of. The autistic temperamental lead singer Pertti Kurikka and front man Karl Aalto, and the Down’s syndrome rhythm section of Sami Helle and Toni Välitalo have a little more to rage about than the government and …

Le Samouraï

★★★★★ Dir: Jean Pierre Melville (1967) Jean Pierre Melville‘s Le Samouraï lives between its chiming major notes. A quietly burning masterpiece of suspense rooted in early American noir and filtered through the early days of French cinema cool, its brilliance as a twisting of a popular theme and as a corner-stone of …

Stroszek

★★★★★ (1977) Though Stroszek is perhaps Herzog’s least seen film of the 1970’s it remains as kind of wonderful backhanded diss on the American Dream. Though on the surface it may often feel like Herzog being Herzog for Herzog’s sake, Stroszek is filled with wonderful images and a beautifully real performance from Bruno …

Mr Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr

★★★★ (1999) Errol Morris’ seventh and perhaps least known documentary work it a difficult tale. The opening sequence of Fred Leuchter sitting amongst machinery in a cage, lit by flashes of electricity may seem a tad too Dr Frankenstein and way too over the top, especially when you meet the mousey cowardly man …

El Aura

★★★★ (2005) The late Fabián Bielinsky only made 2 films in his lifetime; The first, Nine Queens was an extremely well received and eventually remade con film about a couple of tricksters attempting to sell nine counterfeit stamps to a collector. The lure into the criminal lifestyle begins with a simple theft at a bank teller, …

Deep Water

★★★★★ (2006) Many documentaries have the power to change your outlook on the challenges of the world. In drawing stories from areas less fortunate than yours they can inspire, in telling the tales of people far more unique than ourselves they can exasperate and enrich in equal measure. A great documentary (see …

Possession

★★★★★ (1981) In cinematic world where Lynch, Von Trier, Cronenberg and Polanski sit comfortably atop a throne of mainstream weird, how is it that a totally unique firecracker of an experience like Possession is still slipping the world by? Hidden behind the Eraserheads, Repulsions, The Broods and Antichrists of the …

The Spirit of the Beehive

★★★★★ Dir: Victor Erice 1973 Why is it that Victor Erice’s ultimate classic of Spanish cinema hasn’t reached the level of his lauded 70’s contemporaries? In the same year Terrence Malick unleashed his own classic debut Badlands into the subconscious of Americana, Erice finally put out this wonderful, compelling, atmospheric …

Dogtooth

★★★★★ Dir: Yorgos Lanthimos (2011) Yorgos Lanthimos outstanding second feature is quietly making waves on it’s far too limited release. Pinned at a jaunty angle between the most savage Von Trier and the coldest Haneke, Dogtooth frequently out does both of their finest efforts and in doing so also manages to …

The Return

★★★★★ Andrey Zvyagintsev’s wonderful debut feature opens with a simple childhood test. A group of boys stand atop a look-out tower on stone pier against a drab Russian sky. Each one jumps, terrified, into the icy water below. The two boys left are brothers Ivan (Ivan Dobronravov) and Andrei (Vladimir …