Overlooked Classics: Half Nelson (2006)

Many pop psychologists like to reference the phrase “teachable moments”, a term meaning an experience we can learn from. It’s not a term I’m terribly fond of, as it seems a bit obvious. We’re all works in progress, and so we learn all the time. However, if any film could be about teachable moments, it’sContinue reading “Overlooked Classics: Half Nelson (2006)”

Her Master’s Voice: Nina Conti Says Goodbye

The brilliant, gifted ventriloquist Nina Conti may be better known these days for the ritual humiliation of audience members, as she gets people up onstage, slaps weird masks on them and makes them say ridiculous or filthy things, but back in the day, her act was much, much darker: a kind of psychological cleansing thatContinue reading “Her Master’s Voice: Nina Conti Says Goodbye”

What ‘While We’re Young’ Got Right… About Gen Z Narcissists

*Contains spoilers* Who are the real cultural custodians? Generational discourse masquerading as rom-.com , While We’re Young, which was written and directed by Noah Baumbach, is a really intelligent, funny and thoughtful film. Josh and Cornelia (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) are a middle-aged couple, both working in film, whose marriage is getting moribund. EveryoneContinue reading “What ‘While We’re Young’ Got Right… About Gen Z Narcissists”

Overlooked Classics: Trees Lounge

Steve Buscemi’s directorial debut from 1996 (which he also wrote) remains something of a cult film, often forgotten. I’m never really sure why, I think it’s rather brilliant. It’s got the toughness of Bukowski; the low-key observations of Carver, and dry humour of Jarmusch. Buscemi plays Tommy, a man who has lost his ex, TheresaContinue reading “Overlooked Classics: Trees Lounge”

Benny and Joon: Raisins

Benny and Joon from 1993 is a flawed but likeable film. Sure, it doesn’t really depict mental health problems in a subtle or realistic way (apart from June’s meltdown on the bus) and it’s all resolved far too easily, but it’s redeemed by beautiful performances from Mary Stuart Masterson as June and Johnny Depp asContinue reading “Benny and Joon: Raisins”

Bof !

(Sultry French voiceover): Bof says, I don’t have to try too hard. Bof says, so I don’t. I don’t try at all. Bof says, who cares? Bof says, I dream in monochrome, not black and white Bof says, your dreams, they disgust me. Bof is la nouvelle parfum. By Isabelle Adjani. Remember her? She doesn’tContinue reading “Bof !”

Dance Preview: Beautiful Chaos 2.0

Pirita Tuisku and Thabo Mokolobate ‘s collaboration Beautiful Chaos 2.0 explores identity , friendship, culture and the ties that bind in this new collaboration at Assembly Roxy in Edinburgh. Using contemporary dance, film and spoken word, the two explore belonging at a time when it’s never felt more necessary to celebrate humanity and that whichContinue reading “Dance Preview: Beautiful Chaos 2.0”

The Nic Cage Guide To Overacting

Some actors are defined by the subtlety and low-key naturalism they bring to a role. You can relate to a simple shoulder shrug, or see the interior monologue working as their jaw clenches a little, barely discernable. Montgomery Clift said so much with darting eyes; Judi Dench with an acidic quip. Not so for NicolasContinue reading “The Nic Cage Guide To Overacting”

Film Review: An Honest Liar (2014)

Who said you can’t kid a kidder? Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom’s fantastic documentary charts the fascinating life and history of James Randi, born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge in 1928, Toronto, who became “The Amazing Randi”, magician, escapologist and latterly, debunker of psychics, fake mystics and charlatans everywhere. This lovingly crafted film traces the riseContinue reading “Film Review: An Honest Liar (2014)”

Film Review: Stardust (2020)

So says David Bowie, or rather Johnny Flynn in his role as (kind of) the late icon in Gabriel Range’s film from 2020. This line seems to be an in -joke,or even some kind of justification. This film is baaaad. It’s not cringey, watch -through -fingers, campy bad, it’s simply lazy bad. Flynn portrays aContinue reading “Film Review: Stardust (2020)”