» Git / Wicked (2015, Poland)

It’s a short film, this one, but a good ‘un…

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Posted on January 3rd, 2022 at 10:13 am. Updated on January 3rd, 2022 at 10:13 am.

» Lokillo en: Mi Otra Yo (2021, Colombia)

First things first: Lokillo is the name by which comedian Yédison Flórez is better known, and ‘Mi Otra Yo’ translates as ‘My Other Self’. The word ‘lokillo’ conveys a sense of a little bit mad; a little bit loco. And a little bit loco, in this case, is a man pretending to be a woman in a women’s prison, partly for witness protection purposes and partly as an undercover informant. Comedy gold. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on December 11th, 2021 at 9:08 pm. Updated on December 11th, 2021 at 9:08 pm.

» 3000 Layla / 3000 Nights (2015, Palestine, Jordan, France and others)

Some have heralded this representative story of one Palestinian woman wrongly imprisoned in Israel, as (aside from the overt political message) a triumph of the human spirit. It could be that, or it could just be a quiet tribute to that woman’s goodness and resilience.

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Posted on October 24th, 2021 at 3:37 pm. Updated on October 24th, 2021 at 3:37 pm.

» half (2014, South Korea)

I’ve come to expect so much from South Korean movies that it comes as a bit of a shock when a lacklustre one comes around. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on October 16th, 2021 at 10:56 pm. Updated on October 16th, 2021 at 11:08 pm.

» Baykot / Boycott (1986, Iran)

There are plenty of films about political prisoners, and plenty about jail politics. There are not so many where those two overlap to the degree that they do in this movie.

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Posted on September 12th, 2021 at 10:40 pm. Updated on September 12th, 2021 at 10:47 pm.

» La nuit des rois / Night of the Kings (2020, Ivory Coast / Canada / France / Senegal)

Although this is very much set in present day Ivory Coast, it has the form of an Elizabethan drama, augmented by a Greek chorus; a cultural and temporal potpourri. It might not work magnificently, but magnificently, it works. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on August 24th, 2021 at 8:14 pm. Updated on August 24th, 2021 at 8:14 pm.

» The Bid (2021, USA)

Isn’t social media supposed to be this untamed thing that encourages edgy, boundaries-pushing comedy; providing a counterpoint to traditional ‘mainstream entertainment’? It’s disappointing, then, that this movie by Maurquis Boone and Richard ‘Filthy Rich’ Harris – who, it seems, have forged successful careers in social media and who wrote, directed and starred in this low-budget comedy – tends to mimic the more tired and tiresome of mainstream offerings. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on July 4th, 2021 at 11:58 pm. Updated on July 4th, 2021 at 11:58 pm.

» Heart, Baby (2017, USA)

Someone did this film a great disservice in giving it the alternative title of The Hammer, presumably to make it appeal to a broader audience. It makes it sound very much like a testosterone-filled boxing movie, but boxing plays second fiddle to what really matters. Maybe even fourth or fifth fiddle.

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Posted on June 6th, 2021 at 10:37 pm. Updated on June 6th, 2021 at 10:37 pm.

» 40 Sticks (2020, Kenya)

This thriller is so eerily similar in parts to the Spanish film, Below Zero (2021), that you have to wonder whether a scriptwriter somewhere between Spain and Kenya – in Algeria, perhaps – was touting the outline of the story to film producers in all directions, and it got picked up by two filmmakers simultaneously. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on April 27th, 2021 at 10:42 pm. Updated on April 27th, 2021 at 10:42 pm.

» Clemency (2019, USA)

This might be the best death row movie there is going around. It’s not as tear-jerking as the suite of South Korean anti-capital punishment films (such as The Executioner and Harmony, of many). But its premise is less tricky to apprehend than that of Apprentice, for example, or Monster’s Ball, The Quare Fellow or The Hangman: Shepherds and Butchers. It’s unrelentingly unsettling and discomforting. And powerful.

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Posted on April 8th, 2021 at 10:44 pm. Updated on April 8th, 2021 at 10:44 pm.