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Computer Chess

21 Nov 20134 stars

Andrew Bujalski's latest film is a wholly original slice of American indie

There is a scene towards the end of Andrew Bujalski’s latest idiosyncratic slice of America, where a chess programmer picks up an analog camcorder and begins to film the people in front of her. They sit still, awkwardly smiling and say nothing. Although…

Top 5 It's a Wonderful Life alternative sequel ideas

19 Nov 2013

Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions have announced a sequel to the 1946 Christmas classic

Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions have announced they'll be making a sequel to Frank Capra's 1946 Christmas classic It's a Wonderful Life (as reported by Variety). Entitled It's a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story, the film will feature the…

Movement One / Ponydance

18 Nov 20134 stars

A Dance:Film 2013 documentary double bill with contrasting atmospheric and humourous approaches

It’s hard to imagine two companies approaching contemporary dance in more contrasting ways than the subjects of this diverse double-bill. In Movement One, American choreographer Teddy Forance takes us to the dark side of the human psyche, fusing…

Interview: Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, directors of Leviathan

18 Nov 2013

'We wanted the sound to be as immersive and intense, as acoustically untamed as the image'

These two anthropologists and filmmakers won the Michael Powell Award for their bold documentary Leviathan at this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival. Set on a trawler in the seas off the New England coast it’s a memorable immersion into the fishing…

Saving Mr Banks

18 Nov 20133 stars

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson deliver engaging performances in the story behind Mary Poppins

Almost exactly 50 years after Disney released Mary Poppins, the musical that would go on to receive 13 Oscar nominations (the most of any Disney film before or since), comes this charming story of how the film was made. Emma Thompson plays PL…

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George Mackay, Limmy and Peter Mullan among winners at British Academy Scotland Awards 2013

18 Nov 2013

TV series Murder, Bank of Dave and Sins of our Fathers also pick up awards

The winners of the 2013 British Academy Scotland Awards (also known as the Scottish BAFTAs) were announced last night, with Limmy's Show, George Mackay and Peter Mullan all walking away with awards. TV drama Murder was the biggest winner of the night…

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

15 Nov 20134 stars

Tight plotting and great performances make for a strong sequel

The first Hunger Games movie – with its substantial story and tenebrous thrills – had much more than tween-appeal. Yet things looked ominous for the sequel after Gary Ross, who helmed the first picture with such sensitivity and style, was replaced by…

I Dream of Wires documentary charts history, demise and resurgence of the modular synthesiser

15 Nov 2013

4-hour doc on instrument and culture that surrounds it featuring some high-profile contributors

The synthesizer might not be the sound of the future any more, but it's one of the few instruments invented within living memory. Highly-anticipated independent documentary I Dream of Wires explores the history, demise and resurgence of the modular…

All This Can Happen / I Play Dead

15 Nov 20134 stars

A Dance:Film 2013 double bill exploring the different ways movement can be incorporated into film

The debate on what constitutes dance, and who can do it, is a never-ending dialogue. So it comes as no surprise that dance on film poses the same questions – especially at a festival dedicated to both genres. Compared to the more obvious screenings…

Pandora’s Promise

15 Nov 20132 stars

Lecturing documentary from Robert Stone about nuclear power

If there is one thing which can be sure to universally attract grumbles from a room full of people, it’s the process of being lectured at. What’s even more bothersome is a lecture which propounds the notion that we are all misinformed creatures worthy…

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The Counsellor

15 Nov 20132 stars

Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy's collaboration is disappointingly distant & needlessly convoluted

On paper, this collaboration between Sir Ridley Scott, one of cinema’s great visual stylists, and Cormac McCarthy, one of the literary world’s foremost writers, should be a match made in movie heaven. Unfortunately, The Counsellor is closer to cinema…

The Butler

13 Nov 20133 stars

Entertaining and ritzy drama about a White House butler, with big name cameos

Director Lee Daniels elected himself as a righteous spoke-person for social rights issues with the award-winning Precious, only to crash and burn with the ridiculously sleazy all-star potboiler The Paperboy. The Butler sees Daniels get his teeth into…


12 Nov 20134 stars

Provocative documentary from John Pilger about the treatment of Australia's aboriginal people

There's much that's truly shocking in John Pilger's ironically-titled documentary about the plight of Australia's aboriginal or 'First People' population. There's the shamefully abusive treatment while in police custody of one young man that lead to him…

In Fear

12 Nov 20134 stars

Impressive horror debut set in Ireland from Jeremy Lovering

Seeing other people scared is often the scariest thing of all. That’s why found-footage flicks like The Blair Witch Project still unnerve. For his feature debut, an impressive, immersive chiller, TV director Jeremy Lovering filmed his two lead actors…

Doctor Who at 50: A personal history

7 Nov 2013

A look back over five decades of time-travelling sci-fi adventures

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, our resident Whovian David Pollock looks back over five decades of time-travelling sci-fi adventures 1963–1974 Cannily pitched to well-intentioned Beeb execs as a time-travel show that might help…

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Opinion: Blue is the Warmest Colour is great on love, bad on lesbian sex

7 Nov 2013

Director Abdellatif Kechiche says that 'love is cosmic', but his film fails to convey queer nuances

‘There’s a banality to how a lot of directors represent female bodies and female pleasure, partly because they borrow from the industrial handbook of male-oriented pornography,’ wrote Manohla Dargis in The New York Times, after viewing Blue Is The…

Interview: Kick-Ass star Chloë Grace Moretz on the remake of Brian De Palma's Carrie

7 Nov 2013

'I had Julianne Moore and I had Kimberly Peirce... It was like a bunch of sisters in one room'

If the first thought you had on hearing that Brian De Palma's iconic horror movie, Carrie, was being remade was, 'Please, don't do it,' you weren't alone. Even the movie's star, Chloë Grace Moretz, admits that this news initially made her spine tingle…

Why you should attend Bring Your Own Beamer, by 85A's Craig Bayne

7 Nov 2013

The art event creates 'a mad mélange of sound and visuals that really deserves to be seen'

Since 2010, Bring Your Own Beamer has spawned a nigh-endless worldwide chain of one-night exhibitions – from Berlin to Tokyo, Caracas to Copenhagen, New York to Glasgow – making a mad mélange of sound and visuals that really deserves to be seen. The…


6 Nov 20132 stars

Ajith Kumar stars in a derivative but splashy and colourful action-fest

The tonal shifts of a Bollywood blockbuster sit uneasily in Arrambam, a crowd-pleasing melodrama that’s two thirds a revenge story set in the world of computer espionage in the style of Swordfish, with the other third a mixture of musical sequences and…

French Film Festival 2013 celebrates work by Daniel Auteuil, Bruni Dumont and Costa Gravas

6 Nov 2013

Juliette Binoche, Gérard Depardieu, Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou star in this year's selection

'After the previous box office highs of The Artist and The Intouchables,' says French Film Festival UK director Richard Mowe, 'le cinéma français shows no signs of resting on its laurels and as usual we have been spoiled for choice.’ The lineup for…

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5 Nov 20135 stars

Remarkable, thought-provoking documentary filmed on fishing trawler off New England coast

Anthropologists Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel have created a remarkable cinematic experience in Leviathan, a documentary shot in one night on a fishing trawler off the New England coast.

Kill Your Darlings

5 Nov 20133 stars

Daniel Radcliffe and Michael C. Hall in well-cast account of emergence of Beat Generation

Currently, the Beat Generation is to American independent cinema what Marvel’s superheroes are to blockbusters, with each year bringing a new incarnation of the same characters. Following Walter Salles’ long-awaited adaptation of On the Road last year…


5 Nov 20134 stars

Quiet, subtle study of family life from The Descendants and Sideways director Alexander Payne

Alexander Payne’s sixth film Nebraska feels like it could only have been made by him. Returning to the state where he grew up, and where he set his first three films, it’s also the third road movie of his career, after Sideways and About Schmidt. Like…

Jeune & Jolie

5 Nov 20133 stars

Troubling examination of female adolescence leaves subject matter inadequately explored

Luis Buñuel’s Belle de Jour is an obvious reference point in François Ozon’s latest feature about a 17-year-old girl Isabelle (Marine Vacth) who, having lost her virginity on holiday, takes the not-so-very-logical step to become a prostitute. But this…

¡Vivan Las Antipodas!

5 Nov 20133 stars

Heady cinematic documentary exploring four antipodal places on earth

Is beauty enough in a film? It’s a question often pondered by critics and after watching Russian documentarist Victor Kossakovsky’s latest, ¡Vivan las Antipodas!, it’s raised once again. Transitioning between four antipodal places on earth (sites…