Kung Fury

‘Kung Fury’, ‘Predator: Dark Ages’ and the Democratisation of Spectacle

As a member of a short film selection panel for a major film festival in 2013 and 2014, I was quite surprised by the increasing number of submissions that sought to replicate big-budget Hollywood genre cinema. I suppose I had, quite ignorantly, entered with a preconception that short films were the reserve of art cinema.…

By James Curnow
Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is to Mad Max as a hipster is to a hippy

After watching Mad Max: Fury Road, I have to confess to facing an internal struggle about how to approach any kind of review. There is no doubt that this is an outstanding action film within the context of a contemporary milieu of high-octane, CGI-driven, blockbuster extravaganzas. In fact, it may be one of the best…

By James Curnow
Asghar Farhadi's About Elly

Reviewing ‘About Elly’: Is Asghar Farhadi the Finest Filmmaker Working Today?

It begins life as an Iranian Big Chill and at the end of Act 1, it morphs into Antonioni’s iconic L’Avventura. But by the time the various plot intrigues have finished spinning out, Asghar Farhadi’s About Elly has emerged as something unique and wondrous: a taut drama full of perfectly-drawn characters and effective suspense, all…

By Jonathan Eig
Mad Max

Mad Max and the Man With No Name

In many ways, it’s entirely appropriate to describe George Miller’s original Mad Max trilogy as Australia’s equivalent to Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy. Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns are innovative reworkings of the American Western that permanently changed the landscape of the genre. But Leone’s films were also a surprising and positive result of an Italian industry largely…

By James Curnow
REC 3 Apocalypse

REC 4: Reviewing the Apocalypse

While many of my younger colleagues were eagerly anticipating 2015 as the year of Avengers and Star Wars and Mad Max and Jurassic Park, I will admit I was primarily looking forward to finally getting a chance to watch two other movies. The first was Asghar Farhadi’s About Elly. I consider Farhadi to be among…

By Jonathan Eig
Remote Control

Switching on to Reality: Byamba Sakhya’s ‘Remote Control’

A teenager runs away from the drunkenness and poverty of his rural home and moves into the city. It’s not an uncommon story, sadly, but in the hands of Mongolian director Byamba Sakhya, Remote Control becomes both a survival story and an exploration of the line between fantasy and reality. Tsog bivouacs himself on the…

By Ed Rowe
Trance amnesia

Remembering Six Unforgettable Films About Amnesia

Such is the nature of memory. Many years ago, probably when I was in my teens, I caught the tail end of a melodrama on television. I remember a courtroom scene, a question of amnesia and identity, and a chilling finale. For the longest time, that’s all I could recall. But like Citizen Kane’s Mr.…

By Jonathan Eig