My Family and other Animals

Monos (Monkeys) is a kind of Colombian Lord of the Flies where members of a FARC style squadron find themselves Monos (Monkeys in English) takes as its subjects a ragtag squad of teenage soldiers trained by an unspecified FARC style liberation movement. They have been tasked with looking after a captured American civilian. It soon …

Le Rayon Vert

Eric Rohmer is a director associated with the French New Wave. Jean Luc Godard praised his take on French life in the seventies and eighties. On hearing this, you probably imagine artsy black and white films full of jump cuts and philosophical debate. Rohmer couldn’t be further from this. His luscious color films often concern …

Midsommar Murders

One of the most original horror films I’ve seen in the last few years, Midsommar takes ‘The Shining’ premise of horror with the lights on and turns it into horror when the suns out. It’s set in a remote part of Sweden where the daylight hours seem to stretch on forever. A group of American …

Man Behaving Badly

Just what constitutes a terrible boyfriend? Selfishness? Infidelity? Deceit? Theft? All of the above? In Joanna Hogg’s ‘The Souvenir’ shy film student Julie, played by the very charming Honor Swinton Byrne, has a chance to find out. Her boyfriend Anthony, beautifully played by Tom Burke, is the epitome of old world upper-class charm with his …

Broadsword Calling Danny Boy

To British men of a certain age, the Second World War looms large in their consciousness, even though they were born a long time after it ended. Brought up on a diet of seventies comics like Warlord and Battle that replayed the conflict, every one of us was given the opportunity to revel in one …

Transit

In Christian Petzold’s film ‘Transit’ France has been taken over by a foreign force intent on cleansing the country of its undesirable elements. Georg attempts to escape the crackdown by assuming the identity of a dead author and fleeing to Marseille. From here with the aid of a transit visa he hopes to go to …

Shoplifters of the World Unite

What constitutes a family? That is the question at the heart of that poignant and heartwarming Japanese film ‘Shoplifting.’ As its title suggests, it features a makeshift family who makes ends meet by petty criminality. I say makeshift as the connections between them are not blood ties as such. The grandmother is not actually the …

Love in a Cold Climate

In Pawel Pawlikowski’s film ‘Cold War’ it’s tough being true to yourself as a musician in Communist Poland. Not only do you have to sing Polish folk songs and tributes to the glorious revolution but you also have a hard time living with the one you love. The films two main characters composer and pianist …

First Reformed

Written by the man behind the Taxi Driver, Paul Schrader’s First Reformed is a tense look at a man slowly unraveling as his faith comes undone. Reverend Toller ( Ethan Hawke) plays a preacher who is nursing a tragedy, the death of his son and the consequent disintegration of his marriage. When he is called …

Fates & Furies

A poignant collection of western tales courtesy of the Cohen Brothers, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is perhaps the perhaps the most original piece of television Netflix has ever commissioned. Taking the classic western tropes such as gunslingers, wagon trains, Native American tribes, outlaws and gnarly gold prospectors they twist the genre in a way …