Let’s Get Lost (1988)

Let’s Get Lost is a standard biographical documentary, approached in quite an unconventional manner – and considering it is a film about Chet Baker, one of the most unusual and folkloric figures in the history of jazz music, it seems oddly appropriate that director Bruce Weber approaches his story in a way that is unusual…

Serial Mom (1994)

I recently revisited Serial Mom for the umpteenth time, and it remains one of the most brilliant films of the 1990s. I have often mentioned how I am an ardent admirer of John Waters – despite his earlier works being grotesque, vulgar and beyond transgressive, he has always had a renegade appeal that strikes me…

The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)

The King of Marvin Gardens starts with a story – a quiet, emotional retelling of the protagonist’s childhood experience seeing his grandfather die, a traumatic experience, made only worse by the fact that is was preventable. A few minutes later, we see him return home, his grandfather as lively as ever. The story was a…

Paddleton (2019)

Tragedy is easy, its comedy that is difficult. This is an adage that has existed as long as people have been endeavouring to make audiences laugh – it is also the theme residing at the very core of Paddleton, the offbeat and endearing comedy-drama from the mind of independent cinema’s most enduring auteurs, the Duplass…

The Upside (2019)

The odd couple is a trope that has been omnipresent in literature for as long as it has existed, and for good reason – even at their most dull, these kinds of stories do prove to be quite compelling, because it allows two contrastive characters to be paired, with hilarity often ensuing as a result…

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

A dystopian world, around six hundred years into the future. Dr Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) is a mechanical engineer and scavenger who finds the processing core of an unnamed cyborg, who he rebuilds and subsequently names Alita (Rosa Salazar). Beneath the innocent exterior lurks the heart of a fighter, with the capacity to do battle…

Isn’t It Romantic (2019)

The romantic comedy has a long and storied history, and has its roots from the very beginning of cinema, spanning the course from the silent era to the period of screwball comedies, right until the present day. These films are amongst the most popular, but they are also the most predictable, and are often material…

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

In 2014, Phil Lord and Chris Miller did something extraordinary – they took perhaps the most absurd premise in contemporary cinema, namely focusing an entire feature-length film on the popular construction toy Lego, and made one of the finest animated films of the current generation. The Lego Movie was a bona fide cultural phenomenon, and…

The Best Films of 2018

2018 was an exceptional year for cinema – I feel like I say this about every year, but I genuinely believe the standard of cinema is only increasing year after year, with more respect being given to independent filmmaking, a seismic shift towards inclusivity and a broader appeal being found in intelligent, well-made cinema, which…

Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1997)

When one thinks of George Orwell, it is natural to relate his career to two novels – Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm. These works are obviously towering literary achievements, but also powerful works of political commentary which are beginning to look like certain world leaders are using them as manuals. One of his lesser-known, but…