After attending my first Sundance festival last year I was excited for what this year’s instalment had in store. Normally I watch at least a dozen films at any given festival. This year I probably saw half that amount. It’s just not the same spending hours in front of your TV alone rather than sharing in the silverscreen experience in a dark room with strangers.

There’s also something about the buzzing red carpet cinema experience, the thrill of waiting in rush lines for that soldout film, the constant rushing from one cinema to another, the musty smell of old cinemas…

Something if you liked Parasite

The Handmaiden — Park Chan Wook

With all the buzz around Korean cinema after Parasite (it’s about time!) It’s only fair to spotlight the other golden boy of the movement — Park Chan Wook. You may have come across some of his films like such as Joint Security Area, Stoker or Old Boy (the Korean version not the awful Spike Lee remake…) but he really comes to full form with ‘The Handmaiden’, an adaptation of the historical crime novel ‘Fingersmith’ by Sarah Waters. Filmed as a period piece and set in Japanese-occupied Korea, the story follows a con man posing…

Part 2 — Indie Directors to Keep an Eye On

Last time I’ve focused purely on films by established directors you might already know, now I also want to bring attention to up-and-coming indie directors who I hope you will hear about more over the next few years.

Chiwetel Ejiofor — The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

While already famous as an actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor made his directorial debut with ‘The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind’. It is the story of a 13 year old Malawian boy William Kamkwamba who after his village suffers from a severe drought, builds a windmill to power an electric water pump to restore some crops. …

Film is and has always been a very powerful medium. Whether in a dark room with strangers or from the comfort of your sofa, film has the power to control our emotions. It can make us roar with laughter or break out in tears, but most importantly, it allows us to escape our egocentric lives for 90 minutes and see the world from someone else’s perspective.

In the spirit of the Black Lives Matter movement that has spread around the world this year, seeing the world from other people’s perspectives is more important than ever. While most of us will…

Something new:

Dolemite is my Name — Craig Brewer (2019)

While all the critical buzz on Netflix last year was focused on films like ‘The Irishman’ and ‘Marriage Story’, the comedy genre as always struggles to make itself heard. ‘Dolemite is my Name’ is a real a comedy gem with Eddie Murphy at his finest, a fantastic ensemble class and a funky 70s soundtrack.

Based on a true story and set in the 70s, the film stars Eddie Murphy as Ruddy Ray Moore a middle-aged, threepenny, wannabe-artist working at a record store and looking for his big break. One day he stumbles…

Something New:

Uncut Gems — Safdie Brothers (2019)

Fade in — We fly across a gem mine in Ethiopia as violence is breaking out after poor working conditions injure a miner.

Cut to two miners as they take advantage of the confusion to recover a pristine uncut black opal from the mine.

The camera pushes in and zooms into the chrystalline prisms of the gemstone. Synths play a retro-futuristic Vangelis-sounding 80s tune that takes us on a psychadelic trip through the gems interior until the inorganic saturated fractals dissolve into fleshy reds and before we know it the camera is a colonoscopy…

Something New:

Suspiria — Luca Guadagnino (2018)

For those of you who have been following my posts in the past you would know that I’ve raved about Guadagnino’s remake of Suspiria last year when it was playing in the cinema. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can now check it out on Amazon Prime Video.

Based on an Italian Giallo classic from the 70s and directed by ‘Call me by Your Name’ director Luca Guadagnino, Suspiria stars Dakota Johnson as an American dancer enrolling in a cultish dance school in Berlin where girls have a tendancy to go missing.

Unlike the…

A bit of a slow burner, but infused with the right amount of dramatic tension to keep you hooked — First Reformed is one of those films that lingers on in your subconscious long after the end credits roll.

Directed by Paul Schrader and starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried, the film follows a Protestant minister in the US questioning his faith and morality while serving as a pastor of a dwindling parish church. His life is shaken up when he meets Mary a pregnant women seeking counselling about her radical environmentalist husband Michael.

Memories, nostalgia, paternal abandonment, neo-colonial relations in Mexico, youth and its eternal optimism — these are only some of the themes Cuarón addresses in Roma, his black and white love letter to the nanny who helped raise him.

Context

The backdrop of the film is the turbulent Mexican period of the late 60s / early 70s where much like the rest of the world, the country was experiencing political unrest and student protests.

The film takes place around the Corpus Christi Massacre (a massacre of student demonstrators in Mexico City on June 10, 1971 by Los Halcones, a right wing paramilitary…

What matters more blood ties or human affection? This is a key question that Hirokazu Kore-eda tries to address in his Palme D’Or winning film Shoplifters, an intensely humanistic portrayal of a family relying on shoplifting to get by in modern day Tokyo.

Osamu (the father figure) works on a construction site until an accident forces him to take time off work. His wife Nobuyo works in a laundrette and steals things she finds in pockets. Aki, who lives with the family, works as a stripper. Hatsue, the family matriarch, routinely visits Aki’s wealthy parents, who give her money. The…

Silverscreens & TVStreams

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