Seconds (1966)

With its nightmarish opening credits (shot by Saul Bass); Jerry Goldsmith’s paranoia-inducing score; a deliberately obscure opening act seemingly lifted wholesale from the French New Wave; spectacularly bleak denouement and the fact that its bankable leading man, Rock Hudson, does not appear until forty minutes into the film it is somewhat understandable that Sixties audiences […]

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The Red Turtle (2017)

To tell too much of the plot (minimal as it is) of Michael Dudok de Wit’s hauntingly beautiful fable is to deny you the delight of discovery. The Red Turtle is not a movie to tentatively dip one’s toe into, full immersion is required, allow the gentle waves of the story to close over you […]

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Colossal (2017)

Colossal is a movie that made my head spin. Not only does it manage to pack more ideas into its $15 million budget and 110 minute running time than the (interminable) ten and a half hours of Transformers (so far), it wraps them up, ties a bow on them and makes you punch the air […]

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City of Ghosts (2017)

A film I would urge everyone to see yet, due to the graphic nature of some of its footage, I would find it very difficult to recommend. As heartbreaking as it is courageous and powerful, City of Ghosts is a story of incredible human bravery in the face of intolerable human cruelty. And it shook […]

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Black Orpheus (1959)

Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus, though somewhat dated and usurped by time, still offers the sensual delights of Carnaval, toe-tapping samba, heart-pounding batucada and a colourful visual tapestry of Brazil that has yet to be assailed in his retelling of the classical myth. Set over three days leading up to and including the Rio de Janeiro […]

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The Age of Shadows (2016)

Loosely based on actual characters and events, director Kim Jee-woon’s taut and bloody thriller rushes from one great set piece to the next in a dizzying and hypnotic tale of patriotism and self-interest. Set in the first half of Japan’s 35-year occupation of Korea, Lee Jung-chool (Song Kang-ho) is a captain in the occupying force’s […]

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Symbol (2009)

A man awakens in a large, empty, white room. There are no doors in the room, no windows and, seemingly, no ceiling. Eventually the man discovers a small protuberance, like a little toggle-switch atop a balloon. Does he touch the object? Should he? Meanwhile, in a dusty small town in Mexico, a pudgy, masked Luchador […]

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