In Review: The Dark Horse (2014)

by Tony Griffiths on 31/03/2015

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Ask for a recommendation from the vaults of New Zealand cinema and chances are that the response will centre on a certain fantasy trilogy. New Zealand cinema may not be known for prolific output, but, if there is any justice, its elite fellowship of favourites will soon be joined by The Dark Horse. Set on the country’s North Island, The Dark Horse is the true story of Genesis Potini (Cliff Curtis), a former chess champion whose biggest battle has become living with bipolar disorder in a community struggling to get by. [click to continue…]

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In Review: Robot Overlords

by Maryann O'Connor 27 March 2015

Fans of robots and of British Sci-Finery must gather in cinemas to behold the glory of Robot Overlords! In a slightly obvious but great tribute to the teen adventure films of old, kids who have been suffering under the oppressive rule of an Earth-invading robot ruling class find a way to leave their homes and […]

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In Review: Cinderella (2015)

by Daniel Goodwin 26 March 2015

Inspired by European folk origins and the Grimm Brothers tale, film adaptations of Cinderella have not been in scarce supply over the years; the 1950 Disney animation joined by an onslaught of TV movies and spin offs including Ever After (1998) and A Cinderella Story (2004). Now Kenneth Branagh delivers his version of the story while planted firmly in […]

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BFI Flare 2015: Girlhood (2014)

by Maryann O'Connor 24 March 2015

Gritty and uplifting at the same time, Girlhood acknowledges the fine line which divides young woman and young man and shows us all the different facets of being a teenage girl: fighting, singing and gaming included. Writer/director Celine Sciamma’s Paris-set story of Marieme and her growing confidence and friendships is bold in the extreme.

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Old Hollywood: The Woman’s Picture

by Linsey Satterthwaite 23 March 2015

In the 1940s a term to describe a type of (sub) genre of film came to prominence in cinema- The ‘woman’s picture’. Though films of this nature had been in existence since the silent era, the term reached its zenith during World War II, coinciding with the absence of men in the home and in […]

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In Review: The Voices (2014)

by Daniel Goodwin 21 March 2015

Director Marjane Satrapi is best known for her fascinating 2007 film Persepolis: an animated feature about the 1979 Iranian revolution which she co-directed with Vincent Paronaud. Eight years later and Satrapi delivers her English language debut, The Voices: a weird and anomalous whimsy about a psychotic factory-hand with talking pets and a proclivity for beheading […]

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In Review: Town Without Pity (1961) on DVD

by Christina Newland 21 March 2015

Little-discussed 1961 courtroom drama Town Without Pity is an international co-production of the unusually grim sort. Set in Germany in 1960, it’s a stomach-churning look into the vicious and petty-minded corners of small-town life. It’s also a relentlessly cynical work, in which neither the Americans nor the Germans come out with clean hands.

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In Review: The Gunman

by Daniel Goodwin 19 March 2015

In an apparent attempt to re-market himself as a middle-aged action star, Sean Penn stars in The Gunman as Jim Terrier: a special forces operative/ military contractor suffering from post-traumatic stress. After being tasked to kill a political figure in the Democratic Republic of Congo by a shifty associate (Javier Bardem), Terrier is forced to […]

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BFI Flare 2015 Opening Night Gala: I Am Michael

by Maryann O'Connor 19 March 2015

Justin Kelly’s I Am Michael is somewhat of a rarity in the world of LGBT film, in that it charts a man’s ten year descent from knowledge and love to denial, hate and heartbreak. Michael (James Franco) is a writer and trailblazing activist in the year 2000 along with boyfriend Bennett (Zachary Quinto), rejecting narrow […]

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In Review: The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

by Daniel Goodwin 18 March 2015

Last year when Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement and the company’s downsizing, there were sighs of sadness from critics and fans all over the world. Opting to once again work with freelance animators (how it originally ran), instead of in-house staff, Studio Ghibli has now delivered its latest fantastical foray.

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In Review: The Supreme Price

by Maryann O'Connor 17 March 2015

The Supreme Price focuses on two themes, the treatment of women in Nigeria and the seemingly endemic corruption which has blighted the country for decades, showing how these two subjects are intricately linked. No sooner had Nigeria loosened the bonds of colonial rule when the military took over and the country suffered an endless round […]

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