You Were Never Really Here – Review

You Were Never Really Here, Lynne Ramsay, 2018 In his sleeve notes to Joy Division’s 1979 double-single, Licht und Blindheit, Jean-Pierre Turmel writes that “categories of anguish tend to mesh together: the oppression of depths and the closed evoke the dread of the void ... the corridors [of the] dead resound in the far depths… Continue reading You Were Never Really Here – Review

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Black Panther – Review

Black Panther, Ryan Coogler, 2018 Formative in many a hero's mythology is his reckoning with the act of killing. Will he, in the service of his good, countenance taking life - any life? Superhero stories have long taken this issue as a point of defining thematic principle and long done nothing especially interesting with it:… Continue reading Black Panther – Review

The Death of Stalin – Review

The Death of Stalin, Armando Iannucci, 2017 Is every unhappy government unhappy in its own way? There are three, at least, posited for comparison in The Death of Stalin: Stalin's itself, and the two that in the wake of his death jostle for supremacy - the covertly brutal, overtly populist vision of state security administrator… Continue reading The Death of Stalin – Review

Tomb Raider – Review

Tomb Raider, Roar Uthaug, 2018 There are two elements that make Tomb Raider, an otherwise entirely unremarkable piece of hackwork, watchable. The first is that it operates predominantly as a survival picture. That's distinct from the origin tale doldrums of try/fail/train/succeed to which the pestiferous superhero genre seems to have consigned blockbuster storytelling, and - with… Continue reading Tomb Raider – Review

Faces Places – Review

Faces Places, Agnès Varda and JR, 2017 Fine, you've dragged it out of me: I don't like street art. It's annoying and facile and its doyens seem the sort of self-regarding pseuds more interested in being provocative than actually interesting. As a term its affected edginess ('not your mother's' art) and genesis as a sort of… Continue reading Faces Places – Review

Mute – Review

Mute, Duncan Jones, 2018 Any proper reference to 'cyberpunk' worth its salt will also see fit to invoke the genre’s godfather, William Gibson. This is good critical protocol. Yet the overwhelmingly negative reaction among critics to Duncan Jones’ new SF-noir Mute suggests few ever made it past the first sentence of Neuromancer: “the sky above… Continue reading Mute – Review