The Dead Lands

My research tells me there are few feature films entirely in Māori, and I certainly haven't seen any of them before now, so this was fascinating. At its heart is the story of a young man seeking revenge on a much more skilful and brutal warrior after some horrible things happen to his extended family on … Continue reading The Dead Lands


Long takes, still camera and minimal dialogue. It's all a bit Tarkovsky, but left me asking what and why, which generally isn't the case with the Russian director, who is clearly a massive influence here. It has also has a definite Western vibe (yet another in 2015 - see here for others) and is framed … Continue reading Jauja


Much as I enjoy a good documentary, in the past few years I have struggled with them as I've felt manipulated by a number which others have rated really highly (Stories We Tell and Mistaken For Strangers to name two). Asif Kapadia and his team seem to have found a way around (most of) this … Continue reading Amy

Clouds of Sils Maria

The Clouds of the title are a meteorological phenomenon which happens in the mountains, where the clouds swirl through the peaks and valleys like a serpent. The clouds will look different depending on where you are viewing them from, but they also shape shift while you are actually watching them. The film's plot does exactly … Continue reading Clouds of Sils Maria


Gael García Bernal manages to choose roles which have something to say about the world, often political, and frequently featuring real people or events (I'm thinking No, ¿Quién es Dayani Cristal? or También la Lluvia, for example). Here again, he plays British-based Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, arrested for 'espionage' while covering Iranian presidential elections in … Continue reading Rosewater