Girlhood (featured image)

Girlhood (2014)

The original French title of Girlhood is Bande de filles – roughly, “girl gang” – and the difference between the two titles is illustrative of the dualism of director Céline Sciamma’s approach to the film. Centring on sixteen year old girl Marieme (Karidja Touré), the film provides an individual-centric portrait of her experience – friendship,…

Insurgent (featured image)

Insurgent (2015)

On the surface, Insurgent appears to be a substantial upgrade to Divergent. The cast is fleshed out with the likes of Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer, we’ve got a new director (Robert Schwentke, responsible for The Time Traveller’s Wife and, uh, R.I.P.D.) and we’ve even moved to the third dimension. Visually, we’ve definitely stepped things…

Advanced Style (featured image)

Advanced Style (2014)

Advanced Style is an affirming document of ageing – not gracefully, but stylishly. The film consists of a series of warm portraits of women in their 60s and over; women who embody their intelligence and artistry in their carefully-orchestrated appearance. As someone utterly ignorant of fashion, I admit to having some degree of trepidation. But…

Top Five (featured image)

Top Five (2014)

Hollywood has never really known what to do with Chris Rock. That’s been increasingly apparent over the last decade or so, with the so-called “the funniest man in America” finding work as either a cartoon zebra in the Madagascar series or as Adam Sandler’s Friend in The Longest Yard, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan…

Chappie (featured image)

Chappie (2015)

The toxic critical reaction to Neil Blomkamp’s latest sci-fi flick, Chappie, is understandable coming from those expecting the film to offer up a coherent social allegory, a coherent narrative or coherent action. It doesn’t deliver on those expectations. But once you recognise that the sharp satire of District 9’s opening half is an outlier rather…