Rock the Casbah (2013)

Rock the Casbah (2013)

The funeral is a fertile ground for familial drama in the cinema. It’s easy to see why, what with the reunion of family members long separated by distance and/or estrangement born of malignant buried secrets unearthing those secrets in the heightened emotionality necessarily produced by grief and nostalgia. There are countless films in the ‘genre’…

Jack O'Connell in '71 (2014)

’71 (2014)

The Troubles (the violent Northern Ireland conflict between Catholics and Protestants) are defined by a moral and political complexity that’s difficult to successfully convey on film. Many of the movies that have succeeded in portraying the era – In the Name of the Father, The Outsider, Good Vibrations – avoid the problems of presenting either…

Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games - Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

Mockingjay – Part 1 is unsatisfactory not simply because it’s telling half a story, but because its ideas are given neither sufficient depth nor a sufficiently engaging narrative to wrap around them. Much like fellow threequel Matrix Revolutions, it trades the diverse visual palette of its predecessors for drab bunkers and ruins painted in endless…

Cliff Curtis in The Dark Horse (2014)

The Dark Horse (2014)

Opening this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival and now making its way to Australia, The Dark Horse elevates its familiar storyline through specificity and authenticity. It tells the story of Genesis “Dark Horse” Potini (played by Kiwi character actor Cliff Curtis), an erstwhile speed chess player who now exhibits erratic behaviour fuelled by his…

Adventure Time Season 4

Adventure Time Season 4

Adventure Time’s third season represented an evolutionary leap forward for the show, taking Pendleton Ward’s template – a preschool mix of Dadaism and Dungeons & Dragons portion out in eleven minute episodes – and directing towards experimentation and serialisation alike. The third season featured a range of episodes that deviated from the established formula of…

Jack O'Connell in Starred Up (2013)

Starred Up (2014)

The phrase “starred up” is British slang, referring to the transfer of a juvenile offender to adult incarceration. In David Mackenzie’s Starred Up the offender in question is Eric (Jack O’Connell). We enter the prison with Eric, watching him as he is strip-searched, as he constructs a makeshift shiv, as he unleashes savage violence on…

The Wolf of Wall Street - Leonardo DiCaprio

Lessons on the Wolf

I usually stick to posting solely my own content on ccpopculture, but occasionally you stumble on something that just needs to be shared. Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is the best film I’ve seen in the cinema in the past year and Milad Tangshir’s video essay, Lessons of the Wolf, goes a long way towards…