Finding Fela! (2014)

Finding Fela!, a documentary from Alex Gibney (The Armstrong Lie, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) about legendary Nigerian singer/political dissident Fela Kuti, follows the model popularised by the Oscar-winning Searching for Sugar Man. That model, found in the likes of Finding Vivien Maier, The Last Impresario, A Band Called Death – tends to…

Lyle (2014)

Rosemary’s Baby is arguably a perfect film; it stands to reason that Stewart Thorndike’s low-budget lesbian riff on Polanski’s classic would fall short of its source material. Her adaptation, Lyle, doesn’t follow Rosemary’s Baby to the letter – the couple is composed of two women, they already have a child when they move into a…

The Gambler (2014)

The Gambler has earned its fair share of criticism for being yet another film about the problems of a rich white dude. That’s more of an observation than a criticism, since the film is interrogating the idea of how one can deliberately erode this privilege. A fairer remark would be to note that, unfortunately, The…

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

A movie about sex – kinky sex – is in cinemas, and as a film critic, and therefore a noted arbiter of good taste (bear with me), I’m expected to regard this adaptation of a smutty bestseller with derision or, at best, suspicion. But let’s take a different tack, shall we? Why not approach the…

Highschool DXD New

The first season of Highschool DxD distinguished itself from its fellow fanservice anime series through sheer ambition. To describe it as an impressive artistic achievement would be an overstatement, undoubtedly, but in a genre that’s generally content to cobble together panty shots and inadvertent nudity into perfunctory, predictable plotlines it was refreshing to see Highschool…

The Interview (2015)

Remember the last low-brow comedy to centre on the attempted assassination of a world leader? I’m of course talking about Zoolander, where Ben Stiller’s empty-headed male model was brainwashed to murder the prime minister of Malaysia. Roger Ebert took issue with the subplot – “Didn’t it strike anybody connected with this movie that it was…

Kwaidan (1964)

Kwaidan probably deserves a higher rating than the three stars I’ve given it here; I watched this at GOMA’s Myths and Legends screening (it was the ~160 min European cut, not the 183 minute cut they advertised) in the middle of a busy week and spent the majority of the film drifting in and out…