The Raid Films

The Raid and The Raid 2 are very successful action films, perhaps the most successful we’ve seen in years, because the filmmaking style embodies a physicality that is matched by the key players. If you have seen The Raid, then you know what I mean, but if you haven’t then know this; this is a…

L’Enfant Sauvage

Francois Truffaut directed this film in 1969, by that point his ninth full length film, but it has the ramshackle earnestness of a first feature, a direct and simple work that gets straight to its point, and doesn't deviate once from the central plot thread. It is a grounded telling of the archetypal Tarzan story,…

The Innocents

Jack Clayton's "The Innocents" is a dark and warped little feature, made with extraordinary prestige, that manages to be genuinely horrifying, and leaves the viewer reeling with all sorts of hidden implications and grotesque subtleties. That it was made in 1961 is intriguing; it marks the halfway point between old stuffy gothic melodramas, and the graphic,…

Stations of the Cross

Some people will exit Dietrich Bruggemann's film "Stations of the Cross" thinking it to be an attack on religion. But I think a lot of religious people would gain a great deal from it. Indeed, as someone who has straddled the agnostic fence for some time, it provided a lot of food for thought on…

The Survivalist

There is a moment towards the end of Stephen Fingleton's 2015 "The Survivalist" where a character smokes a cigarette, and the ash, instead of falling off, forms a droopy grey cylinder, and at the point in the film that this occurs, we can't help but think to ourselves that the ash is a metaphor for…

My Brother’s Wedding (Director’s Cut)

Charles Burnett's 1983 film "My Brother's Wedding" is a lean piece of economic filmmaking, with a jumbled aesthetic that gives off a distinct impression of a few friends gathering round each weekend to shoot the breeze, and some footage on the sly. This seems odd given how strongly Burnett feels about his material, and how…