World cinema

The Kid with a Bike – Review

The Kid with a Bike – Review

It is rare to encounter a film which swaps sentimentality for realism and still remains as watchable as The Kid with a Bike. While the clumsily worded title of this Belgian drama suggests that something may have been lost in translation, the characters, emotions and encounters depicted by directing...

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In Darkness – Review

In Darkness – Review

Much of In Darkness takes place in the dank, foul-smelling, and lightless sewer tunnels. Even when the action moves above ground, it is still overshadowed by an absence of light of the moral kind. Despite the serious subject matter, the film still stands a good chance of winning the Oscar for the Best Film in a...

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One More – Reviewed

One More – Reviewed

Shivajee Chandrabhushan's third film One More opened London's Pan-Asia Film Festival last Friday. As the director's previous film Frozen won a handful of prizes, expectations might be riding high for this one, but audiences may well find themselves disappointed. The film is set in the Indian region of...

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Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna: Reviewed

Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna: Reviewed

Trishna is Michael Winterbottom's modernisation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles moved to contemporary India - a transition which perhaps works better in theory than in practise. The film follows the story of Trishna, a peasant girl played by Freida Pinto, who meets British-Indian Jay Singh,...

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Love on a Pillow – Review

Love on a Pillow – Review

Love on a Pillow was the fourth and final film that Roger Vadim made with Brigitte Bardot. Together they had created the uniquely French sex symbol that was Bardot in the 1956 movie And God Created Woman and with this slightly eccentric feature they said their cinematic farewell. The story goes that...

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Special Forces – Review

Special Forces – Review

Special Forces (or Forces Spéciales) is that rare beast, a French war movie. Yes, seeing the French army taking out bad guys might break a bit of fresh ground, but in all other respects this film follows every time-honoured formula imaginable. Set in current Afghan war, it follows a unit of French...

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March to the Rhythm: The Tin Drum reviewed

March to the Rhythm: The Tin Drum reviewed

Hitler may have been a genocidal maniac, but he was also a ridiculous little man. So a boy with a tendency for tantrums is probably a very appropriate hero for a film that traces the ravages of Nazism on German history. The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel) is an adaptation of Gunter Grass's highly acclaimed...

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Troll Hunter – Review

Troll Hunter – Review

Troll Hunter. Those two words effectively tell you everything you need to know about the plot and the protagonist of this particular monster flick. But it's more than that. Every once in a while, a film will arrive on the scene that strikes you as something a little different from the endless supply of comic...

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Empire of Passion – Review

Empire of Passion – Review

Obsessive passion, death by strangulation and two lovers facing an indifferent or hostile world - Nagisa Ôshima's Empire of Passion (Ai No Borei) has certain similarities with  his In the Realm of the Senses (Ai No Corrida). The films are said to be companion pieces, but Ai No Borei made in 1978, two years...

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In the Realm of the Senses – Ai No Corrida | Review

In the Realm of the Senses – Ai No Corrida | Review

Ai No Corrida (In the Realm of the Senses) is well known as one of the most sexually explicit art films ever made, but don't confuse it for an arty porn film. Yes, there is a lot of (real) shagging, but it's not exactly chasing thrills. After all, the male lead has his penis chopped off by the...

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