World cinema

Review: Red and White (Merah Putih)

Review: Red and White (Merah Putih)

The heroes in Red and White fight the Dutch colonial powers for the red and white of the new Indonesian flag. Red stands for the blood of courage and white for their lofty ideal - two qualities eulogised in this movie. You might end up feeling that the praise for the heroes of the war of independence is just a...

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Review: The Assassin Next Door (Kirot)

Review: The Assassin Next Door (Kirot)

Cinema gangsters used to come from Italy, or perhaps the East End. Not any more, the nastiest mafia in the movies nowadays mostly come from Russia. The Assassin Next Door is set in Israel, but the gangsters are brutal, hatchet-faced Russians. Galia (Olga Kurylenko) is a young Russian woman whose child...

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Biutiful: a review

Biutiful: a review

Biutiful is an exhausting portrayal of the complex webs we weave in life, and then struggle desperately to untangle in the wake of a crisis. That's not to say it's not worth watching, but it's probably not one for someone who's feeling a little bit...fragile. Biutiful has been nominated for this year's...

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Review: The Undercover War

Review: The Undercover War

Collaborate or resist? That is the question asked in the World War II film, The Undercover War. Set in occupied Luxembourg, François (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet) is a young man who faces the prospect of either being sent to certain death on the Eastern Front or joining a group of draft dodgers hiding out in a...

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Loose Cannons (Mine Vaganti) – review

Loose Cannons (Mine Vaganti) – review

Loose Cannons or Mine Vaganti, as it is called in Italy, is the sort of film that will leave you somewhat confused. It's not that the film isn't enjoyable but for me, as an English viewer, I was left feeling slightly uneasy about the depiction of the gay storyline (which is the central plot). What makes it...

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Review: Uncle Boonmee (who can remember his past lives)

Review: Uncle Boonmee (who can remember his past lives)

Uncle Boonmee (Who Can Remember his Past Lives) is unlike any film you'll see this year. You may leave the cinema entranced by the film's beauty or perplexed by it's baffling plot, or more likely, both. It travels through emotional landscapes that are peaceful, but also slightly unsettling. The film is not...

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White Material – Review

White Material – Review

White Material is a touching and tragic story of the consequences of colonial tensions and civil war... I think. I mean, that's definitely the gist of it. It's not hard to understand that paying to pass through a roadblock manned by rebel soldiers is not the way it should be, the way it has been, for...

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Review: The Silent Army

Review: The Silent Army

Two young boys grow up playing computer games and football together - what could be more simple? When one is white and one black and they live in a war-torn part of Africa, nothing is easy. Jean van de Velde's The Silent Army is set in an unnamed East African country where Eduard Zuiderwijk (Marco...

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The Concert isn’t quite on key- a review

The Concert isn’t quite on key- a review

It's fair to say that a film about a Russian orchestra may not necessarily be at the top of my movie wishlist. My grandma on the other hand is a huge classical music fan, so I decided to watch The Concert with her. As I suspected, it didn't really interest me but my grandma on the other hand thoroughly enjoyed...

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LFF Roundup #1: Young Girls in Black, Heartbeats, Two Gates of Sleep, Womb

LFF Roundup #1: Young Girls in Black, Heartbeats, Two Gates of Sleep, Womb

Behind the throbbing crowds of the red carpet and prestigious Gala screenings that dominate the media coverage of the London Film Festival, there are also a host of premiers for other pictures. Some worthy of your attention, others not. Sometimes it can be easy to forget amidst the scale of such a large...

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