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Revisiting Gus Van Sant’s disturbing portrait of a high school shooting

Of the three films comprising Gus Van Sant’s so-called “Death Trilogy” (the others being 2002’s Gerry and 2005’s Last Days), Elephant (2003) remains the most affecting and prescient. Although a major success at Cannes, earning both the Palme d’Or and Best Director awards of that year, it is largely overlooked in comparison with the rest […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: how Raw is about the animal in all of us

In its opening scenes, Julia Ducournau’s Raw  establishes Justine (Garance Marillier) as a strict vegetarian; when she finds a piece of meat in her mashed potatoes at a buffet, she spits it out with repulsion. However, through a series of increasingly squirm-inducing moments, Ducournau traces her protagonist’s journey to the polar opposite of the gastronomic spectrum: […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: discover Éric Rohmer’s heartfelt testament to parenthood

Éric Rohmer was fascinated by philosopher Blaise Pascal’s ‘wager’ of faith, a literal gamble one takes in either believing or not believing in God. Believing is the best ‘bet’ one can make, since there is no way of losing: “If you win, you win everything; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager that he exists […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: a dive into the existential world of Tarkovsky’s Stalker

The central location in Andrei Tarkovsky’s meditative Stalker sounds like something out of a fairy tale: deep within “The Zone” – a mysterious and ever-shifting landscape left on Earth by some unknown entity – is a room that realises its inhabitants’ deepest desires. In theory, this location should be a gift, and perhaps it was […]

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Brilliant Failure Reviews

Brilliant Failure: Why The Happening deserves a second chance

Now that M. Night Shyamalan is again enjoying critical and public success thanks to The Visit and Split, it’s high time we revisit what is perhaps his most misunderstood offering: the wildly uneven but oddly fascinating The Happening. Although derided as “that movie where Mark Wahlberg talks to a plant,” it remains the writer-director’s bleakest film to […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: rainbow imagery and the otherworldly atmosphere of Eyes Wide Shut

Rainbow imagery plays a central role in Stanley Kubrick’s final film, the enigmatic Eyes Wide Shut.

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: discover Murmur of the Heart, Louis Malle’s coming-of-age classic

Murmur of the Heart consists of two halves: the first a celebration of youth, and the second an awakening to adulthood’s messy realities.

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New Release Reviews

New Release: Mother!

Gratuitous splatter-fest or underrated masterpiece? Big Picture critic Thomas Puhr reviews Darren Aronofsky’s latest, Mother!

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: The Human Mask in Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)

As dense and uncategorisable as Ingmar Bergman’s Persona (1966) is, the filmmaker’s career-spanning fascination with the human face remains abundantly clear. In one of his most startling images, he combines his female lead’s facial features to demonstrate how one’s identity cannot exist in total isolation but is always influenced and moulded by others. Elisabet Vogler […]