Johannes Black

Johannes Black

Freelance critic, writer. Find me in Flickfeast, TN2: Magazine, Trinity Film Review, and The Cambridge Student.

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  • Some Kind of Heaven

    Some Kind of Heaven

    ★★★★

    Here is one of the strangest documentaries you will see this year. For many, especially the ageing, whose lives have reached their full stop, The Villages, Florida, is the place to spend the final months and years. This is Disneyland for retirees, a bubble of life removed from the real world, with sprawling residential communities and activities ranging from synchronised swimming to acting classes. The retirement community is designed to feed its residents' nostalgia for a 1950s Americana, and the…

  • Up in the Air

    Up in the Air

    ★★★★½

    George Clooney plays it close to home as Ryan Bingham, a corporate "downsizer" whose job firing employees flies him back and forth across the United States for 2/3rds of the year. But neither this life in transit nor the inevitable isolation particularly affect Ryan, who has managed to fold and compartmentalise his needs and necessities in the same way he packs his medium-sized suitcase. Family, relationships, and the realities of living alone would take up extra space, in his view,…

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  • JFK

    JFK

    ★★★★

    Part 1 of Oliver Stone's "American President Trilogy":

    JFK is Oliver Stone's epic, cumbersome thesis on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, splicing cinematic memory with documentary realism, and upheaving monumental amounts of historical and conspiratorial information. This pseudo-biography of Jim Garrison's investigation brims with fire and fury for the subject, and Stone offers a provocative, alternative history of what really happened. This film is not a historical document by any means, but it demonstrates, and is a product of, the "cult of the Kennedy assassination myth," demanding answers to questions that have yet to be answered.

  • Enfant Terrible

    Enfant Terrible

    ★★★½

    The many lives, passions and films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder are laid bare in Oskar Roehler's unconventional, but immensely rewarding, biopic. I have loved Fassbinder's pictures for many years, and his free-thinking, often theatrical, depictions of class and sexuality are rendered here in fascinating detail.