• Invitation to Hell

    Invitation to Hell

    ★★★½

    43 minutes, perfect length. It takes five minutes for things to go wrong, then five more minutes to sketch the bodies to drop, and then it’s just blood and bad mood in enveloping darkness until nothing is left but the night is still young. Delighted by the gruesome image of a silent farm hunk crucified on a wall of naked women with his heart ripped out.

  • Bloodstream

    Bloodstream

    ★★★★

    First pick out of Indicator’s absurdly lavish boxset of the films of Michael J Murphy, who worked pretty constantly for decades with very little money and a Jess Franco-like tendency to leave works unfinished. Bloodstream was never officially released 
    until this blu ray (a cast screening was taped and made its way online years ago; that version with some different ADR than the restored cut is also on the disc) because Murphy thought it was too personal and bitter. Given…

  • They Eat Scum

    They Eat Scum

    ★★★★

    Nick Zedd persuasively argues that most people have been corrupted by ambient bad energy and most art is co-opted by faux revolutionary posturing. Even at the end of days, the Nazi punks unthinkingly cling to their supposed superiority in the face of wonderful “YMCA”-blasting disco mutants. Big laugh at the “Good Vibrations” needle drop over people in the street getting cannibalised. Just bought a copy of Zedd’s memoirs hell yeah.

  • Mermaid Legend

    Mermaid Legend

    ★★★★½

    Spends an hour schematically laying out the personal and political injustices that can destroy any one (specially female) labourer’s life and then dramatically transforms with primal anger into bloody spiritual howling. The move coincides with shift from pinku-esque crime drama to righteous slasher. Lead actress Mari Shirato is wonderfully feral and looks natural in the soaking rain covered in blood. Extremely moving.

  • A Bigger Splash

    A Bigger Splash

    ★★

    Fun relatively horny hang out that unconvincingly strains for drama and then goes on for another half hour without illuminating anything novel. The love quadrangle is very lopsided because Dakota Johnson’s character and performance are nothing, barely there void designated as seductive destabilising force, and she like the other characters gain or lose a conservative heart as arbitrarily called for by the script. That these bougie bohemians are vacuous, privileged and hypocritical is quickly obvious but their personal failures interested…

  • Liberte

    Liberte

    ★★★★

    These people are desperate for freedom from tyranny, which for them means freedom from sexual and then moral and then aesthetic mores, but reality gets in the way of the dream: they cannot find the properly loose participants, or the horses to tear people apart, or even each other in the woods half the time. Even worse, they can’t get hard.

  • Against Pornography: The Feminism of Andrea Dworkin

    Against Pornography: The Feminism of Andrea Dworkin

    Bad doc, doesn’t do a good job outlining Dworkin’s ideas (at least for someone relatively unfamiliar with them) but in the way she discusses porn as a constsntly twisting and renewing channel for self and externally afflicted physical and (maybe even moreso) psychic abuse, I think I see why Peter sotos likes her.

  • Skinamarink

    Skinamarink

    ★★½

    I theoretically share many aesthetic concerns re the uncanny, slippery geography, offscreen space, and oppressive nocturnal with the filmmakers but I don’t have the same intertwined nostalgia. The subjective child’s POV remained distant, especially because I was repeatedly unimmersed by the jump scares, the narrativisation of the bad vibes (572 days), and the overlaid celluloid filter; the digital noise is a pulsating and welcome extension of the camera in the space but the fake analogue defects kept shaking me out of the kid’s camera eye and onto the set. I liked the endless hallway.

  • Knock at the Cabin

    Knock at the Cabin

    ★★★½

    Signs for an uncertain world. God or chaos, is such an ugly place worth saving? This question could have simmered a little more - the day or so on the edge of endlessness goes by fast - but the same efficient impulse imbues Shyamalan’s cause/effect obsession with welcome uncluttered urgency. A movie on making big questions with little time to ponder.

  • Pathaan

    Pathaan

    ★★★½

    Shah Rukh Khan is the sexiest ultra-nationalist spy ever; somehow he’s always dressed like modern day Johnny Depp but still looks great with beautiful hair and steroid-sculpted abs. If his American counterpart Tom Cruise is obsessed with showing off his corporeal body in carefully planned real danger, SRK is happy to live onscreen as a posed icon in the baldly artificial. He is convincing as a super spy not because he seems really capable of skilfully murdering nameless goons but…

  • Smoke Signals

    Smoke Signals

    ★★★½

    Travels with the great but often underserved actor Adam Beach led me to this Sundance Audience Award-winning and Miramax-distributed dramedy about two directionless young men (Beach and Evan Adams) living on the Coeur d'Alene Reservation in Idaho who embark on a road trip to collect the ashes of the former’s long-absentee father in Arizona. The shape of the story is familiar but the milieu and thematic concerns of Sherman Alexie’s script are specific.
    History is both immediate and far from…

  • Aliens

    Aliens

    ★★★★

    I don’t squirm easy but that scene in the raining med lab with the facehuggers makes me deeply uncomfortable.