PODCAST: Oscar Nominations 2019 [Electric Shadows]

Rob Daniel & Rob Wallis touch the sore tooth that is Oscar nominations 2019.

They discuss the insanity, or at least inanity, of nominating Bohemian Rhapsody for Best Picture, and how safe the Best Picture nods are in general. They’re happy Spike Lee finally has his Best Director nomination, and acknowledge a few other things the Academy got right.…

Victoria: a one-take thrill ride through night-time Berlin

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

One take, 138 minutes. From a strobe-lit club to a pale Berlin dawn, Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria plays out in real time over the course of a single eventful night.

Twenty-something Spanish barista Victoria (Laia Costa), drinking alone at a bar, hooks up with a gang of happy-go-lucky chancers, including punch-drunk Brando-alike Sonne (Frederick Lau).…

A War loses sight of its dramatic conflict amid the haze of moral relativism

2 Stars (2 / 5)

 

Few scenarios lend themselves to dramatization better than the battlefield and the courtroom.

The blood and chaos of the former; the eloquence and order of the latter. What Tobias Lindholm’s recent Best Foreign Language nominee, A War, does is reveal the paradox of trying to impose the process of law after the fact.…

Son of Saul recasts the Holocaust as Bruegelian nightmare

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 

In Son of Saul, first-time director László Nemes gets us right up in the face of Saul Ausländer (poet-turned-actor Géza Röhrig).

Saul’s powerful features and dark eyes give him a sharp, watchful look. As a Hungarian Jew, and member of a Sonderkommando work unit at Auschwitz, it pays to be watchful.…

Partisan is a film with allegory issues

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

A grey curve of mountain road. A forested valley overshadowed by dilapidated tower blocks. A dog howls, off.

Nonspecific in its exact time and place, though vaguely Baltic in its devastation, the inhospitable landscape into which Partisan immerses us makes a strong case for any sort of alternative, as offered by Vincent Cassel’s Gregori.…

The Wave (2015) starts as a tsunami and turns into a washout

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

You may remember Dennis Gansel’s The Wave (Die Welle), a fictionalised take on The Third Wave, which saw a group of high school students established their own fascist dictatorship as part of a social experiment.

The Tribe envelops you in a world of silence

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

What makes a film “brave”? Is it telling a type of story that hasn’t been told before? Is it doing something innovative technically? By either definition, The Tribe is brave film-making.

The feature debut of Ukrainian writer-director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, it takes place in a time and place where sound is, by and large, irrelevant, and features “No translation, no subtitles, no voice-over”, only sign language.…

Timbuktu is a journey into the heart of everyday extremism

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

As issues go there are few more topical or red-button than Islamic fundamentalism.

Therefore it makes it all the more impressive that Abderrahmane Sissako’s new film, Timbuktu, manages to tackle it with such integrity and even humour.…