1926; directed by Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton; written by Al Boasberg, Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton, Charles Henry Smith and Paul Girard Smith; 75 mins

Having never seen any Buster Keaton before now but seen Tony Zhou’s wonderful YouTube video essay from his Every Frame a Painting channel, I decided to take the plunge with what is now Keaton’s most highly regarded work. Essentially, the most epic comedy routine of all time, this is an action-packed chase movie with massive set piece gags playing off against the stony face of Keaton’s baffled train driver. Continue reading



1975; directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau; written by Jean-Loup Dabadie, Élisabeth Rappeneau and Jean-Paul Rappeneau; 107 mins

[No english language trailer, sorry]

So, here’s a film I saw completely out of the blue, basically because it’s the last screening that I could get to this year at the Dunedin Film Society and I needed to use up my three-ticket pass. Went in completely unaware of what it was other than it was an old French rom-com. Now! I’ve nothing against rom-coms (per se) but recently, doing the weekly reviews, the genre that has stood a mile out for sheer awfulness has been French rom-coms! Continue reading


2016; directed by Ben Wheatley; written by Amy Jump and Ben Wheatley; 86 mins

So, we didn’t see this one in NZ cinemas because apparently no one would want to see a bunch of stars in a slam bang, feature-length action exploitation flick, presented by Martin Scorsese. No one. You couldn’t sell that! Much like Kiwi distributors didn’t bother selling Wheatley’s previous film, High-Rise, a big dystopian sci-fi starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Elisabeth Moss and Luke Evans and they didn’t so the same with Midnight Special, American Honey, Inherent Vice and countless other top-notch US and UK, director-led genre movies (to say nothing of the scores of foreign language films that don’t even get a look-in) and I am fucking sick of this! Continue reading


2017; directed by Claire Denis; written by Christine Angot and Claire Denis; 94 mins

[Sorry, no trailers yet but here’s a nice clip to get you going]

Final fest flick* and why not finish with Binoche and Denis (sounds like a magic act)? Quite different from my previous experience of Denis’ work, from the notices it got at Cannes, I’d’ve expected the Woody Allen** mixed with the quagmire of atrocious French farces I’ve been subjected to amidst the weekly releases. Happily, whilst not up there with either White Material or 35 Shots of Rum, we’re far, far away from the self-satisfied witterings of the aforementioned shite. Continue reading


2017; written and directed by Aki Kaurismäki; 100 mins

I have a new favourite Aki Kaurismäki movie! Move over Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses! Sadly, this is also going to be his last, if the director’s own statements are to be believed*. Still, at least he managed to get in all the Kaurismäki-isms like the font you see above which spells out the credits of all his movies, people drinking and smoking as though it will put years back on their lives, old men playing 50s Rock & Roll, poker faces galore and deliberately stilted camera direction. What an oddly cosy place to be. Continue reading


1994; written and directed by Kevin Smith; 88 mins

Whatever happened to the no-budget indie? In the 80s and 90s, you had a string of movies made for fuck all like The Evil Dead, Bad Taste, Pusher, Slacker and El Mariachi. Even into the early Noughties, you had things like Primer and Scott Ryan’s The Magician. Movies made with no profile whatsoever and nothing to rely on other than actual talent. Now, all we get are those fucking awful Asylum movies but nothing else seems to break through in the way they did. Strange when you think of the availability of cameras and the rise of special features on DVD and Blu-Ray. One of the shining, shitty beacons amongst all these is Clerks, the foul-mouthed, funnier and shorter B&W answer to ‘Ulysses’. Continue reading