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Real Hollywood Movie

The Disaster Artist, dir. James Franco│ The past few years have seen James Franco trying to make a name for himself as a director, after establishing a persona as a committed actor and visual artist. His various efforts as a filmmaker, in particular his series of Faulkner and Steinbeck adaptations (plus a shot at Cormac… Read more »

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Truth in Every Joke

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, dir. Martin McDonagh │Martin McDonagh’s films, in particular In Bruges (2008), are known for their eloquent  vulgarity and the script for Three Billboards is undeniably extremely witty and absurd. Yet what takes the film beyond the point of being simply enjoyable is its ever- surprising emotional depth. For every half-thought-out… Read more »

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Taking the Edge Off Things

The Edge of Seventeen, dir. Kelly Fremon Craig│Though it seemed at least initially rather out of place in the programme at TIFF this year, the mainstream teen movie The Edge of Seventeen fully deserved to be seen by film critics and a festival audience before being released in cinemas and on VOD platforms. For, under… Read more »

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Contentment with Contemptuous Content

Blue Jay, dir. Alex Lehmann│Something of a founding father for that particular indie aesthetic which reclaims awkwardness and sentimentalism as the defining characteristic of millennials, Mark Duplass seems keen to try out this sensibility in every conceivable genre and medium, adopting myriad roles in the process from producer and director to screenwriter and actor. After… Read more »

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Everything Goes Wrong

Dog Eat Dog, dir. Paul Schrader│ Paul Schrader’s last official effort as director was The Canyons, a supremely odd, low budget attack on the hollowness of the Los Angeles lifestyle and contemporary Hollywood. Schrader himself disowns the more recent Dying of the Light since the film was taken out of his hands by its producers… Read more »