Reviews from the third day of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Things pick up considerably after a rather mixed start, with two of the most imaginative and precise cinematic visions I've seen in years.
Surreal phone games open up an introverted detective and world of shared fantasy in Aloys | A timid tomboy boxing student faces an inexplicable gendered illness when she becomes a dancing Lioness in The Fits.
Barmy Bard-baiting in Macbeth Unhinged | Tokyo Godfathers but with zombies in Seoul Station | It only takes a camera to crack her mind in The Model
Reviews from the second day of EIFF 2016
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First daily report from the Edinburgh International Film Festival, with a review of the opening film Tommy's Honour. Not a great start.
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After his detour to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man 3, the king of the postmodern action-comedy, Shane Black, returns to knockabout noir with The Nice Guys
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Incongruously placed in the corner of the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center, past leaflets advertising such local treats as the Rookery Rock Winery and the Buffalo River Pumpkin Patch, is a rusted-yellow Yard Shark wood chipper. Visitors come from all over America to don a bomber hat, grab the kindly provided fake leg - complete with authentic white wool sock - and reenact the most famous body-disposal scene in Hollywood history.
Such is the enduring legacy of the Coen brothers' Fargo, which cemented them as America's foremost re-inventors of the crime drama. In 2006, ten years after it's release and two Oscars later, Fargo was inducted into the US National Film Registry, one of just five films in the registry to have been awarded a place on the first year they were eligible - an honour shared withGoodfellas, Raging Bull, Toy Story and Do the Right Thing. Now, ten years later, Fargo is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
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Demolition is frequently funny, sometimes touching and occasionally surprising, but constructs a wall of metaphors and quirks rather than knock down the artifice to deal with grief in a truly effective way. Enjoyment of the film depends very much on a viewer's willingness to accept the hack symbolism and surfeit of schmaltz, and just appreciate what works.
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At the end of the video game Bioshock -- spoiler alert -- the player-character is revealed to be an unwitting slave to a brainwashing antagonist, who triggers obedience by speaking the key phrase 'Would you kindly?' Throughout the game, the player has been given their objectives prefixed with the phrase, making for a neat commentary on the deceptive interactive freedom in gaming.
That phrase often comes to my mind when someone announces a supposedly innovative approach to interactive media, as the results are so often a disappointingly illusory sense of control. Fitting then that, in a recent interview with Wired, the creator of Bioshock, Ken Levine, is asking us kindly to be excited at the prospect of an interactive reboot of The Twilight Zone.
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"There is no more film, there is no more television - there is cinema. And it can be everywhere, and anywhere, and it can do anything."
Francis Ford Coppola isn't the director he used to be. Following his swan-dive from grace with the execrable Jack, tepid-to-terrible reactions to each film that followed dimmed expectations of a return to form. For better or worse, it seems as though the legendary maverick who restaged Vietnam, and determined the course of American crime drama, is lost. 'For worse', you're likely thinking to yourself. Well, you might be more sheepish in the future, when the supposedly diminished Coppola reinvents cinema.
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Writer-Director Jeff Nichols releases his inner Spielberg in Midnight Special, a sci-fi twist on his reliably compelling Southern Gothic myths
Still Prefer Paper
Getting from Barton Fink's blank page to Jack Torrance's minimalist masterpiece, one blog post at a time
Art & Design
All contributions by Kieran Gosney unless otherwise stated.
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