A PRAYER BEFORE DAWN – Finding nourishment in a gyre of violence

Intimacy. That’s the surprising sentiment that rung in my head after seeing ‘A Prayer Before Dawn’, an immersive prison drama based on a true story which charts a man’s tortured path to redemption. It is expertly told in the way it projects relations between characters that soothe and revile; comfort and violate. Our director, Jean-Stéphane… Read More A PRAYER BEFORE DAWN – Finding nourishment in a gyre of violence

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE – A lean, brutal study of a tortured soul

Just under 90 minutes. That’s all the brilliant Lynne Ramsey needs to construct here frenzied cinematic figurine in ‘You Were Never Really Here’, which harnesses a mood evoking Nicolas Winding Refn’s ‘Drive’ whilst strongly channeling Scorsese’s ‘Taxi Driver’. At its core lies a painful longing for innocence in desperately hellish times examined on the canvas… Read More YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE – A lean, brutal study of a tortured soul

TANZANIA TRANSIT: A beautiful taste of an all too familiar foreign land

I originally penned this for a guest post on Dandano… enjoy. ‘Tanzania Transit’ may be one of my favourite films of 2018. Aside from the bonus of this documentary gifting me my first onscreen feel of Tanzania, it’s a train movie somewhat in the mould of South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, which I really loved. Of course,… Read More TANZANIA TRANSIT: A beautiful taste of an all too familiar foreign land

Foreshadowing the fall of Jacob Zuma in THE GIANT IS FALLING

I originally penned this for a guest post on Dandano… enjoy. The giant fell. Today’s viewers of the 2016 South African documentary The Giant is Falling will be aware of this. Jacob Zuma resigned as South Africa’s President in February 2018 after unrelenting pressure from various citizen and political movements. However, with the benefit of hindsight/foresight, the… Read More Foreshadowing the fall of Jacob Zuma in THE GIANT IS FALLING

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM – Originality in this franchise nears extinction

I’m a little envious of kids today. Judging by the fifth Jurassic movie, ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’, it’s clear they are unlikely to wake up drenched in sweat and palpitating after being hounded by a T-Rex or a Raptor. When did the T-Rex become our friend? When did we get to a point where a Raptor swoops… Read More JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM – Originality in this franchise nears extinction

ANNIHILATION – A mesmerising retort to creationism

Alex Garland’s ‘Annihilation’ is tapping into the highest echelons of science fiction, so much so that its distributor, Paramount, wanted nothing to do with and all but jettisoned into the hands of a streaming service. Adapted from a novel by Jeff VanderMeer, ‘Annihilation’  is overdosed on ambiguity and an intellectual vortex that transports us into… Read More ANNIHILATION – A mesmerising retort to creationism

BLACK GIRL – Sembene prods at the myth of decolonisation in his blueprint for African Cinema

To immerse yourself in Ousmane Sembene’s 1966 film, ‘Black Girl’ (La Noire de…) is to time-travel to ground zero of African Cinema. Sembene’s extremely lean but layered first feature film was the first by sub-Saharan African, earning him the mantle of the “father of African film”. Yes, there were films produced in Africa during the… Read More BLACK GIRL – Sembene prods at the myth of decolonisation in his blueprint for African Cinema

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR – Resistance to Thanos and the MCU is futile

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is the most star-studded blockbuster in the history of cinema. Probably the most expensive too. It’s an over-crowded family reunion of epic proportions presided over the big bad Thanos (Josh Brolin), as was promised. It delivers a mammoth high for the masses who have accepted the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the cinematic… Read More AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR – Resistance to Thanos and the MCU is futile

HOSTILES – This brutal Western stops just short of being great

We are introduced to Scott Cooper’s ‘Hostiles’ with a solemn quote from D.H. Lawrence, assuring me that I was about to immerse myself in one of my favourite things in cinema – the Western that attempts to cut to the core of man’s tortured existence. What follows D.H. Lawrence’s affirmation of man’s marriage to violence… Read More HOSTILES – This brutal Western stops just short of being great

READY PLAYER ONE – Spielberg crafts an ugly romance with pop-culture porn

‘Ready Player One’ is much more than the love letter to gaming culture some corners of the internet would have you believe. The earlier suggestions from some that this could be the “Black Panther for gamers” were ridiculous. Whilst its director, Stephen Spielberg, has admitted his affinity for the 80 with regards to the influences… Read More READY PLAYER ONE – Spielberg crafts an ugly romance with pop-culture porn