Somewhere (2010) Review

First published on Snipe //

“Let’s open with one of those long, audience-testing shots, yeah, yeah, keep him driving around. Make about ten laps then we’ll cut.”

I imagine this is how Sofia Coppola speaks and I imagine this is how she sets up her anchored camera, after watching some ‘70s european art house cinema and listening to some French indie pop, before mumbling instructions to her Ray-Ban-wearing crew. She silently pats herself on the back with a studied expression of seriousness.Read More »


In Our Name (2010) Review

First published on Little White Lies (December 10 2010) //

Brian Welsh’s second feature, starring those recognisable but unnamable faces from a spectrum of Britain’s most loved/hated evening TV programmes, even manages all the feel and finish of some of those primetime weekday dramas, though it’s a trait that both works for and diminishes this particular low-budget production.Read More »

Route 36: The World’s First Cocaine Bar

First published in DotDotDash (Issue 4, Winter 2010; Australia) //

“Take it out of the bag”, one of them whispers, as a small mountain of Bolivian marching powder unfolds from the wrap. Forming peaks where it piles on the surface, the small patch of black bin liner is emptied into the soft light of the room. They lean in; throats dry with a fiendish desire, pushing pure uncut white to and fro with an out-of-date health insurance card from some place far, far behind them now. Racked up with two fat lines sat side-by-side along the blackened edges of a bootlegged copy of Appetite For Destruction, some stranger nearby leans in and assuredly urges: “Don’t use the straw, use this”, as he carefully hands over a softened and tightly rolled 10 Boliviano note. The newcomers eye their bounty, savour a last intake breath as they lurch down, and begin judiciously disappearing it up their snouts, chattering and grunting between disjointed monologues that they might later call conversation.Read More »

Surveying The Ruins of War Cinema

First published on Little White Lies (March 31 2010) //

The seemingly well-timed Best Picture Oscar for The Hurt Locker could either demonstrate film’s genuine power or its promotion of a skewed vision where, as Robert Fisk notes, “the sanctions that smothered Iraq for almost thirteen years have largely dropped from the story of our Middle East adventures. Our invasion of Iraq in March 2003 closed the page – or so we hoped – on our treatment of the Iraqi people before that date, removed the stigma attached to the imprisonment of an entire nation and their steady debilitation and death under the UN sanctions regime.”Read More »