Lisbon Story (1994) Review

First published on Little White Lies (July 1 2010) //

When you’re directly funded by the Lisbon tourist board, tasked with making a commercial film promoting the city and its culture, it seems a tad hypocritical to send your film off on a whim discussing how films, ‘garbage’ images, are now only used to ‘sell’ things. Continue reading Lisbon Story (1994) Review

Existentialism In Film

First published on Little White Lies (24 March 2010) //

To look at the endemic slew of mediocre films rolling onto screens every week, it might be trite to comment that ideas are not always the primary concern of a mainstream film; the aim of purely entertaining is an aspiration that can frequently take primacy rather than bogging down the viewer by inspiring original thought. Continue reading Existentialism In Film

Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010) Review

First published on Little White Lies (March 12 2010) //

Pretension is a subject seemingly dear to Banksy. It’s all over his work, from his mordant stencils which inspired a boisterous surge in street art popularity, to his grand socio-political satires plastered across the most daring of locations, Banksy takes the clichéd and turgid and shrewdly spins it on its head. Continue reading Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010) Review

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 They lean in; throats dry with a fiendish desire, pushing pure uncut white to and fro with an out-of-date health insurance card from some place far, far behind them now.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. Continue reading Route 36: The World’s First Cocaine Bar

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.” Continue reading Surveying The Ruins of War Cinema