Shame (2011) Review

First published on Spike Magazine (16th January 2012) //

Steve McQueen’s second feature is a visually arresting, thematically dense piece of cinema, that may, and probably will, prove to be an important film in years to come. That is, if enough people get to see it. Having been cursed with a NC-17 rating in the US and a limited release in the UK, it seems those it may have been intended for will be largely unaware of its arrival. Continue reading Shame (2011) Review

Azazel Jacobs Interview (in full)

First published on The Rumpus (21st November 2011) //

A New York transplant working in LA, and son of the legendary experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs, Azazel has journeyed steadily through the independent film scene since his debut in 2003 with Nobody Needs to Know.

He arrived this year with Terri, his biggest feature yet, a droll and unsentimental portrait of a pyjama-wearing teenager, played by newcomer Jacob Wysocki. Carer for his ageing uncle (an impressive by Creed Bratton), Terri must also deal with high school, the assistant principal (John C. Reilly) and generally growing up. A well-documented fan of The Clash (he appears unofficially in the Strummer biography, The Future Is Unwritten), Jacobs once said that he wished all of his interviews were about the band. We sat down for a chat about both.

Continue reading Azazel Jacobs Interview (in full)

Abel (2010) Review

First published on Snipe for London Film Festival 2010 //

Here’s one: a heartfelt directorial debut from Mexican actor Diego Luna, about a young boy who has this mental condition where he thinks he’s his dad, so he comes home from the hospital and orders his family about, checks their homework, meets their boyfriends for approval and such like. Sounds funny? It’s all right. Continue reading Abel (2010) Review

Conviction (2010) Review

First published on Snipe for London Film Festival 2010 //

Conviction is a sickly and cynical bit of force-fed fluff, masquerading as serious drama as it squeezes all life out of its once-dignified story, dragging it through the shit heap of Hollywood to exploit its working-class subjects with predictable execution. Not the first, and not the last time this will happen. Continue reading Conviction (2010) Review

Blue Valentine (2010) Review

First published on Snipe for London Film Festival 2010 //

If you’ve happened upon any of the interviews with director and co-writer Derek Cianfrance talking about his 12-year project, Blue Valentine, you’ll notice there’s a through-line to all of them. As wearied as his two main characters become of each other, Cianfrance, in his routine exchanges with the press, generally refers to his film as a ‘duet’. Probably because that’s the perfect way to describe it. Continue reading Blue Valentine (2010) Review