An insular tale of life in space, High Life gives Claire Denis’ dark, explorative filmmaking the zero gravity treatment. Abandoned and shunned by society, a group of death row inmates are sent to space, their goal to capture and record a black hole’s rotating energy, essentially, a suicide mission.
A group of friends, a cabin in the middle of nowhere and shit phone reception can only mean one thing; this film is unlikely to end well.
Post-Fleabag withdrawal will have Andrew Scott admirers chomping at the bit for another heavenly performance, cue Simon Fellows’ new thriller Steel Country set in Pennsylvania’s backwaters, adorned with Trump propaganda, American flags and water towers. There’s no mistaking what country we’re in as sanitation worker Donald Devlin (Scott) begins an obsessive investigation following the death of a local boy.
When Asraf Marwan fell to his death from a balcony in London in 2007 his secrets died with him too. Hailed as the best spy of the 20th Century, Egypt-born Marwan who after marrying Mona Nasser, daughter of President Nasser eventually moved to London to pursue his Masters in Chemistry. Marwan is considered as a hero and one of the world’s greatest modern spies by both Egypt and Israel, but questions still remain as to whether his loyalties lay solely with Egypt or if he was also aiding Israel.
Director Joaquín Cambre’s debut feature A Trip to the Moon (Un Viaje a la Luna) is an otherworldly coming-of-age film that follows Tomas (Ángelo Mutti Spinetta) as he navigates his way through life and ultimately, through space. A unique family drama coupled with nuanced performances is certainly something audiences wouldn’t have seen before, but there might be a reason for that.
Belgian director Lukas Dhont’s debut feature, Girl, although a critical success in the festival circuit, hasn’t been without its controversy. On the run up to the film’s release, Dhont has fought to defend his trans coming-of-age film in which critic, Oliver Whitney described as “the most dangerous movie about a trans character in years.”
Nestled on the outskirts of Nepal’s capital sits Snowland Ranag Light of Education School, a non-profit educational organisation committed to providing education to children of remote Himalayan villages. Founded by Guru Ranag Tulkhu Rinchin Rinpoche in 2001, Snowland has been supporting Nepal’s children from early childhood into their teens. Marcus Stephenson and Zara Balfour’s documentary Children of the Snow Land follows three students as they journey back home to see and speak to their families for the first time in twelve years.
Directed by Catherine Hardwicke and written by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, based on the 2011 Mexican film of the same name. Miss Bala stars Gina Rodriguez, Ismael Cruz Córdova, and Anthony Mackie, and follows a woman who trains to take down a Mexican drug cartel after her friend is kidnapped.
Gloria (Gina Rodriguez) finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength.
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Reviewed by Freda Cooper
Comedians have notoriously unfunny private lives, so Jon S Baird’s Stan And Ollie faces an uphill task right from the get-go. It’s multiplied by the fact that Messrs Laurel and Hardy were at their peak some 80 years ago, which means the film has to walk something of a tightrope. On the one hand, avoiding patronising members of the audience who are familiar with the duo’s films and legendary scenes, but on the other showing newcomers why they were so great and what made them funny. A neat trick, if you can pull it off.
Reviewed by April McIntyre
Adapted from the autobiographical novel of the same name and following Franklin J. Shaffner’s 1973 film, Michael Noer’s remake of Papillon follows the story of safe cracker and thief, Henri “Papillon” Charrière as he serves out his sentence in a penal colony in French Guiana.