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Film Review: Mudbound

The opening scene of Dees Rees’s Mudbound shows two brothers digging a hole in the dreary half-light of an approaching storm, surrounded by mud. This scene bookends the film as we spend the rest of the film finding out how the characters got there, and evokes Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying — a stormy and unforgiving Mississippi, full of mud, washed out bridges, and the need to bury dead relatives.

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Film Review: Good Time

You’re the only one who’s going to have a good time with Good Time. This stylish and energised thriller from Ben and Josh Safdie stars Robert Pattinson as Connie, a petty criminal and devoted brother, in one of his best roles to date (Pattinson has always been good, don’t listen to the haters). Good Time is intermittently bleak and neon, like a dreamlike section of an LSD trip, and will make you go “oh, people like this actually exist”.

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Film Review: Ingrid Goes West

Directed by new comer Matt Spicer, Ingrid Goes West is perhaps one of the most knowing film of its genre. This brilliantly put together and genuinely engaging dark comedy knows more about its subject than the average Hollywood blockbuster around, and does a fantastic job in reconciling some of us with the world of social media in the most honest way possible. Spicer and co-writer David Branson Smith offer an impressive screenplay which manages to accurately relay the current social media trends of living one’s life online despite the obvious risks associated with it.

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Film Review: Walk of Fame review

Some films are trashy, but fun. You know the ones I mean, your friend would put them on and they would be about stupid people doing stupid things and eventually fall for one another and so on. We all know that plenty of those movies are great, not just a guilty pleasure, but an actual pleasure. I can absolutely assure you that Walk of Fame is not one of those movies — you will not even get the smallest amount of enjoyment from this movie.

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The Unseen: Screenwords Meets Jasmine Hyde

Jasmine Hyde talks to Screenwords about her experience of working on the small intimate production of psychological thriller The Unseen, what it was like to come across a script with a strong female lead, and about her time as a satanic nun filming Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens.

What initially drew you to the role?

JH: I read the script about 18 months ago when the director, Gary, who I’d previously worked with in theatre gave me a couple of scripts. I read it and thought that’s a very dark, intriguing story and that Gemma’s a cracking part. A few months later Gary said he was going to do a little pilot. It was only a couple of day’s commitment so I thought, why not. Then when he said he was going to make the film, I said yes, because parts like this don’t really come along that often. So many leads are men, so it’s a bit of a refreshing change. I also thought, my God, she has to go through some stuff and that will be quite interesting, and fun. I use the term fun quite loosely, but you know what I mean.

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Film Review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Film can be such a literal medium at times that the more subtler forms of the fantastic – those stories that do not rely on overwrought special effects – can divide viewers. This was the case with Yorgo Lanthimos last film, The Lobster, set in a dystopian spa for lonely hearts, which blended black comedy, fable and Bunuel-like surrealism. The film took audiences and critics into a world that looked familiar, but one reflected back to us in dreamy fragments. Enough viewers understood The Lobster to make it a breakout film. Lathimos continues to transcend expectations with The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which audaciously draws inspiration from Kubrick, particularly 2001, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut, for much of its first half.

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Film Review: Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Time waits for no one and for an actress in Hollywood this adage has a cruel pathos. At the peak of her fame in the 40s and 50s, Gloria Grahame was the quintessential “femme fatale” in films like The Big Heat, In A Lonely Place and The Bad and Beautiful, for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Married four times and considered too old and unpredictable by Hollywood, Grahame was reduced to often unflattering and underpaid secondary roles in the theatre, television and film (her most notable late period role was as John Heard’s accident prone mother in Chilly Scenes of Winter) in her fifties. No more difficult or vice prone than the average male actor, her career suffered because she committed the cardinal sin of getting old.

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Film Review: Marjorie Prime

Adapted by Michael Almereyda from Jordan Harrison’s 2014 play, Marjorie Prime is a gently haunting and deeply affecting tale which deals with themes relating to what separates human beings from artificial intelligence and whether holding on to someone’s memories, even after their death, is an essential part of who we are. Set in a near-future, the film offers a thought-provoking look at humanity’s acceptance of AI despite all the obvious pitfall attached to it.

Veteran stage and screen actress Lois Smith is Marjorie, a widowed octogenarian struggling to keep the memory of her dearly departed husband Walter alive. To keep her mind occupied and loneliness at bay, Marjorie’s daughter Tess (Gina Davis) and son in-law Jon (Tim Robbins) offer the old woman the company of a “ Prime”, a computer simulated much younger version of her late husband, played with a mesmeric precision and majestic stillness by Jon Hamm. Programmed to interact with Marjorie by listening to second-hand accounts from the old woman and her relatives’, Walter is able to quickly pick up whole chunks of history as inaccurate as they are, and then retelling them as ifs they were cast iron truths.

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