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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★½

    One of the most talked about films of 2019 was French director Celine Sciamma's enigmatic tale of memory, forbidden love and the magic of confiding one another. The film won the Queer Palm and best screenplay awards at Cannes but was, surprisingly, not selected to compete for best foreign language film at the Oscars, where it could have possibly, and deservedly, won. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a quietly moving film that focuses primarily on the honesty of…

  • The Sword of Doom

    The Sword of Doom

    ★★★★

    Pitch-Black samurai action film chronicling the demise of a soulless swordsman to whom the viewer can feel no grain of sympathy. Feels akin to Raging Bull in its unfaltering brutal depiction of destructive masculinity and the ‘man who knows nothing other than his...’ archetype. The film is elegant too, the crisp black and white photography accompanied by a keen compositional eye and a fitting score makes for a handful of scenes which are both chaotic and pretty. The final freeze-frame, although an often missemployed filmic device, is perfect, subverting the viewer’s expectations as to the direction of the final act, whilst also just being so damn awesome.