Ford On Film

Chronicles of a silver screen addict

Category Archives: Cult Film Review

Tangerine deserves to be known as more than just the iPhone 5 movie

More commonly known as the film shot entirely on an iPhone 5, Sean Baker’s somewhat alternative Christmas film Tangerine follows 24 hours in the lives of transgender prostitues Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor). In the sleazy alleyways and barely visible donut shops of West Hollywood, the two friends set off to …

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For better or worse, The Lobster is the weirdest film of 2015

One of my pleasures as a film fan is getting to see mainstream actors take on difficult roles in strange, ‘out-there’ indie films. Yorgos Lanthimos, perhaps best known for the extreme and extremely challenging Dogtooth, makes his English language feature debut with The Lobster, the very definition of an ‘out-there’ indie film. Even though The Lobster …

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Richard Linklater boldly experimented with Tape, to mixed results

Richard Linklater is one of the few American directors currently working who defies auteur theory. Refusing to make the same time and time again, Linklater’s extended filmography includes a romantic trilogy (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight), teen comedy (Dazed and Confused), mainstream family (School of Rock), and Oscar-winning drama (Boyhood). In-between his more notable …

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An incredible titular performance carried Tsotsi to an Academy Award win

Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae) is someone to be feared. In the first fifteen minutes of the film, he stabs a businessman on a busy train, brutally assaults a close associate, shoots a woman and steals her car, much to her distress. It’s only as he drives down the road that he realises why the woman seemed …

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The Darjeeling Limited lacks the heart and wit of the best Wes Anderson films

Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited is an odd watching experience. It features all the trademark quirks and tics you’d expect from the auteur, and yet it just never comes together in a satisfying way. Not funny enough to be a comedy, not meaningful enough to be an effective drama, The Darjeeling Limited suffers from the …

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It may be as scrappy as its canine hero, but there’s no denying the power of White Dog

Kornél Mundruczó’s Hungarian drama White God opens with perhaps the most striking shot of the year. Teenage musician Lili (Zsófia Psotta) cycles through the hauntingly empty streets of Budapest. From behind, we suddenly see the rush as a two hundred-strong army of dogs run behind her. Are they giving chase, or following her lead? Though …

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Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu should have won his first Oscar for 21 Grams

Apart from his Oscar-winning Birdman (which was a worthy if not quite deserving winner), I’ve never really got on with the films of Alejandro González Iñárritu. They’re too glum and self-serious, multi-stranded po-faced dramas that claim to be deep and theological whilst actually being a load of old arse. Amores Perros, his debut and international …

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Ten years on, Michael Haneke has yet to best the disturbing Hidden

With a set up reminiscent of David Lynch’s somewhat tedious Lost Highway, Hidden opens with couple Georges and Anne, played by Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche, being sent videotapes secretly filmed outside their house. As the videotapes grow more intimate, the couple begin to question the reason behind the tapes, and Anne discovers her husband isn’t …

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Gena Rowlands gives one of the greatest portrayals of mental illness ever seen in A Woman Under the Influence

Rarely do you see a performance quite as extraordinary as Gena Rowlands in John Cassavetes’ classic 1974 drama A Woman Under the Influence. As Mabel, a housewife rapidly losing her mind (husband Nick, played by Peter Falk, describes her as “unusual, not crazy”), Rowlands is heartbreaking, lovable, and terrifying, often in the same scene. It’s …

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Is Lost River as bad as they say?

Upon its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014, Ryan Gosling’s hotly anticipated directorial debut Lost River had perhaps the worst reception since Lars Von Trier outed himself as a Nazi sympathiser three years previous. Unfortunately for Gosling, he didn’t even have the excuse of the language barrier to excuse his film. Jeered and derided by …

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