Posts Tagged ‘Edinburgh International Film Festival’

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EIFF 2015: Scottish Mussel (Talulah Riley, 2015)

June 26, 2015

Scottish-Mussel

Sometimes the worst kind of bad film isn’t the one that’s outright offensive and hateful, it’s the one that is full of good intentions but lacks any grasp of tone or gripping storytelling; made with a message in mind, but completely vacuous in execution. Scottish Mussel is sadly one of those misfires, with the sort of scattershot script where most of the film’s cameo stars also get a romantic interest at the end…

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EIFF 2015: Inside Out (Pete Docter/Ronaldo Del Carmen, 2015)

June 24, 2015

Inside-out

With Inside Out, their 15th animated feature, animation house Pixar take a detour to avoid some of the visual and storytelling beats that have made even their best movies feel a little familiar at this point. Within the head of 11-year-old Riley, we meet several characters representing her emotions: Joy (Poehler), Sadness (Smith), Fear (Hader), Anger (Black), and Disgust (Kaling). During one tumultuous experience, Joy and Sadness become separated from the rest and lost inside the depths of Riley’s mind, leaving the other three alone in charge of the girl’s emotional state…

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EIFF 2015: Beyond the Lights (Gina Prince-Bythewood, 2014)

June 23, 2015

Beyond-the-Lights

Rising superstar Noni (Belle’s Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is feeling the pressures of fame and finds herself on the literal edge, almost perishing in a suicide jump attempt until young cop Kaz (Nate Parker) saves her. The unusual pair – Rihanna-esque pop star and aspiring politician – form a friendship and gradual romance, which results in Noni veering off the life plan her manager-mother (Minnie Driver) has sculpted for her.

Beyond the Lights, from Love & Basketball director Gina Prince-Bythewood, is the type of mainstream, commercial romance that’s increasingly rare: one that, despite skirting clichés, never panders or underestimates its audience, never makes its obstacles to its stars’ romance seem implausible or arbitrary, and never loses sight of actual tangible pain and hope in its beautifully portrayed characters…

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EIFF 2015: Welcome to Me (Shira Piven, 2014)

June 22, 2015

Welcome-to-Me
Based on premise alone, Welcome to Me could have gone horribly wrong all too easily, but director Shira Piven’s barbed satire successfully walks a fine line between mockery and sincerity…

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EIFF 2015: Cop Car (Jon Watts, 2015)

June 20, 2015

Cop Car

Jon Watts’ lean Cop Car has a simple title and a simple premise. Needless complications aren’t piled onto proceedings and the film’s all the better for it. It sees a cat-and-mouse chase ensue between a shady small town sheriff (Bacon) and two kid runaways (Freedson-Jackson and Wellford) who’ve taken his police car for a joyride after finding it seemingly abandoned in a field; the cop was in fact burying a body down the road…

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EIFF 2015: Maggie (Henry Hobson, 2015)

June 19, 2015

Maggie

After decades of zombies being used for satirical commentary, a new wave of films seems concerned with heavy exploration of the emotional undercurrent of loved ones becoming the walking dead. While 2014’s Life After Beth took a comedic look at (literally) burying one’s romantic past, Henry Hobson’s Maggie is pitched firmly in the mode of drama…

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EIFF 2015: The Stanford Prison Experiment (Kyle Patrick Alvarez, 2015)

June 18, 2015

Stanford-Prison-Experiment

The results of Dr. Philip Zimbardo’s famous and controversial 1971 psychological study, in which various Stanford University-attending males play-acted as prisoners and guards for an intended two week study that was shut down after less than one, are so well known that one may wonder the worth of a dramatic restaging of the original incident.

Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s aptly titled The Stanford Prison Experiment justifies its existence and potential redundancy in its detailed focus on the intricacies behind the chaos, both in the simulated prison and behind the scenes, examining how Zimbardo (Crudup, with head and facial hair that makes him look like a blaxploitation villain) was disturbingly drawn into the make-believe himself…

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