Thursday, 18 June 2015

LOOKS @ Institute of Contemporary Arts

When we spot Morag Keil's Leg1 – a looped projection of a giant zebra-striped stiletto – the slow, voyeuristic tracking up the leg reveals that it belongs to a man. To further complicate matters, the male calf in question sports a cheesy softcore tattoo of a pin-up girl. Is a pornographic portrayal of women considered sexist if worn by a transsexual? Whether it is sincere or sardonic is left beguilingly, or frustratingly, open-ended...More.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Film Review: SPY

Despite its attempt to subvert the spy genre via the antics of Melissa McCarthy set against a panoply of glamorous international backdrops, Spy (2015) has more in common with Mean Girls than Austin Powers. The film confuses missplaced female empowerment with luxury consumerism and pettily competitive comaraderie, further distracted by gross body humour and contrived plotting. It plays like a high school misfit's rather toothless wish-fulfilment fantasy masquerading as a modern quasi-feminist odyssey. When she isn't busy baking cakes for her CIA colleagues, good naturedly rotund Susan (McCarthy) serves golden-boy agent Fine (Jude Law) as his overeager Girl Friday, maid, and caddie...More.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Film Review: MAN UP

 If smugly stereotypical characters, cheap fellatio jokes, and Bridget Jonesy New Year's resolutions - "Put yourself out there, take chances, engage with life, get stronger thighs" - are your thing, you might enjoy this film. With her iconically toothy grin, unlucky-in-love Nancy (Bell) tricks the recently-scorned Jack (Pegg) into thinking he's met his internet-delivered mate...More.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Vampires & Revolution: Interview w/ Actress Sheila Vand

"I don't like when things are - I can't believe I'm saying this - so black and white," laughs Sheila Vand, the doe-eyed star of Ana Lily Amirapour's stylish and darkly devious feature debut, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), released in UK cinemas from this Friday by StudioCanal. I chuckle as well, not only because we are discussing the moral ambiguity of her protagonist, but also because the entirety of the vampire indie film is incidentally shot in lustrous monochrome. By night, cloaked in a head-to-toe chador, The Girl shadows and preys on the townspeople of Bad City, a fictional underworld that supposedly takes place in modern Iran, but was actually shot near Bakersfield, California - where Amirpour is from - with a cast of all Iranian-American actors...More.


It's easy to mistake Ana Lily Armirpour's A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) as purely a mash-up of spaghetti western, horror and neo-noir - until a sign appears in Farsi, accompanied by a pile of dead bodies inexplicably dumped in a nearby gulch. In this subversive Iranian vampire flick, the appropriation of pop culture is perfectly suited to Bad City, a disquieting East-meets-West netherworld painted in high contrast monochrome...More

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Caitlin Art Prize 2015

This year's Catlin Art Prize finalists pack a power punch of sex, death, and pop ruin. By turns brash, kitsch, and alienating, no one could accuse this talented bunch of recent UK graduate and postgraduate students of being boring. They're here to shake things up...MORE

Film Review: The Tribe

Brutal, riveting, visually hyperexpressive, writer-director Miroslav Slaboshpitsky's feature debut The Tribe (2014) achieves new heights of pure cinema - and all without a single word spoken. The viewer shouldn't be fooled by the opening scene, in which an old woman at a bus stop gives directions to Sergey (Grigory Fasenko), a shy deaf boy: it is the only act of kindness in the film...More.