Film

Tradition? No, I just want to write what I think is funny

By Jason Solomons, March 17, 2016

Charlie Kaufman, neat and tidy and with his shirt tucked in, is talking about the Oscars, where he was nominated for his latest film, Anomalisa. "It was a thoroughly miserable occasion," he wails. "There's all the neuroses, the anxiety and competitiveness, all in one room. I hated it." You wouldn't want Charlie Kaufman any other way.

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Review: High-Rise

March 17, 2016

The adjective most often used to describe JG Ballard's literary genius is "dystopian". Many of his novels are frightening portraits of how a group of people attempt to create a better world and, instead, end up on a self-destructive orgiastic path to a man-made hell.

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Review: Anomalisa

By Grant Feller, March 10, 2016

At last, the misery-fuelled rom-com we've all been waiting for. Not for Charlie Kaufman the Pixar-style life lessons smothered in upbeat bounciness. His new release is a bizarre, serious and at times engrossing study of the male mid-life crisis.

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Don't forget that these are the guardians of history

By Stephen Applebaum, March 7, 2016

Themes of memory, truth and trauma run through the work of the Armenian-Canadian film-maker Atom Egoyan like writing through a stick of rock. His frequent producer, Robert Lantos, a Hungarian Jew, therefore didn't hesitate to offer him Benjamin August's debut script, Remember, when it landed on his desk.

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How Israel left an indelible mark on Berlin

By Toby Axelrod, February 25, 2016

In Germany this week, Udi Aloni wanted to kvell. He had just won the Panorama Audience Award for best feature film at the Berlin Film Festival. Instead, he was dealing with mail from Israeli Jews who had seen Junction 48 - about an Arab Israeli rapper - and hated it.

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Jew know why we love Annie Hall?

By Jason Solomons, February 18, 2016

Late last year, Annie Hall was voted by the Writers Guild of America as the funniest screenplay ever written, calling it "modern cinema's greatest semi-autobiographical relationship story". I hesitate to call it a rom-com but it is, for me, the most romantic and most comic film I've ever seen.

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Brave attempt at portraying a lonely downfall

By Grant Feller, February 4, 2016

Trumbo
General release

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“I didn’t decide to take on the Catholic Church. I decided to pursue a story"

By Stephen Applebaum, January 29, 2016

One of the hottest contenders for the Best Picture Oscar is Spotlight, which tells the powerful, true story of how the eponymous team of investigative reporters at the Boston Globe newspaper exposed a decades-long cover-up by the Catholic Church to protect priests guilty of sexually abusing children.

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Caine’s youthful exuberance

By Grant Feller, January 29, 2016

Youth
General release

This is a film about loss - of talent, beauty, love, dignity, desire and companionship. But don't let that put you off. For Youth is also utterly riveting, a Fellini-esque homage set in an Alpine hotel-spa where a youthful spring has sprung and the hills - literally (believe me!) - come alive to the sound of music.

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Review: The Big Short

January 21, 2016

Probably the funniest exchange in The Big Short, a star-studded faux documentary/drama played for laughs, comes when a rabbi confronts one of Wall Street's most notorious figures - as a child. The grown-up Mark Baum, as played by Steve Carrell, is an investment cynic on an apparent mission to expose, destroy, and get rich from the system.

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