Film

My Brother Is An Only Child

By Gerald Aaron, April 3, 2008

(12A) Working-class brothers Accio (Elio Germano) and Manrico (Riccardo Scamaricio) come of age on opposite sides of the political spectrum in late 1960s Italy in director Daniele Luchetti’s powerful family drama adapted from Antonio Pennacchi’s bestselling novel Il Fascio comunista. Manrico becomes a Communist organiser while Accio, expelled from a seminary, joins up with a band of fascist thugs. Luchetti’s skill is that he has made the film not as flat-out political polemic, but rather as a telling, sharply characterised story of relationships.

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Awake

By Gerald Aaron, April 3, 2008

(15)

At the start of writer-director Joby Harold’s feature debut, we learn that every year, one in 700 people wake up during surgery. The prospect is scary enough on its own. Harold resourcefully goes one step ahead by having his wealthy captain of industry protagonist, Clayton Beresford Jr (Hayden Christensen), find himself still awake, paralysed and unable to communicate after having been anaesthetised for a heart transplant operation.

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I'm A Cyborg

By Gerald Aaron, April 3, 2008

(15)

Korean director Pan-Chan Wook, best known for his violent Vengeance trilogy, switches direction with this enjoyably quirky blend of romantic comedy and fantasy.

Radio-assembly-line worker Yeong-gun (Lim Su-jeong) is admitted to a mental institution convinced she is a cyborg.

There she meets frequent inmate Il-soon, played by “Korea’s pop sensation” Jung Ji-hoon and love slowly blossoms. While the narrative arc is slight and the film is rather too long, there is considerable entertainment on the way.

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How She Move

By Gerald Aaron, April 3, 2008

(12A)

Here is yet another tale of a young girl making good by dancing like crazy. The dancing is energetic, the seen-it-all-before story tedious.

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Funny Games

By Gerald Aaron, April 3, 2008

(18) Ten years ago, Austrian writer-director Michael Haneke made a German-language thriller about two young psychopaths holding a holidaying family hostage, terrorising them and forcing them to “play” the eponymous funny games. It was well directed and acted. It was also shocking, sordid and exploitative.

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Review: The Book Of Revelation

By Gerald Aaron, March 28, 2008

 (18)

There is as much eroticism as mystery at the heart of director Anna Kokkinos’s strictly-for-adults film of Rupert Thompson’s well-received novel in which Melbourne dancer Daniel (Tom Long) is kidnapped and subjected to sexual abuse by three masked women. The sequences of Daniel’s humiliation are graphic, and leave the film open to accusations of exploitation. That said, it is a stylish, provocative thriller whose narrative is marred only by the sexual staging.

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The Everyman gets a few more screen

By Alex Kasriel, March 28, 2008

Hampstead cinema-owner Daniel Broch has just acquired the Screen chain.

Changes are afoot in the North London cinema scene. In a deal worth £7 million, Daniel Broch, the man behind Hampstead’s Everyman cinema, has taken over the Screen chain, which includes the Screen on the Hill in Belsize Park, Screen on Baker Street and Islington’s Screen on the Green.

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Beaufort

By Gerald Aaron, March 28, 2008

 (15) 

Israeli director Joseph Cedar has an enviable record: his first two feature films, 2001’s Time of Favour and Campfire (2004), were chosen as his country’s official entries for the Best Foreign Language film Oscar. So, too, was this vivid and compelling, fact-based drama of men at war, scripted by Ron Leshem from his own acclaimed novel.

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Review: Drillbit Taylor

By Gerald Aaron, March 28, 2008

(12A)

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27 Dresses

By Gerald Aaron, March 28, 2008

 (12A)

Knocked Up star Katherine Heigl gives a refreshing performance as an all-American girl who finally finds true love after being the eternal bridesmaid. Nobody, least of all director Anne Fletcher, would claim this romcom is innovatory — the expected happy ending is obvious from early on. But it is charming and funny, and entertainingly reinvigorates the formula. An ideal date movie.

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