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Film Review: 'Looking for Light: Jane Bown'

2 hours ago

★★★★☆A photographer for broadsheet paper The Observer since 1949, Jane Bown spent the better part of sixty years visually capturing and chronicling an expansive handful of the world's most distinctive and distinguished icons; a perfectionist whose unassuming approach is synonymous with an unobtrusive but penetrating approach to portraiture. The latest from filmmaker Michael Whyte and visual effects supervisor Luke Dodd - who also worked as Bown's archivist - Soda Pictures' Looking for Light: Jane Bown (2014) is a tender, ostensibly minuscule and yet incredibly illuminating documentary that explores the career of a woman who's lived a remarkable life both in front and behind of the camera.

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- CineVue UK

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Sundance London 2014: 'The One I Love' review

10 hours ago

★★★★☆When Mark Duplass and Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss first sit and discuss their relationship in a couples therapy session, audiences will feel they have a fair idea of where The One I Love (2014) is headed. A romantic dramedy of sorts with hints of mumblecore, in which the aforementioned duo bicker before adorably reconciling. The great thing about Charlie McDowell's debut feature - and scribe Justin Lader's first screenplay - is that it ostensibly meets those expectations, whilst confounding them in gloriously confident fashion with a high concept twist on the material. This is a rom-com very much set in the Twilight Zone, and one that should - with any luck - receive a cinema release here in UK.

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- CineVue UK

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Sundance London 2014 Memphis review

11 hours ago

★★★☆☆To describe Tim Sutton's Memphis (2013) - screening this week at the Sundance London film and music festival - as 'meditative' would be something of an understatement. With his 2012 debut, Pavilion, the director was likened to a cross between Terrence Malick and Gus Van Sant, producing an ephemeral riff on adolescence whilst blurring the line between documentary and fiction. Sutton is back at it again with the similarly elusive portrait of eccentric blues musician and poet, Willis Earl Beal, as he struggles through a period of artistic frustration. At once listless and mesmerising, it's a film that will be likely to divide audiences, except in appreciation of its beautiful visuals and quite exceptional soundtrack.

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- CineVue UK

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Sundance London 2014: 'Kumiko' review

11 hours ago

★★★★☆Following on from 2012's Kid-Thing, a feverish tale about a destructive young girl operating freely beyond all tangible moral boundaries, the Zellner brothers returns with Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014). Perfectly pitched between lighthearted whimsy and all-out absurdity, the Zellners' latest is a forlorn tale about our own obsession with storytelling and a deconstruction of the definition of a 'true story'. Titular protagonist Kumiko (Pacific Rim's Rinko Kikuchi) lives a solitary life, sharing her tiny apartment with her pet rabbit, Bunzo. At work she's bullied by her boss and ignored by her co-workers, whilst at the same time constantly harangued over the phone by her ultra-domineering mother.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Transcendence'

11 hours ago

★★☆☆☆Helmed by Christopher Nolan's longtime DoP Wally Pfister and packing an all-star cast, there were plenty of reasons to be excited about Transcendence (2014). Sadly, the end result is a disappointing mess of a movie which fails to deliver on its strong premise. Transcendence follows Will Caster (Johnny Depp), one of the leading minds in artificial intelligence research along with his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall). That makes them the target of anti-tech extremists, and an assassination attempt leaves Will wounded and dying from a radioactive bullet. With time running out, Evelyn and colleague Max (Paul Bettany) hatch a desperate plan to upload Will's consciousness into an experimental A.I.

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- CineVue UK

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Sundance London 2014: 'Frank' review

11 hours ago

★★★☆☆Dublin-born director Lenny Abrahamson teams up with Guardian journalist Jon Ronson for offbeat, oddball comedy Frank (2013), inspired by the life and times of the inimitable Frank Sidebottom and a host of other 'outsider' artists. In what could be his first real crossover success, Abrahamson casts demi-Irishman Michael Fassbender as the man in the papier-mâché mask; the enigmatic frontman of a bizarre avant-garde assemble who takes Domhall Gleeson's wannabe musician under his warped wing following a chance meeting. With Frank, Abrahamson cultivates a mystical hour of prog-based shenanigans before he - and his film - begin to lose their collective heads in a muddled final third.

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- CineVue UK

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Sundance London 2014: 'Drunktown's Finest' review

12 hours ago

★★☆☆☆In 1990, Sydney Freeland's home of Gallup, New Mexico was dubbed Drunktown, USA by a report on ABC's 20/20 news programme. Decades later, Freeland has reclaimed the undesirable moniker for the name of her feature debut set in her hometown and the adjoining reservation. Drunktown's Finest (2014) has been a seven-year labour of love for the filmmaker, receiving support from Sundance's development labs since all the way back in 2009. A defiance of the dismissive description, this is Freeland's own take on Gallup via a trio of its residents. Although the end result is not completely successful, it's a thoughtful cinematic light being shone on otherwise neglected Native American lives.

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- CineVue UK

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Competition: Win an Art Eye bundle *closed*

12 hours ago

With the Official Selection for this year's anticipated 67th Cannes Film Festival announced earlier today in Paris, we've teamed up with the accommodating home entertainment team at prestigious UK world cinema distributors Artificial Eye to offer our followers the chance to win one of Three five-film DVD Cannes bundles. Included in this fantastic giveaway are acclaimed films from 2014 Palme d'Or contenders Olivier Assayas (Something in the Air), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Uzak), the Dardenne brothers (The Kid with a Bike), Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) and Alice Rohrwacher (Corpo Celeste). This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.

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- CineVue UK

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Competition: Win 'Days of Grace' *closed*

12 hours ago

Mexican director Everardo Valerio Gout's Days of Grace adopts a multi-strand narrative akin to Latino scorchers Amores Perros (2000) and City of God (2002) before supercharging it with the sort of dynamic energy seen in the best works of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. To celebrate the home entertainment release of Days of Grace this coming Monday (21 April), we have Three DVD copies of Gout's slick, stylish and adrenaline-fuelled crime epic to give away to our avid readers, courtesy of the fantastic team at genre specialists Chelsea Films. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.

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- CineVue UK

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Competition: 'Hemlock Grove: Season 1' *closed*

12 hours ago

From executive producer Eli Roth (Hostel) and based on Brian McGreevy's novel, Hemlock Grove is a murder-mystery series involving the eccentric residents of a former steel town in Pennsylvania. The story begins with the discovery of a high school cheerleader, mangled and murdered in the shadow of an abandoned Godfrey steel mill. The ensuing investigation exposes the community s underbelly and reveals that nothing is as it seems. To celebrate the DVD and Blu-ray release of Hemlock Grove: Season 1 this coming Monday (21 April), we have Three DVD copies to give away via Kaleidoscope. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.

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- CineVue UK

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Sundance London 2014: Third programme preview

22 hours ago

Following on from the overwhelming success of last year's sophomore outing, American actor and director Robert Redford's Sundance London film and music festival returns to the nation's capital this month for its third incarnation, which takes place at the O2 Arena from 25-27 April. As with 2013, the majority of the 21 feature-length films presented will be screened as UK premières, with programme highlights this time around including Irish director Lenny Abrahamson's Michael Fassbender-starring oddity Frank, the Zellner brothers' Berlinale favourite Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter and last year's Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Fruitvale Station, which went on to win the Best First Film award at Cannes 2013. Also showing in its edited feature form will be Michael Winterbottom's The Trip to Italy.

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- CineVue UK

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Sundance London 2014: 'Blue Ruin' review

24 April 2014 1:00 AM, PDT

★★★★☆A quiet revelation at Cannes last year, Jeremy Saulnier's Blue Ruin (2013) is a stripped back revenge thriller that cruises down the central reservation of the genre, veering wildly between tense thrills and a series of alluringly awkward acts of violence to achieve instantaneous cult veneration. Behind a haze of steam we observe a bearded man submerged in the bathtub of a quintessential American middle-class home. The serenity of this scene is soon dashed one the house's rightful owners return and we're transported to a life far removed from this idyllic image of suburban life. The man is Dwight (Macon Blair), a homeless outcast sleeping in an a rusted Pontiac and surviving on scraps salvaged from dumpsters.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'You & Me Forever'

23 April 2014 1:10 PM, PDT

★★★☆☆Teenage rebellion is a well-documented phenomenon and one that plays particularly well on film, where bright, sexy images can be used to punctuate the sound of tutting adults. Kaspar Munk's Danish offering You & Me Forever (2012) fits neatly into this sub-genre, obeying most of the conventions that we know - intense platonic friendship, interloping third-parties, burgeoning sexuality and parental concern - without ever really challenging that set of rules. Munk appears to follow the age-old adage 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it', leaving the narrative somewhat pedestrian. Thankfully, the film's vivacious performances and visual aesthetic are there to pick up the slack, elevating this Scandi drama above the pitfalls of imitation.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Tracks'

23 April 2014 12:14 PM, PDT

★★★☆☆Robyn Davidson's nine-month solo trek across the Outback is a true-life legend in her native Australia, so its surprising that it only now finds a first cinematic transfer in Tracks (2013), a handsome adaptation by John Curran starring a terrific Mia Wasikowska. Davidson - then 27 years old - walked the half the island's length from Alice Springs across 1,700 miles of desert to the Indian Ocean, accompanied solely by three wild camels and her dog, Diggity. As much an attempt at personal emancipation as physical endurance, it was captured by National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan, whose parched photos of her trek made Davidson a cover star and story a sensation.

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- CineVue UK

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Cannes 2014: Official Selection announced

23 April 2014 4:15 AM, PDT

The Official Selection for this year's 67th Cannes Film Festival, which takes place from 14-24 May, was announced in Paris this morning at 10am GMT. As previously revealed, New Zealand director Jane Campion, best known for 1993 Palme d'Or winner The Piano, will preside over the jury this time around. Olivier Dahan's long-delayed Grace of Monaco (2014) - which sees Australian actress Nicole Kidman play the late, great Grace Kelly - will be first out on the Croisette as opening film. Meanwhile, highlights of this year's Palme d'Or race include new films from Nuri Bilge Ceylan, David Cronenberg, Xavier Dolan, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach and the Oscar-winning director of The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius. Sadly, however, Terrence Malick will not be in attendance with any of his new features.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'The Informant'

23 April 2014 4:10 AM, PDT

★★☆☆☆Not to be confused with Steven Soderbergh's comic caper of the same name starring a moustachioed Matt Damon, Julien Leclercq's The Informant (2013) is a thriller based on an autobiographical novel by Marc Fievet. In this instance, it's a title that seems a little less unique than the French original - Gibraltar - but arguably one more fitting. The prospect was of a smuggling yarn made ever more enticing by a handful of engaging leads including Gilles Lellouche and Tahar Rahim. Regrettably, however, hough Leclercq's customs thriller begins well, it never manages to get its engine going, its solid performances unable to inject some much-needed dynamism into the bland proceedings.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'Exhibition'

23 April 2014 3:45 AM, PDT

★★★★☆Despite, or perhaps due to, the ever-present spectre of funding cuts and the commonly espoused notion that our national cinema's global influence is on the wane, Britain is currently producing some exceptional filmmaking talent. Alongside the box office and awards success of the McQueens and the Nolans, our green and pleasant land is currently being examined by a fresh and artistically invigorating group of directors from Clio Barnard to Ben Wheatley. One such cause for excitement is Joanna Hogg, who has scaled new heights with her third feature, the fantastic Exhibition (2013). After two films chronicling the holidaying middle-classes, she now confines a strained relationship to a single abode.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker'

23 April 2014 3:17 AM, PDT

★★★☆☆In 2011, Bosnian director Danis Tanović read a story in a newspaper about the touching travails of an impoverished Roma family before later taking it upon himself to tell their story. Three years later, his neorealist drama An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (2013) arrives in selected UK cinemas having claimed the Jury Grand Prize at the 63rd Berlinale and being chosen as Bosnia's entry at this year's Academy Awards. Documentary-like in feel, Tanović has decided to recreate events by casting the family themselves in a film that raises important points yet lacks dramatic heft. With a camera trained over his shoulder, Nazif (Nazif Mujic) spends his days foraging for scrap metal in a remote township.

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- CineVue UK

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Film Review: 'After the Night'

23 April 2014 2:48 AM, PDT

★★☆☆☆Selected as part of the Directors' Fortnight strand at last year's Cannes Film Festival, Basil da Cunha's feature debut After the Night (2013) paints an initially intriguing picture of nocturnal life in Lisbon's crime-ridden suburbs, but ultimately fails to match its style with the substance needed to genuinely grip. Our guide through the halflight is the dreadlocked Sombra (Pedro Ferreira), a destitute ex-con on the run after a local crime lord decides to collects his debts in full. With only a pet bearded dragon (da Cunha here recalling Werner Herzog's similar fascination with reptiles in 2009's Bad Lieutenant) and a rusty machete as allies, Sombra leads us across the rooftops as he attempts to avoid the gun-toting gang.

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Special Feature: World Film Locations - Shanghai

22 April 2014 4:45 PM, PDT

Shanghai has a long, rich cinematic history, spanning from the Golden Age of Chinese cinema in the 1930s to its modern role as an international production hub for both Western and Eastern filmmakers. World Film Locations: Shanghai is the latest in Intellect Books' cinematic guidebooks, providing a considered and informed psychogeographical exploration of the relationship between cinema and urban spaces, with this issue focusing on the showpiece city of China's rapid economic boom. The backdrop for an eclectic mix of mainland Chinese independent films like Lou Ye's Suzhou River (2000) and Zhao Dayong's Street Life (2006), Shanghai has also featured in numerous western productions such as Mission: Impossible III (2006), Skyfall (2012) and Spike Jonze's Her (2013).

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- CineVue UK

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