I finally got around to posting my reviews from the London Film Festival. I saw 20 movies of 12 days, some of which are new favourites for me. Check it out now!

    Keep it gnarly x

  • The Will Bates Interview

    The other day I got to speak to film the awesome Will Bates! We talked all things movie composition and music. From the best score of all time to the best diet of films for kids to grow up with.

    Check it out, keep it gnarly x


    Following up the amazing two parter that was the souvenir was a tough job. Those films so beautifully depicted a love for filmmaking and the struggle and inner turmoil of a young person learning the craft. Where do you go from such a meta, film-oriented story? Take it back to the fantasy world.

    I give you Joanna Hogg’s first ghost story (sort of).

    The Eternal Daughter has a very small cast, of which the two biggest roles are taken (and killed) by the legendary Tilda Swinton who unsurprisingly doesn’t miss. She plays as both a mother and a daughter, even once appearing in the same frame as both. The other stand out performance was by Tilda Swinton’s own dog Louie, who brought some very wholesome moments into the mix.

    I don’t really want to give any plot points away because I feel that this is absolutely best experienced blind. So skipping any plot and theme chat, let’s talk about the filmmaking.

    Surprise surprise, who would have thought it, Hogg came through with another beautiful grainy picture. This appears to have been produced with mostly on screen and natural lighting which creates a muted, somewhat gloomy look to the whole film. Hogg uses shadows and mirrors regularly throughout the run time, each masterfully bringing intrigue into the otherwise fairly dull environment. This is a film studies student’s dream. A myriad of themes explored contemplatively through subtle and attractive storytelling.

    Lastly it was actually a bit of a giggle. Surprisingly so. I was not expecting to laugh as many times as I did over the run time. Definitely recommend, especially for the film students and film makers out there.

    Joanna Hogg strikes again.



    Seeing this at 8:30am on day one of the London Film Festival, coupled with the fact that I tend to find a lot of musicals too melodramatic for my taste, throupled with my general lack of patience for child acting and quadrupled with the OG Matilda being a classic of my childhood meant I was not expecting to enjoy this in any way shape or form. BUT here I am to say this was a lovely surprise and I recommend you see it when it drops on Netflix on the 25th November.

    Let me just start off by saying oh my god Emma Thompson is an amazing casting choice for Miss Trunchbull (somewhat courtesy of the makeup department) but wow what a performance. She came through with the maniacal supervillain scariness that still petrified me at the age of 20 paired with a zestful vocal performance. She oozes character (and what a career progression going from Nanny McPhee to Trunchbull). The next shout out goes to Mr Stephen Graham. It was tough shoes to fill given Danny Devito starred the last time this character was seen on the big screen but he came through with the gnarly British version we all needed. Outside of those two performances everyone was pretty decent. The child performances were mostly tolerable except for a couple of classic child acting moments, looking at you Rosemary! 

    Production design! The attention to detail on the sets with props all the way down to colour palettes (the house looks great) amped up the fun vibes massively. Great choreography especially given these kids are up to like 14 years old max. Some of the songs bugged me out a bit, I don’t hugely fuck with children ensemble vocals but that’s a general taste thing from me. The songs are by and large catchy and well written (witty!) just not for me.

    My other main gripe with this was the ending. The climax/final battle happened way too fast even if it was pretty fun. Also what the fuck was the theme park. I get it was a cool set and all but it had nothing to do with the plot or the school. I guess it’s somewhat in the same vein as a performing arts circus but it was just a bit cringey and random.

    All in all, watch it with some kids or your family. A wholesome watch especially if you grew up with the Danny Devito movie or the book.


  • MAD MAX: story mode

    Three thousand years of longing is the latest from George Miller and is the follow up to the hugely well received Mad Max: Fury Road.

    It tells the tale of Tilda Swinton, a story scholar, and her unlikely meeting with Idris Elba, the Djinn, a story teller.

    This movie embodies the love of stories inherent to fiction filmmaking and it clearly was a labour of live from Miller. The film is introduced as a memory in the shape of a fairy tale reminisced by Swinton. However, the first two acts take the form of flashbacks/stories told mostly from the perspective of Elba whereas the third act is ‘present day’ mostly from Swinton’s perspective. 

    For the first two acts I was gripped. The flashback stories are really well written and discuss very well different ideas and views around the situation. The third act however somewhat lost me. The choice that was made that transitioned the film into act three felt out of character and unsolicited. The consequence of this choice then felt very detached from the first two acts. I’m not one to usually use the critique of “it felt like two different films” but I think this definitely suffered from somewhat of an identity crisis.

    Undeniably this is an attractive film. A very attractive film. It utilises Miller’s trademark surreal aesthetic to really hammer home the fairy tale vibe and it totally works. Hats off to cinematographer John Seale for a sterling job. This is not to say the movie doesn’t have flaws. Some completely whack CGI pops up in this (looking at you cobwebs). Another visual device that didn’t work for me was the very low depth of field. The backgrounds were always very blurry whenever there was anything near the camera to focus on. I understand that this keeps the film feeling more personal and from the perspective of the characters but for a film with great production design and an attractive colour grade it felt like a waste.

    Before I wrap this ramble up I just want to shout out the score. Very well matches to the fairy tale, playful energy without being too dramatic.

    Mostly really enjoyed the film but it just didn’t stick the landing.

    3 STARS


    The best film of 2021 hands down. Tragic that it wasn’t nominated for more categories at the 2022 Academy awards. Although ‘Drive My Car’ is still a worthy winner for best international, it was massively snubbed by ‘Belfast’ for best screenplay. 

    Oscar’s rant over.

    I’ve managed to catch this film twice at the cinema now. First at the Lewes depot and second at the Duke’s at Komedia Picturehouse in B town at a Q and A. On the second screening I had the privilege of meeting the lovely Mr Joachim Trier (the film’s director).

    My second watch of this movie added loads for me. This film is so real and applicable to so many situations and thoughts and ideas it’s wonderful. You’d be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t relate on some level to the events and ideas presented in the film. It is just so grounded and human in its presentation. Where some films struggle to situate themselves in a believable setting this feels real across the whole run time.

    The filmmaking, the visuals, the dialogue, the sounds, the performance, the existentialism, the wholesomeness, the comedy, it literally has it all.

    Brilliant brilliant brilliant. You and your nan need to see this.

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