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A Dispatch from Out West: the 2019 Glasgow Film Festival

Both the opening and closing films of this year’s Glasgow Film Festival can be described as ‘coming- of-age’ films: Jonah Hill’s Mid90s and Brian Welsh’s Beats. It may be more accurate to label them films about being inducted into new social milieus. In the far superior Beats, this concerns entry into the put-upon Scottish rave-scene. […]

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Film Reviews

Happy as Lazzaro

Alice Rohrwacher’s Happy as Lazzaro is a film about extreme poverty, exploitative labour, systems of cyclical and hierarchical abuse — and magic. At first, it’s impossible to discern the time the film is set in: a group of workers (sharecroppers) are living in the pastoral Italian countryside, but the land is removed of meaningful period […]

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Film Reviews

Loro

Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo (2008) is a biopic of Giulio Andreotti, the infamous former Italian Prime Minister and all-round corruption magnet. The sordid, immoral work of this character’s existence is animated by Toni Servillo, a veteran Italian actor, who is adept at highlighting the strange oddities and quirks of the subjects he seeks to embody. […]

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Film Reviews

At Eternity’s Gate

A cursory glance will tell you actors are drawn to performing the role of Vincent van Gogh. Something in the life of the visionary artist has always been and remains appealing: there’s Kirk Douglas as the Dutch painter in Vincente Minnelli’s Lust For Life (1956); Martin Scorsese portrayed the man in Akira Kurosawa’s vignette film […]

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Film Reviews

Benjamin

While the days of Simon Amstell mercilessly teasing B-list celebrities on Never Mind the Buzzcocks may be long gone (Preston from the Ordinary Boys, anybody?), Amstell’s familiar satirical bite and glee in mockery are still very much present in Benjamin. However, in this debut feature film, they are deployed alongside an affection and tenderness that […]

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Film Reviews

Eighth Grade

Vine star, YouTuber, stand up comedian, and now screenwriter and director; it seems like Bo Burnham succeeds at anything he attempts. The indie darling film Eighth Grade, written and directed by Mr. Burnham, made its Scottish premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival on 28 February, with Burnham in attendance. Eighth Grade is a tour de […]

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Film Reviews

Mid90s

This year’s Glasgow Film Festival opened on Wednesday night with a screening of Mid90s, actor Jonah Hill’s directorial debut. Young, diminutive Stevie (Sunny Suljic) is friendless and bored, living at home with his mother Dabney (Katherine Waterston, in a thankless role) and abusive, abrasive older brother Ian (Lucas Hedges). One day, from across the street, […]