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In November 1978, a year after the release of Star Wars, Lucasfilm released the Star Wars Holiday Special, a strange TV movie ostensibly about Chewbacca and his family celebrating ‘Life Day’ following the events of that first movie as an attempt to build on the brand’s success. Though the special is not considered good by any means, it is a fascinating artefact of a time when Star Wars was not nearly as established, as a brand or as a sprawling universe.

Unsurprisingly, its position in canon did not last, outside of the introduction of Boba Fett, but it was a…


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Benjamin Ree’s The Painter and The Thief is a fly on the wall documentary about the unlikely friendship between painter Barbora Kysilkova and Karl-Bertil Nordland who was behind the high profile theft of two of her paintings from a gallery. Through this framework the movie becomes not only a moving story but a challenge to the unforgiving and potentially one-sided nature of documentary storytelling.

The film opens with reports of the theft and immediately shifts to Barbora in the aftermath, firmly establishing her as our protagonist and as a victim, though to begin with this is all we know of…


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It is no secret that time is one of Christopher Nolan’s greatest fascinations. From Memento, which takes place entirely in reverse order and follows a man who can form no new memories as he tries to piece together meaning without consequence, to Interstellar which presents time not as linear cause and effect, but as constantly in flux as any other part of the human experience. Even Nolan’s more grounded superhero offerings are fundamentally framed around time and the fear of what it means to run out. …


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The Walking Dead is a corpse of a show, dragging itself along as leads and fan favourites fall away, never to be seen again. This is far from true for the show’s first season; a tight 6 episode miniseries from Frank Darabont that if it had not been followed by 9 seasons of inconsistent noise would already be considered a classic by now. …


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It’s 2007 and two old friends catch each other’s eye at a train crossing, neither able to turn and say something for fear of their years of distance having irreparably pulled them apart.

It’s 2016 and two young adults with a shared past they can’t quite remember keep narrowly missing their chance to reunite until the urge to say something becomes stronger than any fear of its fallout.

It’a 2019 and two old friends separated by time and tragedy are running into each others arms without a second thought.

Makoto Shinkai is a filmmaker who has become widely known for…


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Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Sciamma, 2019) and The Lighthouse (Eggers, 2019) are two of the most celebrated films of last year but that’s far from their only similarity. Both movies centre the developing relationships of two people isolated on an island though to drastically different ends. Despite clear tonal and thematic oppositions, I couldn’t help but feel like beyond their surface level premise the two films share some very specific but not widely covered DNA. While Portrait is about a portrait artist hired to paint a woman in secret quickly falling for her subject, The Lighthouse tells the…


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Jojo Rabbit, released late 2019 to much fanfare and about as much discourse is the story of a 10 year old German boy and aspiring Hitler Youth member who has an imaginary friend in the form of Adolf Hitler finding a Jewish girl living in his attic. While from the outset tackling incredibly heavy subjects, the direction and script from New Zealand indie darling Taika Waititi (adapted from Christine Leunens' Caging Skies) create an atmosphere closer to Moonrise Kingdom than Schindler’s list. …


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Sometime late 2017 or early 2018 a cropped image of Bugs Bunny began circulating, its top text reading “we live in a society” and its bottom text just out of frame, lost in the aether. The image, through an all too familiar moment of ironic reclamation took on a new meaning, the absence of what defines our society itself became a comment, on media and criticism acknowledging the presence of societal trends while either unable or refusing to define what they are. Lists were compiled, memes were made and however niche, the term was canonised.


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In recent years, the “video essay” format has become increasingly popular on platforms like YouTube and Vimeo as an avenue for film criticism and analysis. Distinct from the “dude rambles in his bedroom” genre of film reviews and the ever popular “dude playing a guy who hates movies yells at this movie”, the production values and air of academia to the word essay allow the people behind them to present their arguments or criticisms with a greater level of professionalism and in a way that is more accessible and shareable than traditional written essays.

However, this focus on aesthetic trappings…


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Brigsby Bear is a surprisingly sweet comedy released in 2017 from director Dave McCary and writer Kyle Mooney of SNL and Good Neighbour fame and it is at least the second best bear related movie of that year that made me cry.

The film tells the story of James, a young man who was raised in captivity with only the bizarre TV show his abductive “father” would make every week to keep him entertained returning to the real world and having to cope with the realisation that the story he held so dear was both a construction of the people…

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