September Film Preview

By Orla Smith

It’s been a bit of a trudge to get through summer, but now things are finally heating up. The centrepieces of September will be the incoming reviews from festivals like Toronto, Venice, New York ad Telluride, but there’s plenty of interesting films being released. We’re not quite at the Oscar contenders, but we’ve got a ton of fascinating indies that will work as precursors to them. I’ve put together a list of my five most anticipated UK releases of the month, which led to some hard cuts, particularly ‘Don’t Breathe which just missed out on the number 5 spot, a film I can’t wait to see. You also won’t be seeing ‘Captain Fantastic’ on this list because I’ve already seen it (it’s good).

A Preview of the 2016 Venice Film Festival

By Orla Smith

This awards season is looking to be one of the most exciting in years after a disappointing summer, and September is the kick off, housing Toronto, Telluride and of course the Venice film festival. Venice will start it all on the 30th August and continue until 10th September, and I can’t wait. Of course, that might seem a bit strange seeing as I’m not going to the festival (in my dreams), but it’s so much fun to await the first wave of reviews of some of my most anticipated films of the year – fun and nerve-wracking. There are a couple here that will really gut me if they get negative reactions. There’s a ton to be excited for, so here’s my 10 most anticipated of the fest so you know what to look out for.

5 Great Visually Vibrant Films

By Orla Smith

I’m admittedly a novice when it comes to Pedro Almodovar, but hopefully not for long. I’ve been interested in his work for quite some time now, but it was only today that I saw one of his films, the film in question being ‘Bad Education’. So yeah, I’m a fan. I was particularly struck by the visual vibrancy of the film (for which Almodovar is very well known), and seeing as his latest, ‘Julieta’, is release in UK cinemas this week, today’s list will honour it by citing five films that are visually striking in the way of popping colours that dazzle the eyes.

10 Films That Prove Cinema Can Still Surprise You

By Orla Smith

It’s so often said that films aren’t like they used to be, that there’s no originality anymore and the only things being churned out are CGI-heavy blockbuster reboots, remake and sequels, alongside a slew of heavy Oscar-ready prestige pictures. That’s simply not true. Here I’ve chosen 10 films from the last 8 years that found new ground to cover. These are films that, whether structurally or in terms of plot, gave us something that we’d never seen before, and proved that there’s so much more to explore in cinema, so many surprises yet to come.

5 Overlooked Films #9

By Orla Smith

Appropriate Behaviour (2015)

Sundance is a place for unassuming indies to gain the audience they so desperately need, and for that we’re grateful. However, there are limitations to that idea, because the Sundance formula doesn’t seem to be helping films with no recognisable stars, no matter how good they are. ‘Appropriate Behaviour’ is a comedy from writer/director/star Desiree Akhavan, chronicling her life in New York as a bisexual Persian woman with incredible wit, offering a new and completely welcome perspective. The film is blisteringly funny and insightful and it deserves so many more eyes on it than it’s already had.

‘The Shallows’ Review: A Summer Blockbuster With Bite

Jaume Collet-Sera shows his sure hand in a thriller that actually thrills.

By Orla Smith

The unknown is one of the most terrifying things there is, so what better place to create suspense than in the ocean, surrounded by murky water that could be hiding any kind of danger. This conceit has been used countless times by filmmakers, often unsuccessfully, but the stick by which any shark – or indeed ocean – based film will be measured is, and perhaps always will be, ‘Jaws’. Since it was first seen, ‘The Shallows’ has almost unanimously been awarded the title of ‘best shark movie since Jaws’, and I would completely agree with that statement. However, it’s not one that holds much weight, given that there hasn’t really been many good shark movies since ‘Jaws’, if any. ‘The Shallows’ deserves more impressive hyperbole than that, because it is a very impressive film.