Road to the Oscars: Free Solo – Review

Destined for Oscar glory in the eyes of this reviewer, especially since Three Identical Strangers didn’t make the shortlist, the documentary Free Solo follows climber Alex Honnold as he attempts to climb the face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without a rope. Husband and wife directing team Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi make us care about the obsessively single-minded Alex as he … Continue reading Road to the Oscars: Free Solo – Review

Three Identical Strangers – Review

At the beginning of Tim Wardle’s absorbing roller-coaster ride of a documentary, Three Identical Strangers, middle-aged Robert Shafran sits down in front of a camera to tell us a story. It’s 1981. He has just arrived at college. He is greeted by a whole bunch of people who are happy to see him. ‘Hey, glad you’re back.’ When you turn heads on your first day … Continue reading Three Identical Strangers – Review

Postcards from the 48% –Edinburgh Film Festival Review

On 23 June 2018, the second anniversary of the British vote to leave the European Union, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of London to demand a second referendum to decide whether the public should accept the final deal. 400 miles away, the Edinburgh International Film Festival hosted the world premiere of David Wilkinson’s ‘talking heads’ documentary Postcards from the 48% in … Continue reading Postcards from the 48% –Edinburgh Film Festival Review

Generation Wealth – Sundance London Review

Whatever amount of money we have, we just want more; this is what the American Dream has become. These are two of the observations made by photographer turned documentary-maker Lauren Greenfield in her compelling state of post-Reagan era America, Generation Wealth. Her film is partly about conspicuous consumption and partly about addiction. At one point, she turns the camera on herself and asks rhetorically, ‘am … Continue reading Generation Wealth – Sundance London Review

Skid Row Marathon – Review

The inspirational documentary Skid Row Marathon focuses on the work of Superior Court Judge Craig J Mitchell, who begins his days at the Midnight Mission in the Skid Row district of Los Angeles leading a group of broken ex-offenders and ex-addicts in an early morning run. He encourages the best of them – or the most in need of support – to enter overseas marathons, … Continue reading Skid Row Marathon – Review

The Prince of Nothingwood – Review

Not every country can have a film industry. You need investors, sets, actors, post-production facilities, cinemas and some form of classification regime, so films can be judged as suitable for audiences. You would not expect Afghanistan, a country formerly ruled by the strict Islamic Group called the Taliban between 1996 and 2001 and whose transition to democracy in the years since has been shaken by … Continue reading The Prince of Nothingwood – Review