A PRAYER BEFORE DAWN

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Jean-Stephane Sauvaire Stars: Joe Cole, Pornchanok Mabklang. This intense brutal prison drama is like Kickboxer meets Midnight Express. This unflinching, hard hitting and gritty and harrowing true story is set inside Thailand’s notorious Bang Kwang Central prison, better known as the infamous Bangkok Hilton. Like Midnight Express, which depicted Billy Hayes’ ordeal after being arrested and imprisoned for smuggling drugs in Turkey, A Prayer Before Dawn is based on the 2014 memoir written by expat Brit Billy Moore (played by Joe Cole, Continue reading

ON BODY AND SOUL

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Ildiko Enyedi Stars: Geza Morcsanyi, Alexandra Borbely, Zoltan Schneider, Reka Tenki, Zsuzsa Jaro. Love in the abattoir? This is a quirky drama about the unlikely romance that develops between two lonely employees in a Budapest abattoir. The film won the prestigious Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, but it is an art house film that will be of little interest to a broader audience. Endre (played by Geza Morcsanyi) is the taciturn financial director of the abattoir. In his mid-fifties Continue reading

GURRUMUL

Reviewed by GREG KING Documentary Director: Paul Williams. This is a reverential and respectful documentary about blind indigenous singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunipingu, who died at the age of 46 in July 2017 from liver and kidney disease caused by hepatitis, which he contracted as a child. According to traditional aboriginal lore, after a person has died his name and image cannot be used. However, the tribal elders gave the filmmakers special dispensation here as they thought Gurrumul’s life and legacy was important. Gurrumul himself approved the documentary only Continue reading

LOVELESS

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev Stars: Maryana Spivak, Aleksey Rozin, Matvey Novikov. A rather grim and bleak view of life in contemporary Russia, Loveless focuses on an unhappy family. Zhenya (Maryana Spivak in her feature film debut) and Boris (Aleksey Rozin, from Leviathan, etc) are a couple trapped in a loveless marriage and are in the throes of a bitter divorce. Their cramped apartment is full of tension and vicious arguments. Neither of them seems keen on taking custody of their lonely and introverted 12-year Continue reading

THE PARTY

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Sally Potter Stars: Kristin Scott Thomas, Patricia Clarkson, Timothy Spall, Cillian Murphy, Emily Mortimer, Cherry Jones, Bruno Ganz. Not to be confused with Blake Edwards’ hilarious slapstick Tatiesque comedy from 1968 that starred Peter Sellers as an accident prone Indian actor who ruins a swank Hollywood party, this black comedy and social satire comes from director Sally Potter. With films like Orlando and The Tango Lesson to her credit, Potter has long been a favourite on the art house and film festival circuit. But this may Continue reading