Ben Nicholson

Ben Nicholson

UK-based film critic.

Editor of CineVue and penner of words on cinema for various publications including Sight & Sound, BFI, Dazed & The Skinny.

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B side elsa dorfman's portrait photography the 2016 001 dorfman behind blown up photo portrait 0 article

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography review

Eight years after Standard Operating Procedure, Errol Morris again explores photographic memory with a more genial tribute to a photographer and friend.

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10 times great directors left long gaps between movies

Mind the gap: here are some of the finest filmmakers who kept us waiting years for their next feature.

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Film Review: Partisan

"... it is an assured and brave debut feature for director and co-writer Ariel Kleiman, who repeatedly resists giving easy answers, or many answers at all, in favour of cultivating a beguiling if ultimately unsatisfying mystery."

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Film of the Week: Joy

"...Though not as finely tuned as Silver Linings Playbook or American Hustle, Joy might just be the raggedy underdog that trumps them both."

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Discover one of the hidden gems of the Czech New Wave - Little ...

Drahomíra Vihanová’s banned debut and several of her documentaries are screening for the first time.

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Film Review 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

"...The Force Awakens barrels back into Lucas' lived-in universe with boundless joie de vivre...It makes for a moving, rousing experience and the return to that galaxy far, far away that audiences have longed for."

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DVD Review: 'Czech New Wave: Vol. II'

"...It is far from a flight of fancy, though, to suggest that Second Run have once again curated a fantastic collection for those who are endlessly fascinated by the Czechoslovak New Wave. And those that are not, should be."

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Film Review: 'The Show of Shows'

"...The accompaniment is used both as emphasis and subversion, however. At one point, the rhythms of their drums build tension during a sequence of death-defying acts only for the action to segue into images of voluptuous, scantily clad women being paraded like porto-glamour models. Where the music would perhaps be expected to shift, it does not, denying the audience the release of pressure that such images might otherwise suggest as a nylon stocking is cast into an enrapt crowd..."

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Blu-ray Review: 'The Reflecting Skin'

"...The approach to the threshold into adolescence has rarely comes in as eerie a package. The "nightmare of childhood" is how Seth's neighbour, the unearthly Dolphin Blue (Lindsay Duncan) refers to it, but it is arguably more of a child's nightmare of adulthood and eventual death..."

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Film Review: 'Carol'

"...Haynes is once again strumming on Sirkian strings here, as he did far more overtly in 2002's Far From Heaven, but this is arguably more his own voice taking control. The command he shows of his entire canvas is superlative. Visually he evokes Edward Hopper through the gorgeous Super 16 compositions of Edward Lachman, whose medium shots echo the women's constraint while close-up glimpses of furtive flirtations convey more genuine romance than many romance films can claim to cram into their entire durations..."

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DVD Review: 'All My Good Countrymen'

"...Frantisek emerges as something of a protagonist, but in reality All My Good Countrymen is a film about a community, about the whole, even as it bows under the weight of internal conflict. At times laugh-out-loud hilarious, and at others heart-wrenchingly poignant, it refuses to vilify individuals..."

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Blu-ray Review: 'Closely Observed Trains'

"...Notionally a sex-romp à la Porky's, Closely Observed Trains plays titillation and broad laughs off against more delicate and melancholic dramatic touches; Miloš' problematic ascent to sexual awakening and manhood is that of the Czechoslovak people..."

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Film Review: 'The Hallow'

"...Naturally, the narrative must progress and as the plot veers towards the traditional final siege, Adam's own demons begin to present themselves adding further flavour to the situation. He has already shown himself quick to anger despite his tender, loving exterior and he must struggle to retain his paternity as monstrosity consumes him..."

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CPH:DOX: 'Mallory' review

"...Often Trestíková's unfussy, digital camerawork will find Mallory just after a cataclysmic event in her life, or contact will be prompted by a phone call. Individual scenes are less important than the overall effect, which presents the harsh prevailing winds that buffet this woman as she tries to trudge her way uphill..."

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CPH:DOX: 'Field Niggas' review

"...The images sometimes seem to correspond to the person speaking, at other times they appear to visualise concepts being referred to. This is cinematic poetry that forces the viewer not just to pay attention, but to engage completely with the work - discovering their own connections and narratives with eye and ear..."