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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The Tarnished Angels Review

...Most well-known for his Technicolor melodramas, this monochrome feature is widely regarded as the director’s bleakest work. As a viewer who always seems drawn to the miserable over the jocular, it seems the perfect place to begin my relationship with him and his films...

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Village At The End Of The World Review

...Gavron manages to carve a stimulating sculpture of the young man managing to inject it with moments both contemplative and humorous. We see him point out the homes of his separated mother and father – neither of which raised him – within one hundred feet of one another. A different occasion sees a comical discussion about Niaqornat’s lack of attractive females for Lars to woo at the same moment as he reveals his substantial condom stash; y’know, just in case...

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The Wall Review

...There are also clear feminist themes also at work, in the novel and the film, that’ve been discussed in much more depth that I am going to here, but with the wall analogous to the glass ceiling and the late discovery of another human – a male – there are clear indicators...

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Broken Review

...It’s a film about love and devotion and focussed particularly on three wildly different relationships between parents and their children. Norris, who’s known primarily as a theatre director, takes his story from Daniel Clay’s novel of the same name where the stage is set in a suburban cul-de-sac inhabited by three contrasting families...

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Mea Maxima Culpa Review

...Putting together talking heads and archive footage, Gibney provides an exhaustive account of what happened at the school and how Father Murphy escaped punishment and was eventually, only after children’s’ parents learned of the crimes, removed to another community where he went on to continue his abuses...

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Tabu: A Story Of The South Seas Review

...A fable about attempting to outswim the sinister forces of destiny, Murnau’s Tabu presents a look at life on the Polynesian island of Bora Bora. This isn’t the tourist trap we might expect today, though, the film shows off the exotic and unsullied nature of the island as it was in the 1920’s and tells a tale set amongst its ‘primitive’ peoples...

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Man Of Steel Review

...Man Of Steel may be a new take on a character people thought was no longer relevant but there’s very little substance behind that ‘S’. At a soaring one-hundred-and-forty-three minutes, it’s a technical marvel with some visually impressive sequences that I really liked, and some minor touches that I loved. Yet in refitting this most selfless of superheroes for the modern world, they seemed to have removed his heart.

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Michael H: Profession Director Review

...It’s all fascinating enough but the one thing that holds back this profile from being a real revelation is the omission of discussion of the themes in Haneke’s work; though this is Michael H: Profession Directorcategorically not Montmayeur’s fault. This ambiguity is one of the facets that engenders him to audiences and makes him such a compelling and vital presence in world cinema...

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Army Of Shadows Review

...Upon its initial release in 1969, Melville’s picture was a rather controversial one and received something of a critical mauling, particularly from Cahiers du Cinéma. This was largely due to the opinion that it was pro-Charles de Gaulle who was something of a persona non grata at the time. This meant that it didn’t receive wide distribution outside of France until around forty years later where it has generally been received with glowing recommendations...

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Girl Shy (Movie, 1924) Review | STATIC MASS EMPORIUM

Girl Shy. By Ben Nicholson • November 5th, 2013. Static Mass Rating: 4/5. GIRL SHY (MOVIE) The Harold Lloyd Corporation. Original release: April 20th, 1924...

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Amour Review

...What’s interesting with Amour is just how valid the title is. Many people at the time of release suggested this was almost ironic, but it’s an exploration of what love truly entails. The way that love is portrayed in cinema – especially the cinema we’re used to – is that it’s all romance and contentment...

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Stoker Review

...If it crimped its themes from a line of horror films dealing with the approach of adulthood, and subsequent transformation, it grabbed the scenario from Hitchcock. India Stoker (Mia Wasikiwska) sadly loses her father on her eighteenth birthday to a motoring accident. The stilted loneliness of the home she now shares with her distant, and distinctly non-maternal, mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) is broken by the arrival of a guest...

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No Review

...Fast-paced and with a lightness of heart largely absent from Larraín’s previous output, it feels like an entertaining drama more in the vein of Argo (2012) than the kind of heavier political fare we might be used to...

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Room 237 Review

...Remaining conspicuously absent from proceedings – both literally and figuratively – is Ascher himself. Concerned largely with portraying these conflicting readings of the film he elects to make no judgement or comments of his own. Whilst this is a noble attempt to let the theories speak for themselves, it does mean that Room 237 lacks a much needed authorial voice to give it drive and direction...

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Belleville Rendezvous (Movie, 2003) Review | STATIC MASS ...

Belleville Rendezvous. By Ben Nicholson • December 1st, 2013. Static Mass Rating: 5/5. BELLEVILLE RENDEZVOUS (MOVIE) Les Armateurs. Original release: ......