how ‘original copy’ looks candidly into mumbai’s gentrification

There’s dust in the air and the sun radiates through floating orbs and onto the faces of sign painter Sheikh Rehman and his apprentice. They are in Alfred Talkies, one of the remaining analogue cinemas in Mumbai. The window, which the men are sitting by, looks palatial. A break from this fantastical moment comes when the youngest painter takes out his camera phone whilst his boss looks cinematic, smoking a cigarette. At this point Rehman could have expressed one of Original Copy’s many philosophies: “This is life’s movie” but instead poses until his cigarette burns to a stub, illuminated by views of changing skylines.
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arthur abel reviews ‘hounds of love’

hounds of love is a film. i am reviewing this film. i am reviewing the film hounds of love. it is the debut film from australian director ben young. i was asked to review this film because someone else didnt. the premise is that a seventeen-year-old girl gets abducted by two serial killers.

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dissecting the sick genius of flying lotus’ ‘kuso’

Man, this film is satisfying. It’s a visceral experience cobbled together from all the dark, sick shit you’ve ever seen. Remember goatse? Remember one man one jar? Remember lemonparty? Remember when you accidently saw someone’s head get cut off after clicking on that weird looking gif? Those images you saw that you can never get out of your head, the ones that made us lament on what a sad, lost, desensitised generation we’d become? We’ve seen a lot of the bad that comes out of the deep pits of the internet; the alt-right recently being a disturbing example of just what happens to men who have grown up contributing to and lurking on message boards (you know I mean 4chan) filled with racist, sexist and homophobic humour. It would be easy to demonise these forums, producing the meme-magic spouting supporters of Trump, the white men who could never get girlfriends and those whose teenage angst has turned into full-on bitterness in adulthood.

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how ‘i am not your negro’ crafts an evocative and empowering portrait of black america

There is no doubt in my mind that James Baldwin was one of the most significant writers of the 20th century, and I Am Not Your Negro serves as both a history lesson and an introduction to one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

Raoul Peck uses an unfinished, 30 page draft of Baldwin’s to envisage the book that he never completed, translating it into film form. Using a mixture of archive footage of Baldwin and footage depicting the civil rights movement, Peck weaves together a history of blackness in America from writer’s often poetic point of view.

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this is why ‘free fire’ misses its mark

Have you ever been to see a film that everyone in the screening seemed to think was really funny and engaging, while you just sat there bemused and thinking: “this is a bit shite”? Well, that’s how I felt watching Ben Wheatley’s divisive sixth feature Free Fire.

As I looked around the audience in hysterics, I thought, “Is it just me? Am I just a stick in the mud?” I may have laughed once or twice, but it occurred to me that if you crack a hundred jokes, at least two of them are bound to be funny.

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how ‘the woman who left’ reshapes movie revenge

If you look at it solely from the perspective of the mention of the ‘revenge thriller’ in its synopsis, you’d think that this four-hour long, black-and-white Filipino film had very little going for it. In reality, it’s a shining example of how the idea of retribution on screen flourishes in the hands of female protagonists.

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why pablo larraín’s ‘neruda’ is sheer fantasy

To say that Pablo Larraín has a talent for biographical filmmaking would be an understatement. What he does with the genre is much more interesting than a strict documentation of a person or a period in their life. In Neruda, Larraín’s film about the Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda, he takes the skeleton of a biography and twists it into a detective story turned mythological tale; so spellbinding that it seems implausible that it could resemble anything close to the truth.

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decoding the complex moral compass of paul verhoeven’s ‘elle’

If I’ve taken one lesson from Paul Verhoeven’s rape-revenge drama Elle, it would be to never fuck with an angry French woman. I’ve also learned that hunting down your stalker is always done best when wearing killer outfits.

Watching this, the film that has caused shockwaves amongst cinephiles and won its lead actress, Isabelle Huppert, a Golden Globe, I often swung from one extreme of the emotional scale to the other. At one point, I find myself admiring the interiors of a palatial, Parisian home in one scene before being left literally open mouthed in shock at the next.

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how ‘dark night’ refuses to address our sick fascination with mass shootings

Despite the fact that they leave a mark on so many, mass shootings have an air of mystique around them. They create monsters; the kind that are immortalised in TV news broadcasts and Wikipedia pages. Unless we scour for them, we never witness the events that led them to that moment. All that we’re aware of is the brutal hysteria that stems from the act itself.

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‘certain women’ is a fragile drama about finding yourself

Laura (Laura Dern) works as a lawyer, and has been trying to convince her client that this case can’t be won. But after 8 months of hard work, she gives up and suggests a male lawyer who tells the client exactly the same thing. This time the client agrees, proving that sexism is still present.

Gina (Michelle Williams) is barely handling her marriage. She can’t make a connection with her daughter, and the only escape she gets is a morning run and a few drags of the occasional cigarette. Despite this, she keeps denying the existence of all of her problems.

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