Director: Dom Rotheroe Starring: Bradley Cole, Brittany Ashwood, Angela Forrest, Oliver Lee. UK. 1h 25m
The allure behind Exhibit A is getting an insight in the raw details behind the case of a brutal family annihilation case. While Dom Rotheroe and curated a really authentic feeling found footage movie on an independant budget I feel that story is lacking a genuine USP. I personally felt cheated, thought I’d missed some fine detail, but after re watching the movie, I had to step back and look at it with fresh eyes, so often found footage relies on adding a touch of creepy paranormal or something sly and devious into the mix to make the voyeuristic audience shudder with fear and delight. Exhibit A doesn’t bend to those rules, and doesn’t really go anywhere into the deep waters of the typical Found Footage Horror, however if the systematic psychological breakdown of a middle england family is your thing then step in.
In a heated conversation between a couple of shabby fellows after a night of debauchery, a poignant line is shouted, the definition of the film title and ethos of what you have spend an hour watching… it goes something along the lines of “meeting someone fucking their brains out and when you get bored you move on”. This dry argument is a key to Penny Woolcock’s vibrantly disturbing drama surrounding the most powerful bouts of writer’s block that Paul might ever have in one lifetime.
Director: Richard Laxton Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Dominic West .UK. 1h 30m
This glamorized TV movie is the love child of director Richard Laxton, who cleverly used a poignant part of life and relationship between Liz Taylor and Richard Burton to highlight their turbulent relationship and striking personalities.
Set in 1983, the film revolves around Burton and Taylor as they attempt to join forces to star in Noel Coward’s stage play “Private Lives”. After years of marriage, their own addictive personalities and the pressures from the press, they begin to lose their stubborn protective barriers and find some kind of path to recovery together.
Director: David Cronenberg Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne .UK/Canada. 1h m
In the early 2000’s David Conenbergpacked away the New Flesh and made an intensely beautiful and fascinating account of Patrick’s McGraths novel. Even without the body horror and gore, psychotropic vibes and the paranoid surreal, Conenbergstill manages to disturb.
Starring Ralph Fiennes, as a deeply disturbed middle aged man, simply known as Spider. He’s just been released from a long term mental institution into a drab boarding house in London’s King Cross area. The tatty rooms and pealing wallpaper permeate a 1950’s atmosphere and isn’t the idea surroundings for recovery, however it’s here that Spider travels back to his childhood, spiraling back into the trauma as he remembers his obsessive belief that his father (Bryne) did away with his mother (Richardson) to start up a new life with a prostitute.
Director: Sean Foley Starring: Julian Barratt, Simon Farnaby, Essie Davis, Steve Coogan, Richard Cabe, Andrea Riseborough, Russell Tovey, David Schofield, Harriet Walter, Simon Callow, Kenneth Branner. UK. 1h 29m
When your indie retro styled Brit Flick has major stars like Andrea Riseborough, Kenneth Brannagh and Simon Callow playing minor little cameos then you’d assume you’ve hit the big time or at least have an idea so crazy it might just work!? Mindhorn is a triumph of British comedy, starring Julian Barratt, who’s made us all laugh in comedy shows like The Mighty Boosh but has also astounded fans in solid trippy dramas like A Field In England, but let’s face it, if you don’t laugh at he antics in the Ben Wheatly classic then you’d end up in an asylum. But in this ridiocusly production he takes the lead and delivers an outstanding performance as a dated washed up actor who is called in by Isle of White police to help them fight a devious criminal.
It’s the truth time!
There has always been a strong comedy troupe, about that one guy who won’t let go of the past, He’s the chap in the corner of the pub, talking about his old band and possibility of being a Rockstar, but he just missed a great opportunity, all of this is maximised in Mindhorn. Julian Barrat plays the role of a hasbeen actor, who once had the role of a lifetime the lead in a hit TV show where he is a blend of 6 million dollar man and James bond, but today he’s washed up, he can’t get a role, drinks too much, no one takes him seriously and he still wears his retro 70’s clothing and a ridiculous mishmashed toupe.
Mindhorn is totally pathetic but he truly believes in himself as his tv character and with the chance to live that lifestyle again he jumps at the opportunity but fails miserably at every hurdle, the man can’t even make a phone call without wrecking the room. As a blend of Mr Magoo and Inspector Clouseau he’s a tornado of antics but at least he’s hysterically funny for the audience otherwise this would be jarring. Any hero who wakes up part naked on a police officer’s desk, half naked and high on pills having to explain drawing a pair of tits on someone’s land rover, is worth a few minutes of your attention, am i right?
If you’re a fan of the Boosh and subversive British humour then this can’t be missed, let your hair down and don’t take life too seriously, alongside the cast and have a super funny night even is Barret does wear black face for part of the film, i doubt anyone will be triggered due to the circumstances.
Related: Hot Rod (2007), Black Dynamite (2009)
Lists: Modern British Comedies
Spotlight:Julian Barratt, Andrea Riseborough, Simon Callow, Kenneth Branner.
Director: Prano Bailey-Bond
Starring: Niamh Algar, Nicholas Burns, Adrian Schiffler, Guillaume Delause, Richard Glover, Michael Smiley, UK. 1h 24m
An unfaltering, visually stunning movie outlining the effects of censorship and suppression on the persona and a precise documentation of the departmentalisation of one’s repressed memories. If you’ve had the privilege of seeing Prano’s short movie, Nasty then you’ll be prepared for the vivid colours, the frantic style of her curious retrowave tales. Nasty is a perfect introduction to her love of tracking, video culture and a warped perception of reality taking over her characters.
Director: Horaces Ove Starring: Norman Beaton, Nicholas Farrell, Brian Bovell, Ross Kemp, Gary Beadle, Trevor Thomas, Ram John Holder,Bruce Purchase, Joseph Marcell, Patrick Holt, Neil Morrissey. UK. 1h 40m
The beautiful game of cricket is the focus of a witty tale that highlights the ridiculous nature of racism and plesantary of just getting along and being a good person or at least a sports person. Somewhere in Ove’s little hidden gem of a movie, there’s a nod to the empowerment of being a team player, noting how the games give the population a sense of becoming a better person.
Director: Nick Love Starring: Danny Dyer, Tamer, Hassan, Geoff bell .UK. 1h 37m
It feels funny going back in time and finally watching this lary movie. After watching the slew of films which were created from it’s fallout, seeing the original template feels weird as I’ve seen all the parts play out in slightly different ways. Nick Love’s signature direction has conjured a tough guy world for many fans of this”English Bad Boy” subculture. But going back to see one of the early greats you can easily see what they were trying to mimic. This came just after Love’s cult favorite The Football Factory (2004) and aimed to tell a rags to riches tale littered with disgusting language and questionable characters.
Director: Ali Djarar Starring: Danny Webb, John Game, Neal Ward, Monty Burgess. UK. 1h 1m
This Indie ghost sleuthing found footage horror plays out like a version of Most Haunted, with some hints of Grave Encounters (2013) and Devils Familiar (2020) running through, just sadly not the good bits! All the amazing ideas of a mysterious house being a portal to a Lovecraftian void created by a cult, is washed away with too much banter and not enough on screen action. but it’s a tangible tale and I’m sure if you like any Ghost Hunting TV show then you’ll get a kick out of it.
Director: Carl Strathie Starring: Laura Fraser, Mel Raido, Sid Phoenix, Grant Masters, Spike White, Nicholas Pinnock, Alice Lowe, USA/UK. 1h 37m
Dark Encounter is another film in a long line up, of Intricately detailed thought provoking sci-fi, drawing more towards the side of hard sci-fi and yet remaining dreamily artistic, this bold attempt to to blend a missing person case in and around the most profound alien contact, proved to be very thought-provoking, and somewhat beautifully bittersweet.
With other epic sci-fi titles out there such as Interstellar and Arrival, Dark Encounter can proudy sit among them as a strong contender. Even without going full Christopher Nolanesque and devising a complex world that falls in and on itself, with surreal curveballs and slips within time and space, there is a palatable connection between our world and another. Were the reasoning why, being slightly baffling, it still proves to be an outstanding piece of work both visually and intellectually.