Film Review – Tom of Finland

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In association with the GFT

Touko Laaksonen was by day a senior art director at an ad agency in his native Finland. Beyond his day-to-day, however, his craft was wildly different. Going by the pseudonym Tom of Finland, Laaksonen produced an extraordinary amount of homoerotic art, drawing men in uniform with wildly exaggerated muscles, moustaches and genitals.

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Film Review – Berlin Syndrome

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For many of us the premise behind Cate Shortland’s Berlin Syndrome would be our worst nightmare. Teresa Palmer of Hacksaw Ridge plays Clare, a tourist backpacking around Berlin.  After a couple of encounters with charming teacher Andi (Max Riemelt) she ends up having a one night stand with him. Things take a dark turn the next morning however when Andi locks Clare in his flat and refuses to let her leave, making her a prisoner in his home.

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Film Review – The Transfiguration

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In association with the GFT

First time writer-director Michael OSheas suburban vampire tale The Transfiguration tells the story of Milo (Eric Ruffin), a young boy living in a rough area of Brooklyn. With no parents, no friends and one brother, he is an outsider by his very nature. However, it quickly becomes clear that it is not just his unfortunate social situation that makes him different to everyone else. We see him sitting in bed at night watching videos of animals being killed, before he promptly goes out into the darkened streets to find his own prey.

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Film Review – Frantz

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In association with the GFT

Francois Ozon’s Frantz begins just as it continues: quietly and apprehensively, with little fanfare. Anna – young, restrained and delicately played by newcomer Paula Beer – is visiting the grave of her fiancé Frantz, a German soldier killed in the last months of the First World War, when she unexpectedly comes across a Frenchman laying flowers on the dead man’s grave. This sudden appearance of a wartime enemy is a difficult one to stomach for the defeated Germans, especially when the stranger reveals himself to be Adrien (Pierre Niney), an unknown friend of Frantz’s from his studies in Paris before the war. But, despite the uncomfortable xenophobia that flickers through the film, his arrival promises hope and relief to Frantz’ suffering family – a chance to move past their unbearable grief, and grasp at life again.

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Film Review – The Levelling

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In association with the GFT

Ellie Kendrick of Game of Thrones and The Diary of Anne Frank stars in The Levelling, written and directed by Hope Dickson Leach.  Kendrick plays Clover, a young woman called back to her farm after the death of her brother Harry, which may or may not have been a suicide.  Struggling to balance the failing farm and the already tense relationship between her and her father Aubrey (David Troughton), Clover is forced to confront her own grief and sense of place.

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Film Review – Lady Macbeth

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In association with the GFT

The name “Lady Macbeth” carries a lot of baggage – connotations of violent passions, unchecked cruelty and manic self-centeredness. It’s a perfect fit for this film. This release, which was based on the novel Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, involves all of these elements but transforms the story with a Gothic retelling in an English manor house in the 19th century.  It also presents the story from our murderess’ side and explains why she feels driven to commit despicable acts, offering a dark but somewhat empathetic perspective.

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