Viewing all posts by Joanna Pocock

David Lynch, William S. Burroughs and Andy Warhol at the Photographers' Gallery
JANUARY

Empty Factories, Poisonous Cheesecake and American Celebrities: Lynch, Burroughs and Warhol at The Photographers’ Gallery

In their own ways, David Lynch, William S. Burroughs and Andy Warhol have all encapsulated massive cultural moments in US art and literature. Joanna Pocock reviews a showcase of their photography at London's Photographers' Gallery. Read more →

LFF: Computer Chess

Charming, funny and humane – Andrew Bujalski continues the mumblecore tradition with a film about the members of a chess tournament, set in the 1980s

Andrew Bujalski’s new film, Computer Chess, is a nostalgic nod to a more innocent time when computers took up entire rooms, men wore clip-on ties unironically and women went nowhere near anything that plugged in unless it was a vacuum cleaner.

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Paull Dano in For Ellen (dir. So Yong Kim)
MARCH

Feature Film: For Ellen

Although Paul Dano delivers a committed performance in For Ellen, his character is not quite believable. The rock-and-roller image – with chipped black nail polish, slicked back hair and leather regalia – is a cliché that has become a lazy way of injecting a sense of hipness into films. Dano’s bland character comes over as self-satisfied and vain whilst also showing vulnerability and kindness. At times this paradox is well played out, but because he is trapped in a stereotype, there is no room for him to grow. He is stymied along with our enjoyment. Despite this emptiness, there are some wonderful moments in this film, and Kim uses the bleak, bleached out wintry landscape of the American-Canadian border beautifully to give the film a sense of timelessness and an almost terrifying sense of infinite nothingness. Read more →

Red Tales (Cuentos Rojos) by Susana Medina

These formally inventive tales add up to an unflinching and visceral collection of stories which fragment and coalesce in surprising ways: Borges as written by Poppy Z Brite and Virginia Woolf. Susana Medina’s stories have an alchemical quality, throwing together disparate elements to create tender and terrifying reminders of what it is to be human: the danger and thrill of our appetites and the limits of our reason. Read more →