Charlie Nicholson

Film

Venue Reviews: Whitney

Kevin Macdonald’s Whitney marks the second documentary to delve into the life and career of Whitney Houston. Following on from Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal’s behind-the-scenes portrait of the star with last year’s Whitney: Can I Be Me, Kevin Macdonald’s rather conventional documentary is a heartfelt, yet curiously distant deconstruction of Houston’s private and public…

Film

Venue reviews: Hereditary

At its strongest, Ari Aster’s debut feature fixates upon neutral, offbeat details to the point of paralysing terror. Like the harmless clocking of one’s tongue against the roof of one’s mouth, the minute and unassuming are slowly weaponised as Hereditary’s dysfunctional family unravels into fits of paranoid suspicion.   Aster made his directorial debut with…

Film

Venue reviews: Casa Roshell

Through its series of over-the-shoulder glances and extended reflection shots, Camila José Donoso’s inquisitive camera observes the interior happenings of the real Casa Roshell nightclub in Mexico City. Owned by Roshell Terranova, the club provides an expressive safehouse for the transgender women of Mexico City. It holds regular classes in body language; how to walk,…

Film

Venue reviews: Alex Strangelove

After Love, Simon brought the gay experience so admirably into the mainstream in the form of a fluffy teen comedy, it seems the financial success of recent genre revisions has begun to elicit a shift in contemporary Hollywood toward queer narratives. On its face, Alex Strangelove nods encouragingly in support of this new motion. Set…

Film

Venue reviews: Cargo

Cargo uses the prolific zombie genre as a primer for exploring certain anxieties and inequalities concerning power relations and time. For what it’s worth, the intent is visible and delivered with remarkable understatement by the main cast. Its main issue – as several have already observed – is its tentative relationship with the zombie genre….

Film

Venue reviews: Book club

When picturing Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen taking turns face-pulling at Fifty Shades of Grey, it becomes starkly obvious how much Book Club screams ‘boardroom epiphany’. With only the vaguest tonal resemblance to Nancy Meyers’ films, Bill Holderman’s debut is unavoidably a star vehicle targeted at a certain generation; the club itself…

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