Film

The Lego Movie

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Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, out now

This might appear to be an hour and a half long advert for Lego - its trailers are for Lego merchandising and Legoland - but five minutes in it becomes a witty attack on capitalism, passivity and the commodification of everything, especially Lego itself.

There's an evil genius, Lord Business, who wants to the world to be static and is president of an evil corporation that owns and brands everything. The happy workers are distracted by terrible sitcoms, overpriced coffee and crappy pop music - "Everything is awesome".

Rome Open City

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Director Roberto Rossellini, re-released 7 March

In the spring of 1944 Italy was caught up in a maelstrom of violence and destruction. The Allied armies were fighting their way up from the South, the Germans occupied the rest of the country with their customary savagery, while the remnants of Mussolini's fascist forces were conducting a psychotic bloodfest anywhere they could.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Director Wes Anderson, released 7 March

This fast paced film is classically Wes Anderson: full of wacky dialogue, detailed design work and some brilliant performances.

The film tells the story of the Grand Budapest Hotel - not in Budapest but fictional Zubrowska - throughout the 1930s. It focuses on the actions and adventures of Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), a hotel concierge who is obsessed with comfort, detail and his older female clients. His tale is recounted by Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori), a young lobby boy and Gustave's loyal right hand man.

The Square

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Directed by Jehane Noujaim, available now on Netflix

Millions of us were glued to TVs and the internet for the first 18 days of the Egyptian Revolution. We saw the mass demos, the "people demand the downfall of the regime", the Battle of the Camel and the fall of the dictator Hosni Mubarak. There were cameras and phones everywhere recording every glorious or brutal moment. Egyptians understood they were shaking their society to its roots and had to record it.

Slavoj Zizek - The Pervert's Guide to Ideology

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Director Sophie Fiennes
DVD - Out now

Often funny, mostly fine and sometimes a bit dodgy, Slavoj Zizek explores the concept of ideology through a psychoanalysis of cinema. It is never entirely clear why.

The renaissance man of social theory meanders around famous film scenes, weaving an essay on the nature of ideology as he passes through.

The mainly psychoanalytic view of ideology leaves the role played by social forces in shaping ideas largely untouched. It produces a shallow picture of how ideology develops and operates. This is particularly noticeable in his discussion of how Nazi ideology works.

Blue Is The Warmest Colour

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Director Abdellatif Kechiche - Out now!

Blue is the Warmest Colour is a love story that follows the relationship of Adele and Emma, two lesbian women with very different lives. When we meet Adele she is 15, still in school, impulsive and bright. She is just beginning to grapple with her sexuality, realising she might be gay and the challenges of coming out.

She is unsatisfied with the relationship she has struck up with a male classmate. Until she meets Emma, an older, blue-haired, talented art student, she is unsure of what she wants.

Utopia

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Director John Pilger

When history is contested, it is never only about what has happened in the past but about what is happening in the present. For years "History Wars" have raged in Australia, with Aboriginal Australians, alongside activists and academics, contesting an official history that denies the massacres and genocide Australia was founded on - what John Pilger describes as "the propaganda of empire to justify the stealing of land and the banishment of its people".

The Selfish Giant

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Director Clio Barnard

The Selfish Giant is inspired by Oscar Wilde's story for children of the same name. The story follows two 14 year old boys, Swifty (played by Shaun Thomas) and Arbor (Conner Chapman), excluded from school, neglected by the authorities and living in poverty on Bradford's Buttershaw Estate.

Nothing But A Man

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Half a century after being first released, Michael Roemer's independent film, Nothing But A Man, has finally made it onto a British cinema screen. The film is set in a small town in the Deep South in the early 1960s, eight years after the last lynching has taken place.

The black community live as second class citizens, racially abused and degraded. Duffy (Ivan Dixon) arrives in the town while working on the railroad and falls for a school teacher, Josie. Duffy attempts to settle in the town and is subjected to social and institutional racism at every turn.

Good Vibrations

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Good Vibrations is the story of Belfast's "Godfather of punk" Terri Hooley. On the most bombed street in Western Europe, Hooley set up an "alternative Ulster" in his record shop Good Vibrations. This is a special little film and a gem of a pop movie. With the right blend of fact and fiction, it captures the tangible air of the period to perfection while also capturing your heart and soul.

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