Film

Blowing a Fusion

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Review of 'Bride and Prejudice', director Gurinder Chadha

If you want a fun night out, and like a bit of Bollywood singing and dancing, then this is the film for you. The director of Bend it Like Beckham transports Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to present day Amritsar, India.

A Certain Image of Humanity

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Review of 'My Summer of Love', director Pawil Pawlikowski

Pawil Pawlikowski's previous film, Last Resort, was deservedly praised for its sympathetic treatment of asylum seekers in Britain. His new film is not a disappointment.

He says he thinks that 'modern life is in danger of becoming spiritually bankrupt... Everything is measured economically or in terms of lifestyle, or appearance and the meaninglessness around promoting that.'

No Man's Land

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Review of 'Code 46', director Michael Winterbottom

Code 46 is a thought-provoking, resonant, sci-fi movie for those looking for an antidote to this summer's blander blockbuster efforts. A visually haunting poetic film, set in a world where genetics, global warming and immigration controls have reached new extremes, it has much to say politically - even if the romantic heart of the film may not always prove as compelling as it should.

Fish Out of Water

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Review of 'The Life and Times of Peter Sellers', director Stephen Hopkins and 'Open Water', director Chris Kentis

The Life and Times of Peter Sellers is an often ingenious and quirky biopic of a great comic actor who was definitely of the bad, mad and dangerous to know variety. It charts the life of this highly complex and neurotic actor from his times performing in the 1950s radio show The Goon Show, where, in his words, he was worried about ending up as a 'ringmaster in a circus of twits', to international stardom in the Pink Panther movies, where millions creased up to his dodgy impersonation of a hapless French detective.

American Dreams and Nightmares

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Review of 'The Terminal', director Steven Spielberg, 'The Alamo', director John Lee Hancock and 'Collateral', director Michael Mann

Most films from Steven Spielberg come served with a large portion of sentimentality. His new one, The Terminal, is no different. Tom Hanks plays Viktor Navorski who, when arriving at JFK airport, New York, finds out there has been a coup in his homeland of Krakozhia. He is declared technically stateless and told by the ambitious homeland security official that to him 'America is closed'. For the next few years he lives in the terminal unable to leave. The film's heart is in the right place - it is sympathetic to Navorski's plight as the unwanted alien.

Double Whammy

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Review of 'Supersize Me', director Morgan Spurlock

Why watch a film about a man who eats three meals a day at McDonald's? Because the results are funny, disgusting and involve surprisingly serious questions about food, class and American society.

Rules of Engagement

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Review of 'Ae Fond Kiss', director Ken Loach

Ken Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty's new film, Ae Fond Kiss, opens with a young Muslim woman, Tahara, doing a presentation to her school class. She talks about the increase in Islamophobia since 9/11 and brilliantly challenges the idea that all Muslims are the same. She talks about the many contradictions she faces in her own life and how they affect her. It's a good introduction to the film, as we see how a Muslim family in Glasgow, whose parents emigrated from Pakistan, deal with their own contradictions and problems.

Finding Hope Amid the Madness

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Review of '16 Years of Alcohol', director Richard Jobson

There are many titles that could have provided a banner for this film - the opening narration spells out the other potential one: 'Sometimes, for some people, things don't work out the way they might hope. Hope is a strange thing. Hope is a currency for people who know they are losing. The more familiar you are with hope, the less beautiful it becomes.' So begins the narrator as he bears poetic witness to his own demise, casting his beautiful and battered gaze down into another glass of whisky as he does so.

His Roots was in the Struggle

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Review of 'Tupac: Resurrection', director Lauren Lazin

Tupac Shakur is the Janus-faced poster boy for the hip-hop community. He lived the life, walked the walk, and paid bitterly for the myth he promulgated and tried to challenge. Tupac: Resurrection offers a personal, warts and all view of the life of the man who became the biggest selling rap artist of all time. Eerily, it seems as if Tupac is talking from his grave, as his prescient narration guides our interpretation of the abundance of imagery, stills, home videos, TV interviews, and excerpts of pop videos and stage appearances.

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