Review: Zebra Girl Rating 65%

Review: Zebra Girl

After being performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, Catherine and Anita has taken on a new form. As of 28th May this is in film format as Zebra Girl, released across the UK. Throbbing with trauma, violence, mental illness and abuse, there is much to unpack with this feature length, and certainly not for those that prefer the light-hearted. Starring Sarah Roy and Tom Cullen, Zebra Girl is a psychological thriller with more depth than humour.

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Review: A Space In Time Rating 78%

Review: A Space In Time

A Space In Time is an intimate portrait of one family’s struggle to transcend a fatal muscle wasting disease and their home changes to accommodate this disease. Directed by Nick Taussig and Riccardo Servini, the subject is carefully handled, an artful approach that allows us to gain an insight into a disease rarely spoken about.

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Frightfest 2021 Rating 80%

Frightfest 2021

Glasgow Film Festival’s Frightfest 2021 is a strange one. Instead of all being crammed together in a cinema, I’m logging into a website and watching them by myself at home. For sure that dampens the experience of a lot of them. An audience whooping and shrieking would have absolutely made some of these films be an absolute riot. In the cold light of day though some were poor and some I enjoyed a lot. I may have judged some too harshly but not this first one:

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Alison Strauss: Going online means that we’re not tied to the modest size of the cinema

The Hippodrome Silent Film Festival, AKA HippFest, is going online for its rearranged 10th edition with screenings running 17 – 21 March. Launched in 2011, HippFest has become a key annual event in the cultural calendar, drawing audiences from across Scotland and beyond to enjoy the stars and stories of the silent era. The Fountain caught up with Festival Director Alison Strauss about her programme highlights, and taking the festival online for the first time.

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Review: Retaliation Rating 79%

Review: Retaliation

Orlando Bloom, known for the Lord of the Ring and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises, occasionally pops up in something other, reminding us that he can in actual fact act. Having last seen him in Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown, I’ve not been rushing to watch the next movie that he was starring in. However, this Shammasian Bros film, Retaliation had some hard-hitting and gritty themes, and I was curious if he would be able to handle these. Unexpectedly, he was.

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Review: Tripping with Nils Frahm Rating 76%

Review: Tripping with Nils Frahm

Tripping with Nils Frahm is a stunningly shot documentary that captures one of the world’s most sought-after live acts performing at one of Berlin’s most iconic buildings, and removes us from the notion that live gigs are not a current normal, whilst entranced by Nils performance.

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Paul Sng: Film festivals and independent cinemas have done a magnificent job in adapting

Poly Styrene was the first woman of colour in the UK to front a successful rock band. She introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, postmodernism and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain with a rare prescience. As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, the Anglo-Somali punk musician was also a key inspiration for the Riot grrrl and Afropunk movements. But the late punk maverick didn’t just leave behind an immense cultural footprint.

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Review: Poly Styrene – I Am A Cliché Rating 81%

Review: Poly Styrene – I Am A Cliché

One of the final film screenings pre-lockdown for me was at the Glasgow Film Festival 2020; White Riot was on at Glasgow’s Cineworld. Naturally it feels organic for the next to be Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché, which overlaps with footage, as we get a brief glimpse into X-Ray Spex gig in Victoria Park after Poly Styrene had shaved all of her hair off. This documentary provides an in-depth background about the motivation behind this and many other decisions the front woman made.

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Allan Hunter: We wanted to embrace that challenge and explore the opportunities it provided

Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) will return for its 17th edition from 24 February to 7 March 2021 with a new hybrid format. In-cinema screenings at GFF’s home, Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT), will run alongside a brand-new online streaming platform, Glasgow Film At Home, allowing us to safely bring the festival to new audiences, as well as inviting back our dedicated Glasgow Film Festival fans. Allan Hunter, Glasgow Film Festival Co-Director, spoke with The Fountain about what we can look forward to from the festival and what he reckons we can look forward to from cinema in 2021.

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Review: The Lady in the Portrait Rating 35%

Review: The Lady in the Portrait

With The Lady in the Portrait, French director Charles de Meaux takes a dazzling but conservative approach to dramatise a real-life occurrence: in 18th century China, Jesuit monk Attiret (Melvil Poupaud) is a court painter under Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. With its stiff rituals, closed-off palace grounds and social rigidities, life is a lot like it would be in Versailles, although Attiret and his fellow Jesuits repeatedly struggle with the courts’ mocking dabs at the Christian God and idea of chastity. Things start to stir when, during a memorial for the Emperor’s late wife, the new Empress Ulanara (Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing) has a bout of jealousy and decides to commission a Western-style portrait of herself to rekindle her husband’s interest (not an easy task in a palace brimming with a regular influx of pretty substitutes). Attiret gets the job – while quietly giggling onlookers and critics breathe into his neck during the first couple of sessions, they soon thin out to leave him and Ulanara in a setting of ‘inappropriate’ intimacy.

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