Review in Brief: The Most Beautiful Boy in the World (2021)

In 1971, child actor Björn Andrésen starred in Luchino Visconti’s DEATH IN VENICE and was proclaimed by the director as “The most beautiful boy in the world”. Andrésen’s experiences making that film and his subsequent catapulting to worldwide fame changed his life, but not for the better. Now in his sixties, Andréson looks back on this formative and traumatic period of his life, what lead to it and what has happened to him since because of it. As you might expect, TMBBITW often isn’t an easy watch as Adrésen recounts how he was manipulated and taken advantage of at such a young age, and seeing how unhappy and troubled a man he has grown into now breaks your heart. We see him revisit Tokyo where he had a second career as a singer, he investigates his unknown father and his long-missing mother and he films a small but key role for MIDSOMMAR. It’s an affecting documentary that makes you think twice about the draw of stardom. SSP

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No Time to Die (2021) Review

https://www.thefilmagazine.com/no-time-to-die-bond-movie-review/ SSP

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Review in Brief: The Green Knight (2021)

David Lowery’s Arthurian epic THE GREEN KNIGHT, the most visually stunning film of the year, is finally here for British audiences to experience. In this retelling of the epic poem complete with rhymes, symbolism and ornate medieval inter-titles, Gwain (Dev Patel) quests to the Green Chapel, home of the enigmatic Green Knight (Ralph Ineson) after he answered his chivalric challenge a year before. For Gwain struck the Green Knight’s head from his shoulders and must now submit to an answering blow, the many challenges faced on his journey teaching him lessons about life, death, time and honour. The Green Knight is the kind of film you have to submit to, to just go with the languid pace and sometimes impenetrable ambiguity. But if you’re in the right frame of mind and spirit you will be rewarded with a gorgeously designed, vividly atmospheric mood piece that will doubtless inspire debate for years to come. SSP

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Review in Brief: Shorta (2020)

Slickly executed, punchy and almost unbearably tense, SHORTA really makes an impact in a world where a frankly insane amount of people from minority communities are still losing their lives to police brutality. After a botched arrest in a Danish ghetto leads to the death of a young Arab man, two cops involved that sensitive case are tasked with keeping the peace but end stranded and fighting for their lives in the same deprived area as the site of their shame. Jacob Lohmann, Simon Sears as cops Mike and Jens and especially Tarek Tyat as Amos, a young victim of stop and search swept up in their predicament all deliver excellent raw performances and the direction from Frederik Louis Hviid and Anders Ølholm is tightly controlled and never loses momentum. Nothing the police get up to is made to look glamorous or cool, but a sweaty, dirty nightmare that just goes from bad to worse, typified by a half-obscured brawl in a flooding bathroom. SSP

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Delphine’s Prayers (2021) Open City Documentary Festival Review

https://www.thefilmagazine.com/delphines-prayers-2021-documentary-review/ SSP

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Songs for the River (2021) Open City Documentary Festival Review

https://www.thefilmagazine.com/songs-for-the-river-2021-documentary-review/ SSP

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Juste un mouvement (2021) Open City Documentary Festival Review

https://www.thefilmagazine.com/juste-un-mouvement-2021-documentary-review/ SSP

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Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains Ranked

https://www.thefilmagazine.com/marvel-cinematic-universe-villains-ranked/ SSP

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Review in Brief: The Toll (2021)

You don’t get a Welsh gangster film every day, but THE TOLL makes you feel that’s a damn shame. It’s low-key stylish and non-linear, like PULP FICTION if it wasn’t as pleased with itself, with a rich seam of gallows humour and plenty of wry one-liners (“I used to babysit you when you were a little twat!”, “Sit down, you’re making the place look uncomfortable”). Michael Smiley is the British film industry’s go-to likeable criminal, and here he plays his toll booth godfather straight and scary as the rest of his bumbling underworld associates (including Paul Kaye and Iwan Rheon) act like they’re auditioning for the idiot parts in a Coen brothers movie. Like FARGO too there is a lone straight arrow country cop (Annes Elwy) grieving for a tragic loss and trying to keep the peace through an understanding (up to a point) with the local criminal element, but things are inevitably heading for a bloody end. SSP

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) Review

https://www.thefilmagazine.com/shang-chi-legend-of-ten-rings-mcu-review/ SSP

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