Review: The Kingmaker

irector Lauren Greenfield has steadily built up a reputation as one of the finest voices in documentary cinema. She follows up her fascinatingly sprawling “Generation Wealth” (2018) with “The Kingmaker” (2019). Where her last work focused on many subjects to weave a portrait of late-era capitalism, here she initially focuses on Imelda Marcos. The former first lady of the Philippines, she is first seen as a peculiar figure, lavishly dressed and handing out moment to poverty-stricken children from the window of her minibus. Continue reading Review: The Kingmaker

Review: The Very Last Day

When talking about “The Very Last Day”, first-time writer-director Cédric Jouarie has been vocal about having had to live with a harrowing experience which was inflicted on him when he was a teenager. His film has presented an opportunity to explore his trauma, and perhaps even offer Jouarie some catharsis for what has happened. The end result is captivating if a somewhat messy mix of high melodrama and revenge thriller.

The film introduces novelist Raymond Ho (Lawrence Ong) accompanied by his wife Viola (Heng-Yin Chou) on the eve of the successful release of his latest novel: a story of a romance which culminates in a sexual assault. It’s not a success enjoyed by all: Viola can only look on whilst addressed as “Mrs Raymond Ho”, her own credibility as a writer belittled both by fans of her husband’s work, and by Raymond himself – it’s revealed that he’s been lifting from her stories of childhood abuse and hardship to use them as plot points for his books. Continue reading Review: The Very Last Day

31 Days of Horror, Day 23: Blood & Donuts

There are many sub-genres in horror; one of my favorites being horror-comedies or campy horror. There’s something great about watching a movie you know is going to be cheesy and ridiculous- you don’t expect anything spectacular and are usually pleasantly surprised. Holly Dale’s first feature film “Blood & Donuts” (1995) is a hidden gem from the 90’s that fits that description.

“Blood & Donuts” is about a vampire name Boya (played by Gordon Currie) who awakens from a 25 year nap after a golf ball hits him in the head. Disoriented, he takes a cab to a graveyard to dig up his well-hidden belongings. He finds a place to stay at a run-down hotel and then makes his way to the all-night donut shop next door. Boya befriends cabbie and donut addict Earl (Louis Ferreira) and falls for waitress Molly (Helene Clarkson). Earl is having some trouble with two mobster types, so Boya steps up to protect him. Boya’s scorned ex-girlfriend Rita (Fiona Reid) is also out looking for revenge because Boya would not turn her into a vampire.
Continue reading 31 Days of Horror, Day 23: Blood & Donuts