Kathryn Pogson

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The Arbor Review


Essential
With this bracingly original debut feature, artist Barnard creates one of the most involving and moving documentaries in memory. Stylistically mixing filmmaking approaches, she engulfs us in a fiercely inventive movie experience.

Andrea Dunbar wrote her first play, The Arbor, at age 15. Named after the street where she grew up in Bradford's rough Buttershaw Estate, it was a national sensation, leading to her second play Rita, Sue and Bob Too, which was adapted into an Alan Clarke film. But Andrea's life didn't get much better, with a string of rocky relationships, three children from three men and a terrible alcohol problem. And her snappy, astute writing came to an end at only age 29 when she died of an embolism.

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Brazil Review


Essential
Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) is a civil servant Dilbert at the Ministry of Information. He's a low level office grunt typing his way through a lifetime of meaningless papers in a retro-future totalitarian state. His one escape from his dreary life is his dreams. Bursting with vivid colors, Sam's visions see him with armored wings rising into the bright sky above the cold city. There, in the firmament, Sam battles with Darkness to free a blonde beauty (Kim Greist) imprisoned in a floating cage.

Unfortunately, there are no happy endings for dreamers in this alternate world. Sam always awakens to his mind-numbing existence, only plugging away in a system that rewards only blandness, appeasing his socialite mother (addicted to face lifts) whose only wish is to see her meek son move his way up a corporate ladder to nowhere.

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Brazil Review


Essential
Categorically, one of the greatest films of the century--about a lowly clerk in a postmodern dystopia fighting to regain a sense of self against the all-powerful machine of government tyranny. As fought-over as Citizen Kane. As filled with nuance and meaning as A Clockwork Orange. As prophetic as 1984. Anyone who doesn't like Brazil is a fascist. You can tell them I said so.

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Millions Review


OK

Director Danny Boyle is known for wildly imaginative visualsin innovative, gritty-cool movies about murderers ("Shallow Grave"),junkies ("Trainspotting")and zombies ("28 Days Later"), so what's he doing makinga sweet, sentimental kids' movie? Virtually reinventing another genre,of course.

In "Millions," an angel-faced 7-year-old Irishboy named Damian (Alexander Nathan Etel) finds a duffle bag full of bankrobbery loot, but thanks to his youthful naivete, his faith in saints thatwatch over him, his run-away imagination and the fact that the bag literallyfell from the sky, he assumes the booty is a gift from God.

"Who else has that kind of money?" he asks innocentlyof his more practical 9-year-old brother, who wants to keep the discoveryhush-hush and invest in real estate. But altruistic Damian sets about ona mission: He resolves to help the poor, excitedly buying pizza for homelessteenagers, secretly stuffing cash in the mailbox of austere-living Mormonneighbors, and anonymously donating £1,000 to an African charity fund atschool.

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Kathryn Pogson

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