A frequent observation on the directorial oeuvre of Wes Anderson is that it features a recurring clique of performers. The inner circle of this tight group appears to include Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and the Wilson brothers (Owen, Luke and Andrew), and Anderson also has a track record of further collaboration with new names that he introduces into this troupe.
Pixar have seen a rough few years of late, with their last two features receiving a critical reception that ranges from middling to toxic. All is not lost for the animation studio and their next four major releases have the potential to be worthy of their once flawless reputation.
Piecing together the collected works of easily the most prolific voices in Belgian cinema, ‘The Dardennes Collection’ charts the successive career of writer-director partners Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardennes by assembling for the first time their six extraordinary feature films, starting with La Promesse (1996) and rounded off with their latest, The Kid with a Bike (2011). Recurrent darlings of the Cannes Film Festival (they have won the coveted Palme d’Or twice, whilst their work has successfully courted further awards and acclaim), the Dardennes remain a constant voice in understated, ultra low-budget filmmaking, painting broad thematic strokes with bristles so sharp, penetrating and honest that each project is a breathtaking melange of stark minimalism and remarkable mortality, with effortless humanity seeping out of each low-key pore.
Children have always escaped from reality into a world of make-believe. But what if reality is war, with all its violence, obscenity and loss of life? How does the childish imagination cope then? Can it cope?
Debuting in June 2012 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival to widespread (largely positive) commotion, the second feature helmed by Peter Strickland (Katalin Varga) is a clever and claustrophobic exercise in the dark capacities of suggestion, fetishisation of (now relatively archaic, albeit pleasingly tactile) analogue processes and, most strikingly, life’s imitation of art.