Jul 122015
FILM REVIEW: 'Uncanny' (EIFF 2015)

The extent to which an emergent artificial intelligence might resemble a human being has driven the narrative of countless science fiction films, with mankind’s fate often hinging on just how ‘human’ such an entity turns out to be.  Matthew Leutwyler’s Uncanny (which received its UK premiere at last month’s Edinburgh International Film Festival) is also [...]

Jun 262015
FILM REVIEW:  'Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD' (EIFF 2015)

On paper, a film which is almost two hours of talking heads (with occasional photographic accompaniment) doesn’t sound like the most appealing prospect.  But when you’ve as colourful a parade of characters as the past and present writers and artists at 2000AD magazine, just letting them tell their story makes for compelling viewing.  Director Paul [...]

Jun 242015
FILM REVIEW:  'Maggie' (EIFF 2015)

Back in 1997, James Mangold’s understated crime thriller Cop Land gained a great deal of critical notice due to the performance of its leading man.  Nothing unusual there, except that the leading man in question was Sylvester Stallone, an actor who had spent most of the previous two decades making a name for himself in [...]

Jun 222015
A History of Violence?  Game of Thrones and 'realism' in fantasy fiction

As ‘Game of Thrones’ demonstrates, the brutality of gritty realism can offer valuable storytelling possibilities to writers of fantasy fiction. But just because a little realism is necessary to engage audiences, it doesn’t mean that you have to keep doing terrible things to your characters.