New extended trailer fad is little more than a marketing mishap

Prior to the Thursday night screening of hyper-violent Indonesian martial arts masterpiece The Raid the trailers were interrupted by a brief docu-feature; approximately five minutes of interviews, previews and footage designed to heighten the film fan fervour over Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. This unprecedented new form of advertising is part of a new trend amongst studio-funded […]

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That’s Walt I’m talking about: Disney’s dazzling Snow White reboot

Wedged in between The Avengers and the upcoming releases of The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spiderman, and battling it out with a simultaneous release of another Snow White remake, it would have been easy to overlook Rupert Sander’s new, very dark take on the classic fairy tale. So I suppose first things’ first. […]

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Interview: Student film-makers Jess Campbell and Alex Darby

Alexander Lynchehaun met up with Jess Campbell and Alex Darby, producer and director of the student film “Music Wherever She Goes”, who are currently setting up a fund for student short films in Oxford.  JC: I didn’t actually get into to making short films, Alex did and he asked me to produce. I’m from a […]

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Wes Anderson takes us back to childhood with Moonrise Kingdom

It would be all too easy to use the word ‘adult’ to describe the darker themes of this ostensibly child-centered movie. The British Board of Film Classification would no doubt use such a term to justify their decision to rate it 12A. But even though it must submit to the rating system, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ questions […]

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Julia Delpy decides two-star in her own film

The chances are, if you like Outnumbered, you’ll like Julie Delpy’s Two Days in New York; the follow-up to her 2007 success, Two Days in Paris. It relies on the same naturalistic depiction of middle-class life, and suffers from the same tendency towards self-absorption. Just like the BBC series it features an understated yet attractive […]

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Ridley Scott’s latest ‘looks set to fall neatly into the anti-science camp’

Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s science fiction summa, is out on 1st June and most people are pretty excited about it; Galileo Galilei isn’t though. Magazine covers, billboards, even a fake TED lecture have all been building the hype surrounding Scott’s return to the genre he helped define. However, our man with the 16th century telescope would […]

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The Raid: This Indonesian action romp has lost the plot

It’s sometimes difficult to remember that trailers are at their core simply marketing. It’s all too easy to get swept up in the hype they create. Sometimes, blame for the resulting disappointment rests on the audience who created expectations far exceeding anything the film could realistically aim for. Other times, the blame lies squarely with […]

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What is Cannes? The Oxstu demystifies Europe’s most elusive film festival

What is Cannes? You’ve heard of it, of course. You’ve seen the artsy white palm leaves that hover around the edges of film names when they are gunning for the Oscars. You’ve inevitably seen the avalanche of news articles on the dresses being flaunted in the French sun every year; the gasps over the sheer […]

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Hoff with his head: Our grizzly verdict on Piranha 3DD

First thing’s first: I absolutely loved Piranha 3D, Alexandre Aja’s 2010 tongue-in-cheek homage to grindhouse cinema. Gloriously excessive, featuring violence and nudity so gratuitous even Roger Corman would have blinked, it also had a certain satirical bent that elevated it up above similar efforts. It even had the Doc from Back To The Future. In […]

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Preview: Upcoming movies from David Cronenberg and Wes Anderson

Don’t let Robert Pattison’s expression fool you into thinking that his character in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis will simply be Edward Cullen in a suit—from the trailer it is clear that he has reinvented himself as a far more serious man with a far more serious haircut. Since Pattison’s characters are generally prone to sullen silences, […]

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Art or elitism? Two film buffs go head-to-head on the nature of Cannes

The Attack Cannes is the most pretentious, least responsive, most overhyped event in the film world. You’d assume that the point of making a film was so that people could watch and enjoy it. Not at Cannes. The Cannes film festival is arguably the only place in the world where film fans are turned away […]

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Have screenwriters had their day?

For generations of readers, the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff was shrouded in mystery; with only Nelly’s incomplete version of events to go on, they had no way of knowing exactly how the two children managed to cement their lifelong connection on the lonely moors.  That is, until they saw the 2011 movie version—with Nelly, […]

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This Must Be The Place: Sorrentino’s shambolic American odyssey fails to impress

The big question is; why did Robert Smith, lead singer of proto-Goth band The Cure, cut off his hair in 1986? It’s because of all that Nazi-hunting he did. Paolo Sorrentino’s man-child coming-of-age story This Must be the Place seems to have emerged from this kind of conversation and only gets stranger. Sean Penn (channelling Smith) follows up […]

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Mel Gibson: Would you hire him?

It’s that time of year again; Mel Gibson is once more surrounded by allegations of anti-Semitism. Hollywood screenwriter Joe Eszterhas has accused him of ‘hating Jews’ and recorded a Gibsonian diatribe about ‘oven dodgers’ (a recording of which can be heard on all good video-uploading websites). Mel has been offending homosexuals, Jews, Mexicans and anyone […]

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Avengers Assemble: Truly a marvel to behold

When defending comic books, fans draw a comparison between today’s superheroes and Ancient Greek gods. They claim that forces from Zeus to Superman have served as symbols of near-infinite power, describing their feats with awed reverence and sometimes fear. This is indeed true, but they share another common source of long-lasting appeal as well: their […]

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