Ken and Kazu is a slow-to-boil Japanese crime thriller from writer-director Hiroshi Shoji that shows momentary glimpses of genuine promise without ever bubbling over or really gripping a viewer as it should. A feature length debut extension of Shoji’s 2011 short of the same name, the film makes its UK premiere under the World Perspectives strand at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016. It is unfortunate that its pacing and overall impact fall victim to the same kind of plodding indecision as demonstrated by the eponymous partners in crime.
The subject matter of Carola Fuentes and Rafael Valdeavellano’s Chicago Boys is certainly worthy of documentary coverage but its narrow scope and dull presentation mean it is unlikely to appeal to many viewers other than students of financial history. Under the tutelage of Milton Friedman and Arnold Harberger, from the mid-1950s onwards groups of economists from the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago travelled to Chicago’s School of Economics to learn better teaching methods in order that they be equipped with the means necessary to rescue their country from ruin.
A labour of love to rival that of Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Brothers is a charming study of growing up, a preservation of memory and lessons learned from a mother to her own sons. Norwegian documentary filmmaker Aslaug Holm is lucky to have two such thoroughly likeable and comfortable subjects. Filmed from their infancy into adolescence, they are completely at ease being on camera – save from a few moments of irritation – and mature in front of our eyes.
Just as John Henry Clayton thought he was out, they pull him back in. Directed by Jon Cassar, Forsaken is a humdrum Western which never demonstrates even the suggestion of a trick up its sleeve. Kiefer Sutherland tops the bill as a reformed gunslinger, a prodigal son returning home from the Civil War to a town under the leather boot of no good rootin’ tootin’ bad guys.
“There’s only one story you’ll get from me,” growls Peter Mullan from behind a hedgerow of coarse woolly beard. As Tom Morris in Tommy’s Honour, the veteran Scottish actor embodies the pioneering exploits of a St. Andrews man who inaugurated the Open Championship from his humble standing as greenkeeper and caddie to the club’s upper echelons. In designing courses and handcrafting clubs with the help of his sons, Morris paved the way for the sport of golf. However, the tale at hand offers more than mere sporting biopic.
As cinema doors across the Scottish capital open to celebrate a very special 70th birthday the Edinburgh International Film Festival ushers in the start of its 2016 edition. With as many worthwhile stories to tell as any septuagenarian, and exuding prestige, oodles of experience and an extraordinary range of cinematic treats, this year’s festival once again combines the best of homegrown British talent and an enormous variety of international film from all reaches of the globe.
Throughout much of The Islands and the Whales the rugged Faroe archipelago, jutting out of the sea with awe-inspiring majesty, is shrouded in low-hanging cloud and grey mist. A film that is jaw- dropping in its visual splendour, the choice to envelope the islands in this blanket of precipitation is a keen move by Scottish director Mike Day as it closes off the outside world, further isolating an already remote nation – located mid-way between the Hebrides and Iceland.