The Ecliptic

The Ecliptic. 2016. A novel by Benjamin Wood. Imagine an idyllic island off the coast of Turkey. Nestled in the wooded hills, with a splendid view of the ocean, is a secret refuge for artists who have burned out or lost their way. There is no map to help you find it, there are no adverts for its services. Word…

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Kubo and the Two Strings

Kubo and the Two Strings. 2016 Film. Directed by Travis Knight. Animation by Laika. This stop motion animation film brings incredible visuals to a story of fierce family vendetta. A goddess who betrayed her family to marry a human for love is hunted by her father and sisters. After the death of her husband at the hands of her sisters,…

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Green Room

Green Room. 2016 Film. Directed by Jeremy Saulnier. I was once adrift in a sea of superhero films. Costumed products of personal trainers, aestheticians and dieticians pummelled each other relentlessly to little result. One night I found myself cast upon an island where superheros were unknown. I met four desperate punks. The end of tour gig that was supposed to…

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The Leftovers

The Leftovers TV series created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta. “The Rapture” is a well established religious idea: the diligent faithful will suddenly, in a single moment, be physically transported to heaven while the unfaithful, in full knowledge of their faithlessness, will be left behind to struggle along without them. What if something Rapture-like happened and it didn’t take…

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The Trespasser

The Trespasser A novel by Tana French. 2016.   Tana French works her magic again. The sixth instalment in her Dublin Murder squad series belongs to detective Antoinette Conway. As the only woman in the squad she is the target for daily jibes and jokes. On the surface it appears to be a chuckling, light-hearted disrespect but the behaviour has…

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Glitch. TV Series. 2015. Australia. What if the dead came back and they weren’t zombies? In 2004, The Revenants mystically brought thousands of people back to life in small town France. They tried to integrate with their families, but seemed to find more in common with each other. It was a strange, but compelling film that failed to connect with…

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The Accountant

The Accountant. 2016. Directed by Gavin O’Connor. With Ben Affleck, John Bernthal, J.K. Simmons, Anna Kendrick. This genre-blended crime thriller pushes into superhero territory by telling the origin story of an autistic/Asperger’s mathematical savant who is forced to develop an unbreakable code of honour, passable social skills, jiujitsuesque close combat skills and an Olympic level marksmanship ability. As such it has…

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Brooklyn. 2015. Directed by John Crowley. With Saorise Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson. In Ireland, Eilis has an ailing mother, a widowed sister, and part time work for the cruel manager of the general store. In America, thanks to her sister’s savings and the charity of an American Irish priest, Eilis will find a room, and work and the chance to make…

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The Girl on The Train

The Girl on the Train. 2016. Directed by Tate Taylor. With Emily Blunt. Based on the book by Paula Hawkins, the film is a tight, focused thriller. In one hand it holds great sorrow, in the other a great evil. The great sorrow is that Rachel (Emily Blunt) has lost all hope of ever gaining what she desires. Her (apparent) infertility…

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Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant, 2015. Directed by Andrew Cividino. With Jackson Martin, Reece Moffett, Nick Serino 15 year old Adam (Jackson Martin) is stuck in a remote, lazy stretch of cottage country, gazing out across the hard water of Lake Superior at the enigmatic profile of The Sleeping Giant, a massive island whose shape suggests its name. Adam is an observer, slumbering…

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