A one-line spoiler-free review of everything I watched in the cinema in June 2024

I’ve never really been a movies person, they last too long and I always want the bar/toilet after 20 mins like at gigs, which stresses me out. But I got myself a BFI and a Picturehouse membership and as often as possible I try to find the weirdest most difficult ‘Martin’ thing to watch. But I’ve treated it like watching TV/gigs/football rather than sacred art. Boring? I’ll leave. Need a wee/drink? Do that. Occasionally you miss the vital two minutes of a movie but then so what? There’s another one along soon. It’s been fantastic. You can find them all here.

The Crow (1994), Alex Proyas – I’d love to have been in the tone/color-grading meeting where someone was just going “but can it be more … goth?”. A couple of elements in this haven’t aged so well – some of the matte effects on the rooftops look ropey and the inclusion of Myca (Bai Ling) as a “mysterious Asian dragon lady” trope is a misstep – but oh my what a soundtrack.

Brandon Lee in The Crow

Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), Stanley Kubrick – I’d never seen this before and so it is kind of hard for me to gauge it as how hard-hitting it was as a political piece at the time, or how it now looks like a period comedy from before my time. I can’t help but see it in a different way to how I see Threads and the video for Two Tribes which were during my time, even though they were all kind of making the same point. Actually the thing that most resonated with me in 2024 was Gen Ripper being driven mad by his fears of the communist-driven menace of water-fluoridation, and I just heard chemtrails/15 minute cites/vaccines/great reset etc etc …

Peter Sellers in Dr Strangelove

Walthamstow International Film Festival – This was at the lovely Walthamstow Trades Hall, and featured 77 short films over one day. I didn’t see all 77 and I’m not going to review all of the 25 that I did see when I dipped in, but my main takeaway was that I want to submit something next year.

Riddle of Fire (2023), Weston Razooli – This hasn’t had great reviews, but I really liked it. With some laugh out loud moments it is like if the kids from the The Red Hand Gang or Why Don’t You … ? got sent on a quixotic video game MacGuffin sidequest. It had a really cool Kate Bush easter egg in it too.

(L-R) Charlie Stover, Phoebe Ferro and Skyler Peters in Riddle of Fire

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968), William Greaves

Director of Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One, William Greaves

I don’t really know how to describe this, I guess you have to just watch it. A film about making a documentary about making a film but also the director is essentially goading the production team all the way through as a mirror of society in the US in 1968. Plus loads of homophobic slurs for some reason.

Don Fellows and Patricia Ree Gilbert in Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One

Wilding (2023), David Allen – Had some really lovely wildlife photography but I had to get my phone out and order a smaller violin from Amazon halfway through for those poor people burdened with inheriting a castle and a massive estate and explaining how hard it had all been.

A little piglet, one of the most charismatic things in Wilding

Read more of my one-line reviews of everything I’ve watched in the cinema.