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Little White LiesLittle White Lies

Little White Lies May - June 2015

The freshest and most credible voice in film, LWLies is the world's most stunning film source. Honest, unmerciful, relevant - and always beautiful.

United Kingdom
The Church of London
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6 Issues


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Released 8 MAY Drawing on 20 years of experience living in south London, writer/director Rebecca Johnson’s debut feature is a bittersweet Brixtonset drama “based on true events”, making its subject matter by turns topical and troubling. The story centres around a 15-year-old Trinidadian-British girl named Layla (Jessica Sula) who, like so many young women her age, dreams of achieving fame and fortune just like her idol, Beyoncé. An impressionable, underprivileged but otherwise ordinary teenager, Layla’s route to stardom begins in haste when she’s cast in a music video (despite not really knowing how to dance) for local rapper Troy (Lucien Laviscount, himself a recording artist), who’s also a chief member of a notorious gang known as The 28s. This is no straightforward rags-to-riches story. After initially being seduced by Troy, Layla soon realises…

access_time2 min.
only angels have wings (1939)

Released 15 MAY Death is a cloud that hangs low and heavy over the mountain outpost of Howard Hawks’ 1939 masterpiece; an impregnable fog that chokes its peaks, its unscrupulous claims defiantly answered with second-hand steaks and glasses raised to the strains of an old joanna. The town is Barranca, launch site of a dangerous mail run through the skies where troubled pasts take root in the dank air and lives come and go as fast as the liquor. It’s a far-flung breeding ground for the quintessence of the Hawksian value system: where men are only as good as the jobs they do, a stoically present-tense social order with its back squarely turned to nostalgia. Of course, we’ve been here before, if only in a dramatic sense. John Ford’s Air Mail set the…

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far from the madding crowd

Released 1 MAY It’s easy to see what attracts modern filmmakers to Thomas Hardy’s heroine, Bathsheba Everdene. As she says herself, this West Country girl doesn’t need a husband to define her life, least of all when an inheritance makes her the lady of a modest manor. Yet if she doesn’t need a man and her economic welfare is pretty much sorted, then what’s her story? Her attitudes resonate with a nascent you-go-girl feminism – but is it enough to sustain two hours of screen time? It’s hard to be convinced that director Thomas Vinterberg and screenwriter David Nicholls (One Day) know the answer to that question, though what they do have is Carey Mulligan on top form as the alternately astute and impulsive Bathsheba. The likes of An Education and the…

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a girl walks home alone at night

Released 22 MAY Like a mosaic of shimmering fragments that do not compose a bigger picture, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature brims with stylised qualities that have been prioritised over story and characters. We’re in ‘Bad City’, Iran, the black-and-white, filmed-in-California version. Automatons pump and steam billows in the background while archetypes walk deserted streets, footsteps echoing like those of cowboys heading towards pistols at dawn. Arash (Arash Marandi) looks like an Iranian James Dean, or maybe a Levi’s advert. He worked 2,191 days to buy a nice jalopy, only for it to be snatched by Saeed (Dominic Rains), a drug baron/ pimp with ‘SEX’ tattooed across his neck. Arash’s dad is a patriarch hollowed out by heroin but still endowed with a nasty edge. Streetwalker Atti (Mozhan Marnò) feels the worst…

access_time2 min.
jamaica inn

1939 Released 21 MAY Blu-ray Alfred Hitchcock directed three films that were adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s writing – two are considered all-time classics, and the third is Jamaica Inn. Unlike Rebecca and The Birds, you’ll seldom find this Charles Laughton vehicle on a list of the greatest films ever made, and the fact that it’s languished in the public domain for so many decades has only contributed to the sense that it’s among the blackest sheep in cinema’s most vaunted body of work. Hitchcock was out of his comfort zone from the moment he agreed to this lightly fanciful period adventure about a group of bandits who steer ships towards the bluffs near their eponymous Cornwall inn and then sack whatever treasure they can find. A swashbuckler without any swashbuckling and a…

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lake bell

Despite having been on LWLies’ radar for quite some time, it wasn’t until 2013’s In a World... that we became totally bewitched by Lake Bell. In that sparkling offbeat comedy – which Bell wrote, directed, produced and starred in – she plays an accent coach determined to make a name for herself in the male-dominated movie voiceover scene. Bell’s uncanny lingual dexterity is demonstrated to winning effect once again in Ben Palmer’s plucky rom-com, Man Up. LWLies chatted to her about the art of articulation. LWLies: Where does your flair for accents come from? Bell: Accents are a bit of a hobby of mine. I went to drama school in England and so a lot of my college years were spent soaking up British culture. That had a tremendous influence on me…