Film News

Cut & Wrapped: high society Rome, Stockholm prostitution rings and an unspoken Filipino film

This week's film news was brought to you in conjunction with the excellent homestreaming site MUBI. Sign up for a month's free membership at MUBI here!


Shot in a Rome of superficial splendour, Paolo Sorrentino's latest is a brilliant and dynamic film that's brimming with ideas, razor-sharp dialogue and absurd humour. His regular lead Toni Servillo plays suavely dressed and existentially tired man of culture Jep Gambardella. We first encounter him hosting his 65th birthday party in scenes of heady, pulsating visual extravagance that put The Great Gatsby to shame. As usual, the Italian director uses a prominent soundtrack very innovatively, and when we caught up with him at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival he said of the film's music: "Rome has two aspects, the saint and the bitch, so I mixed the great work of spiritual composers with commercial stuff."

Out in the UK on September 6.


The seamy side of disco-era Stockholm is meticulously recreated in this chilly, cynical slow-burning thriller from director Mikael Marcimain. Based on the real-life case of a Stockholm prostitution ring with a high-powered clientele that nearly brought down Sweden's government, it sees a hard-edged yet brittle turn from new talent Sofia Karemyr as a girls' home drifter lured in by an indomitable madam through easy money and glam perks, as cops work for - and against - exposure.

Currently out in the UK.


Fantasy and horror film festival Frightfest is back to scare the hell out of us with five days of screenings in London’s West End. Among highlights, expertly crafted home-invasion slasher You’re Next blends black humour and brutal gore, while Spanish director Juan Carlos Medina’s eerie fable Painless draws from the sinister history of Franco’s regime and British feature debut In Fear from Jeremy Lovering successfully reworks the deserted-hotel genre staple. There’ll also be a chance to see old classics: Edgar Allan Poe adaptation The Fall of the House of Usher, and F. W. Murnau’s German Expressionist Nosferatu.

The festival runs from 22 to 26 August.


Marking our new collaboration with film-streaming MUBI, we’ll be recommending a film a week of their curated content. First up, it’s radical Filipino visionary Raya Martin’s out-there, delirious road-trip Buenas Noches, España. The dialogue-free film is inspired by one of the first teleportation accounts, according to which a young soldier in 16th-century Manila awoke to find himself in Mexico City. Through psychedelic filters of acid colours and to a mesmerising drone soundtrack, two Spanish lovers take drugs and journey through their television set toward a colony. Currently available to watch on MUBI.

This week's film news was brought to you in conjunction with the excellent homestreaming site MUBI. Sign up for a month's free membership at MUBI here!  

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