A breathtaking ethnographic odyssey through the heart of the Colombian Amazon, Embrace of the Serpent details the quests of two European explorers, one in 1909 and the other in the 1940s, both in search of a flower alleged to have healing properties.
Taking inspiration from the real-life journals kept by these men, we travel with them as they are guided through the labyrinthine jungles by the same native shaman, Karamakate, the last surviving member of his tribe. With nine different languages spoken during the course of the film, this hypnotic meditation on the beauty of nature and effects of colonialism is presented with an uncommon sense of curiosity rarely seen outside a Werner Herzog film. The crisp 35mm photography captures the extraordinary landscapes with a haunting, almost mythical sense of wonder, while the balance between documentary-style realism and dreamlike mysticism makes for a truly poetic cinematic experience. Nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and winner of numerous festival prizes, Embrace of the Serpent is set to be one of the most acclaimed films of 2016.
Action and Adventure
Crime 2018 159 mins Director: S. Craig Zahler
As brutal and uncompromising as its title would suggest, the third feature from S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99) is another instant classic crime drama.
Action and Adventure 2019 98 mins Director: Joe Penna
Mads Mikkelsen astounds in this gripping tale of one man’s gruelling fight for survival against the elements.
Crime 2002 118 mins Director: Doug Liman
The spy thriller that overturned the genre stars Matt Damon as the amnesiac searching for his true identity.
Thriller 2007 115 mins Director: Paul Greengrass
Director Paul Greengrass returns for the third Bourne film, famed for its incredibly tense opening sequence in London Waterloo station.
Crime 2004 108 mins Director: Paul Greengrass
Britain’s Paul Greengrass takes the helms for the spy sequel, shaping the series with his penchant for documentary-style realism.
Action and Adventure 2017 100 mins Director: Lance Daly
During the Great Famine, an Irish Ranger returns from war to discover even greater devastation at home.
Sight & Sound's Best Films
Comedy 2016 118 mins Director: Jim Jarmusch
Adam Driver excels in this effortlessly charming tale of a bus driver poet in New Jersey, filmed with typically groovy elan by Jim Jarmusch.
Comedy 2016 162 mins Director: Maren Ade
A lonely prankster upends the life of his high-powered daughter in a riotous comedy, deep and sharp.
Drama 2017 112 mins Director: Sean Baker
Tangerine director Sean Baker presents another visionary take on the wild ups and dangerous downs of life in America’s underbelly, featuring an Oscar-nominated turn from Willem Dafoe.
Drama 2017 115 mins Director: Lucrecia Martel
Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel returns with a fine adaptation of Antonio Di Benedetto’s existential novel. In her first feature since 2008’s The Headless Woman, Martel creates a richly layered exploration of personal malaise.
Drama 2017 121 mins Director: Valeska Grisebach
Masculine tensions reaching boiling point in this sizzling, brilliantly observed neo-western, where migrant German construction workers are pitched against villagers in remotest Bulgaria.
Drama 2018 189 mins Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s follow-up to his Palme d’Or-winning Winter Sleep is a persuasive portrait of a young writer at odds with his hometown and family.
Comedy 2019 108 mins Director: Takashi Miike
A terminally-ill boxer, a runaway call girl, a double-crossing drugs heist and a gang war; Takashi Miike doesn’t do things by halves.
Comedy 2019 97 mins Director: Michael Schwartz
Effortlessly charming buddy movie about a young man with Downs Syndrome (Zack Gottsagen) in pursuit of his dreams, with Shia LaBeouf.
Thriller 2018 112 mins Director: Gavin Hood
Gripping political thriller with Keira Knightley as the intelligence officer who discovers a plot to rig a UN vote on the eve of the Iraq war.
Historical drama 1989 114 mins Director: Michael Caton-Jones
A fictionalised account of the 1963 ‘Profumo Affair’ that rocked the government of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Starring John Hurt, Joanne Whalley, Bridget Fonda, Ian McKellen and Leslie Phillips.
Romance 2019 84 mins Director: Lucio Castro
A chance encounter reconnects two men in this heart-breaking lament on love, lust and missed opportunities.
Drama 2018 91 mins Director: Aaron Schimberg
Made by and starring disfigured people, Aaron Schimberg’s dextrous, darkly comedic film-within-a-film makes you think about cinematic representation without offering simple resolutions.