The Vit Kristan Trio at the Spice of Life.

Vit Kristan Trio at Spice of Life: review by Jesse Kirkwood

Last Thursday marked Vit Kristan’s second appearance at Soho’s Spice of Life music bar, and the first since the release of his debut album earlier this year. The exciting young Czech pianist, accompanied by veteran double-bassist Jaromir Honzak and Roman Vicha on drums, plays a bewildering range of genres, veering from post-bop and straight-ahead to…

Jesse Kirkwood | 25/09/2014
The Maids of Wilko

Wajda’s ‘The Maids of Wilko’ reviewed by Jesse Kirkwood

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Andrzej Wajda is perhaps best known as a director of epic films explicitly tackling national issues. His ‘war trilogy’ (1954-58) is celebrated as a nuanced depiction of the Nazi occupation of Poland and the aftermath of the Second World War, while his more recent works include uncontroversial versions of canonical Polish texts, such as Pan Tadeusz…

Jesse Kirkwood | 18/09/2014
Peter Kerekes's 'Cooking History'

Floating Cinema: ‘Cooking History’ and ‘Across the Border’ reviewed by Jesse Kirkwood

Last weekend Floating Cinema presented a series of films at their Open Air Weekender West event, in association with the Czech Centre and the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival. I was lucky enough to climb aboard the cinema barge and watch Cooking History (2008) and Across the Border (2004), two films dealing with themes of…

Jesse Kirkwood | 23/08/2014
dangerous acts

‘Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus’: review by Jesse Kirkwood

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‘Belarus is not sexy. Sexy countries have oil, gas, diamonds, sea, mountains … Belarus has only people.’ This is the problem faced by Belarusians seeking to attract attention to their plight in Europe’s last dictatorship. With countless other cases of inequity and human rights abuses occurring daily across the globe, why should people care about…

Jesse Kirkwood | 12/08/2014
joanna mother and child (2)

Jesse Kirkwood reviews Aneta Kopacz’s ‘Joanna’ at Open City Docs Fest

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                ‘What is your world like? Are you satisfied in it? Are you safe in it? Are you happy?’ Thought-provoking questions, posed by Joanna to her son Janek, to the readers of her widely followed blog, and now to the viewers of this short Polish documentary directed by Aneta…

Jesse Kirkwood | 26/06/2014
little crushes

Jesse Kirkwood reviews ‘Little Crushes’ at the East End Film Festival

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Early in Little Crushes (Małe Stłuczki, 2014), the latest offering from filmmaking duo Aleksandra Gowin and Ireneusz Grzyb, an old man accidentally steps on and breaks a tiny trinket in his home. We see a wave of recognition and pain cross his face, and then the camera frames, in close-up, the reactions of the other characters…

Jesse Kirkwood | 25/06/2014