I've written for Little White Lies (both in print and online), Girls on Tops, Second Sight, Cinema Year Zero, The Digital Fix, Hero Collector, Reel Honey, Screen Queens and more.
The Power of the Dog and the films tackling the toxic cowboy
Jane Campion's awards-tipped Western is one of several 21st Century films taking on the Old West and its troubled legacy, writes Laura Venning.
The Man Who Sold His Skin review – art world satire feels like a forgery
As the first Tunisian film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best International Feature, making its director, Kaouther Ben Hania, the first Muslim woman to be featured in the category, The Man Who Sold His Skin arrives with a level of prestige that seems to promise something remarkable. Unfortunately, despite all the good will towards what is a nominally importan...
Review: The Story of Looking
Documentary maker Mark Cousins gets personal with this eye-opening essay film about the history of human vision.
Brienne of Tarth: A knight in queer-coded armour
Pride Month may have come to a close, but Laura Venning continues our coverage of LGBTQ+ representation in film and TV; this time looking at queer coding in one of Game of Thrones' most iconic characters.
Review: Ahead of the Curve
This engaging documentary celebrates the work of an iconic lesbian publication and its fearsome creator.
“This vacation is far from idyllic,” remarks Frankie, a former film star and reluctant matriarch played by Isabelle Huppert. The narrative mainstay of the horrible holiday during which repressed middle class emotion threatens to overflow feels like a staple of European arthouse ci...
The Babadook Limited Edition 4K / Blu-ray: Pre-Order Available 21st June 2021
Essay included in limited edition 4K release of Jennifer Kent's The Babadook.
Sense and Sensibility | Pagans
“[Women] live at home, quiet, confined, and our feelings prey upon us” says Anne Elliott in Jane Austen’s Persuasion. At the beginning of January I had a few self-indulgent, very soggy crying sessions. Even as they were happening, I thought about the impetuous Marianne (Kate Winslet) collapsing onto her bed and sobbing her eyes out in Ang Lee’s 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. It’s a great spectacle of anguish; equally embarrassing and compelling in its showy but painfully human intensity. Experiencing an emotional connection with Marianne was a surprise. Even as a teenager I was...
Excerpt in Alternative Film Posters A-Z
150 pages of Alternative Film Posters, arranged alphabetically in a chic looking, coffee-table book. Featuring artwork from more than fifty artists from across the world, along with contributions from several young up-and-coming film critics. It's a great gift for cinema lovers by cinema lovers.
Why You Should Watch...A Matter of Life and Death (with Laura Venning)
Conversation about Powell and Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death with writer, director and video essayist William Webb.
First Cow, Connection and Crisis
Nothing has moved me this year as much as a scene from Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow. Otis ‘Cookie’ Figowitz (John Magaro), a shy, shuffling, gentle wild creature of a man finds himself standing in a single room cabin in a forest in nineteenth century Oregon. The woods are as hushed and sacred as a cathedral. You can feel a sharp shiver of cold in the air, and the leaves are gilded with autumnal sunlight. His host, a Chinese immigrant named King Lu (Orion Lee) chops wood outside in the surround...
Finding The Missing Girl: The Fractured Fictional Lives of Shirley Jackson — Girls on Tops
Josephine Decker is proving herself once more as one of our most uncompromising and innovative filmmakers working today – but she’s also found the perfect subject matter for it. Her Shirley, an anti-biopic about gothic horror author Shirley Jackson, explores and elevates the way Jackson herself was always refracting several versions of herself. Laura Venning unpacks the complexities of this indomitable woman.
How Gillian Armstrong feminised Australian cinema
In 1979, the first Australian film directed by a woman since the silent era signalled a new dawn for female authorship.
Quoted in 'Why The Piano is the greatest film directed by a woman'
Jane Campion’s stunning 1993 classic topped BBC Culture’s poll of 368 critics in 84 countries. Hannah Woodhead reveals why it’s a worthy winner.
The A24 Project (podcast appearance on First Cow)
Dallas and Lee come to the end of the A24 filmography for now with First Cow and Boys State. Joining us this week is writer and critic Laura Venning to discuss First Cow and we welcome the directors of Boys State, Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine and "government nerd" Phillip Gilfus.