Author Zoe De Pasquale

Having been raised on a steady diet of 'Star Wars' and 'The Lord of the Rings', I learned from a very young age that film was a form of escapism, as well as entertainment. I see film as a true form of art, not only because it evokes emotions within a person, but it allows people to learn something about themselves merely by watching. My love for film is intrinsic to who I am and teaches me new things everyday.

Film Festival ratter_1-1

In hacking terminology, to ‘rat’ involves deploying a form of aggressive malware called a Remote Administration Tool in order to gain control of a computer system’s functions, with the titular word of Branden Kramer’s cyber chiller denoting the person behind the hack. A ‘ratter’ is able to gain remote access of connected devices whilst staying completely…

Film Festival carol_1-1

Marking Todd Haynes’ sixth directorial dispatch, Carol is the big screen adaptation of author Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel, The Price of Salt (The Talented Mr Ripley, Strangers On A Train). Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, Carol enraptured viewing audiences to a standing ovation and proceeded to be nominated for a number of festival awards…

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 6.21.08 PM

This year’s opener of the Venice Film Festival had the promises of the last three years on its icy shoulders, and the boots to fill of its Academy Award-winning opening night predecessors - Black Swan, Gravity, and Birdman. Though Everest fails to summit its unparalleled potential in such a …

Special Feature neonoir-1

Film noir, literally translating from French to “black film”, is perhaps the most resilient yet evolving genre of cinematic history, if ‘genre’ is a term that can indeed be applied to film noir. Though easily identified in film, the term ‘film noir’ itself usually refers to the mood and political and social context of the film in question, but for argument’s sake, film noir can be credited as its own genre. Conceived in the early 1940s and greatly influenced by the “hardboiled fiction” spawned from the Great Depression…

Reviews Chiwetel-Ejiofor-and-Thandi-Newton-in-Half-of-a-Yellow-Sun

Based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel of the same name, Half of a Yellow Sun is the debut of writer-director Biyi Bandele and, for a first full-length feature, is a truly impressive feat. However, in the grand scope of great filmmaking, Half of a Yellow Sun fails to compare. Though Bandele directs with a stern level of…

Reviews The-Hobbit-The-Desolation-of-Smaug_1-1

Desolation of Smaug is the Hobbit film we’ve been waiting for. Peter Jackson has undoubtedly got his mojo back in his latest offering that, by comparison, makes its 2012 predecessor look like a dire effort indeed. Whereas An Unexpected Journey acted merely as a stretched out introduction to the prequel trilogy, Desolation of Smaug allows the audience to sink its teeth into its characters and story-threads whilst being lavished with nostalgic flourishes and a wider scope of Middle Earth. Jackson has hit the nail firmly on the head in this rewarding, entertaining and, most importantly, satisfying watch.

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And so we come to it at last - the great sequel of our time. Concluding his monumentally successful and well-received run of the trilogy, Peter Jackson certainly goes out with a bang with his final offering. The Return of the King, winner of an astounding eleven Academy Awards, is his most ambitious and impressive cinematic offering yet. There is a reason that each Lord of the Rings film is in the top 20 of IMDb’s top 250 highest rated films with the third installment even breaking into the top 10 to rub shoulders with the likes of Pulp Fiction and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and that reason is simply that the trilogy is no less than a monumental and historical cinematic endeavour of unimaginably ambitious and daring scale executed faultlessly by a team of dedicated and devoted enthusiasts. There is little to fault in this mammoth achievement; Return of the King is, without question, one of the greatest films ever made.

Reviews SavingMrBanksHR1

Receiving its world premiere at the 2013 London Film Festival, Saving Mr Banks tells the heartwarmingly affectionate tale of the long road to Mary Poppins: The Film. Featuring a rich and talented ensemble, the two leads have been snapped up by a pair of actors that hold two Academy Awards apiece; Tom Hanks as the charismatic Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as the aloof P.L Travers, Thompson in particular, deliver career-defining roles in John Lee Hancock’s homage to the studio’s heritage, a director that has successfully weaved a delicately nuanced and tender story that gently exposes the harsh truth that perhaps fairy tales are indeed only make believe. Though the film suffers slightly at the hands of its editors, Saving Mr Banks remains a wonderfully ambitious and continually enjoyable achievement in filmmaking, as well as a fine addition to the Walt Disney back-catalogue.

NP Approved Two-Towers

Diving straight back into the juicy narrative, Jackson doesn’t leave us dying with anticipation in The Two Towers. Although deemed the worst of the trilogy, The Two Towers, with respect to its difficult position as the middle film, is possibly the best. To add some perspective, The Fellowship of the Ring had the easier charge of establishing the story and each of its characters. The Return of the King has the yet easier task of depicting the narrative’s natural, epic climax. But The Two Towers is lumped as the piggy in the middle; undoubtedly poised to fall dangerously into the realm of monotonous inter-bridges, Jackson superbly and masterfully molds this intermediate undertaking into a three hour masterpiece of stellar proportions. The narrative reaches a stunning climax in the final hour that feels natural and appropriate – nothing is forced or contrived. Furthermore, the scope of the story widens substantially, and nobody thought that was possible after the truly grand marathon that was the establishing installment. No longer are we confined to the quest and characters of the fellowship alone; trickily branching out across Middle Earth, the audience is lavished with multiple excursions to Rohan, Isengard, Fangorn forest and Osgiliath. We accompany pivotal characters on three colossal journeys, each as satisfying as the last. Nobody thought that The Fellowship of the Ring could be topped – but it just might have been.

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Little can be said about Peter Jackson’s trilogy of Tolkien-based fantasy epics that hasn’t already been heartily exclaimed since the release of the first installment almost ten years ago, but the impending release of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug requires a little reflection on just why Peter Jackson can do no wrong. J.R.R Tolkien, when writing various endeavours into his fantasy realm, fashioned an entire universe of characters, mythologies, worlds and even languages with his Middle Earth and, as reflected by the sheer scale of Jackson’s adaptations, the relatively unknown director has managed to capture and (fairly) accurately portray Middle Earth as if it were pulled from the very imaginations of the readers themselves. Though some would argue otherwise, Jackson has succeeded in going above and beyond in translating the depth, wonder and vision of Tolkien’s beloved trilogy from the pages of the book to the grandeur of the screen. Once deemed ‘unfilmable’, Peter Jackson and his vast team of talented associates have accomplished the impossible with The Lord of the Rings.

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