Blog / 2017

Christopher Fowler
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Film
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The best political films struggle to find box office traction because, as one audience member in a Camden cinema told me, 'I don't come here to be taught stuff.' He went on to explain that he had a hard job and movies were his way of checking his brain out, in which case I'd recommend 'The Greatest Showman', which consists of Hugh Jackman waving brightly coloured cloths at you for two hours, as…
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Christopher Fowler
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Film
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You Know, For Kids It's infantamalisation, says a friend. Remember when films were for grupps? We're all teenagers now. No, I say, it's not as simple as that, it's about the development of macro-demographics. What are we arguing over? Why, the new Star Wars movie, of course. The film is heading toward its first global billion, but everyone on the ground seems to hate it. Let's break that down…
11 comments
Christopher Fowler
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'It's A Wonderful Life'? Too schmaltzy. 'Elf'? Even the stills make me feel physically ill. 'The Grinch'? That isn't a movie, it's waterboarding. Okay, maybe I'm not a Christmas person. Christmas is a gradual declension of spirit, from when you were six and unable to sleep for excitement, to when you're fifty and eating nuggets in the KFC on Old Kent Road on Christmas Day because you spent the…
20 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Before I lose contact with the online world for God knows how many hours I should at least post a Friday Song (which may well end up being a Saturday Song). A aptly political one today, given the prevalence of fake news. Here's the old method that reigned before blatantly making stuff up; obfuscation. Charles Durning was an accomplished dancer, a great character actor and a war hero who said he…
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Christopher Fowler
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Film
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Well, I had eye surgery yesterday; the first step that I hope eventually restores my sight enough to work easily. I'm writing a longer piece on film and London for tomorrow, hopefully, but meanwhile here's something else from the vaults. Like many old movies, this one has grown more interesting with hindsight. It's a 50s science fiction B-movie, good enough to give it cult status, and a lot more…
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Christopher Fowler
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Here's a perfect example of another quirky London venue now in danger of being lost. London's extraordinary Cinema Museum is in serious danger of closure. Despite numerous attempts to buy the building over the years and promises in writing from SLaM (South London and Maudsley NHS Trust) that they would sell it to the Museum for a fair and independent price, they are now planning to sell at speed…
16 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Film
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This week I received in my emails an invitation from Netflix to help them kill cinema. They're inviting BAFTA members to see the film 'Okja' and vote for it in the upcoming awards season. Netflix isn't the only streaming service to eschew theatrical releases and opt instead for online debuts. It knows that in order to compete with the major studios, it has to sell something that others aren't…
3 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Let's go bowling! This is from the underrated 'Across The Universe', which offended Beatles purists but was beautifully directed by Julie Taymor, and featured Jim Sturgess as an uncanny amalgam of John and Paul.
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Christopher Fowler
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The reviews for Darren Aronofsky's film 'Mother!' caused an uproar - among audiences mostly, not critics, who quickly saw how the director had set out his stall. But in a time when Victorian linearity and 20th century realism still rule in literature, film and theatre the fuss was to be expected. At the start of the 20th century, photography robbed art of the need for linear narrative, splitting…
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Christopher Fowler
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Film
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Okay, the ubiquitous 'Dunkirk' was the best film of the year for me, but I have a special love of flawed oddities likely to disappear, so 'Valerian', 'A Cure For Wellness', 'Snowpiercer', 'Mr Nobody', 'Rams', 'Skeletons', 'Black Pond' and 'What We Become' all worked well enough that I was able to overlook any missteps...then along came 'Okja', from Korean director Bong Joon Ho. The story: For ten…
9 comments

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