Film

And I Thought I Hated Rom-Coms…

‘Pretty Woman?’ I’d rather have 90 minutes of kidney dialysis than sit through that once more. ‘Notting Hill’? Pull my teeth out with rusty pliers, just don’t make me see it again. It’s safe to say that rom-coms and I don’t get on, from the first klutzy meet-cute to the final airport dash and the […]

Those Eighties Movies

Further to the Ferris Bueller post I got to thinking about our mindset in that strange time. Creeping in around this time, at the first wave of corporate excess, came a cruel racism that manifested itself in characters like Andrew Dice Clay, who I remember referred to immigrants as ‘the urine-coloured people’. John Hughes’ movies […]

Rewatch: ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’

Today I’m in Somerset. There’s a crisp blue sky. I’m not starting the thriller for a week. I’m going for lunch with friends. What could make the day more perfect? How about a song? I rewatched ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ last night and it’s changed. Here’s how. 1. It’s very slow and a bit hammy. […]

Fairy Tale Films For Grown-Ups

The granddaddy of fairy tale films remains ‘La Belle et Le Bête’, but lately there has been a resurgence in a genre that Disney demoted to sentimental kiddie fare for so long. When I look through my terrifyingly vast collection of weird movies, I suddenly realise how few Hollywood films there are. From the country […]

Mission: Implausible

I thought the IMF stood for International Monetary Fund. Then I realised it had something to do with Tom Cruise. Somehow I had missed ‘Mission Impossible’ nos 2-5, after being bored witless by the first one, which for me ruined the premise of the TV series by blowing away the entire team except for little […]

‘The Italian Job’ As A Metaphor For Brexit

It’s not often Michel Caine is interrupted by a peacock, but he was last night. I was in Holland Park, London’s fanciest green area, picnicking with friends. The park has peacocks and open-air opera and people playing chess on a giant board like they did in ‘The Prisoner’, and David Beckham lives next door. We […]

The Supernatural On Film Part 2

Films can shape writers as much as books. My love of the supernatural stems from the earliest films I saw, although none were from Hollywood except ‘The Haunting’. On Sundays we always had double cinema bills of old – sometimes very old – films. It was a great cheap way of catching up with what […]

The Supernatural On Film Part 1

Last night I saw ‘Hereditary’ in a cinema with broken-down air-conditioning, such was my desperation to catch it. I’m addicted to good supernatural films, ie. not the bump-and-jump scare tactics of anything that says ‘From the producers of ‘The Conjuring’. But there’s a paradox at the heart of every supernatural film. To truly work it needs […]

120 BPM

When it comes to films about the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which had its beginnings over 35 years ago (yes, it’s been that long), it’s instructive to see how different countries have dealt with the subject. Hollywood gave us the execrably tasteful ‘Philadelphia’, which I always think of as ‘An Officer and a Gentleman 2’, independent US […]

I Am Curious, Giallo

Every movie lover has pet hates. The two genres of film I least enjoy are chick-flicks and westerns, although there are a tiny number of both I’ve admired, ‘Prelude To A Kiss’ and ‘When Harry Met Sally’, ‘The Big Country’ and ‘The Assassination of Jessie James by the Coward Robert Ford’ among them. I grew […]