Film

Britain In Half-Light

The Goob

Last year I wrote this about films like ‘Fish Tank’ and ‘The Selfish Giant’, and the cliches of British neo-realism. ‘Usually there are long-held shots in silent fields at half-light. Here the Midlands landscape is harsh and as alien as Mars, but the families are always the same – broken, illiterate, incontinent with  children, angry […]

Re:View – ‘Calvary’

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It took me a while to get to John Michael McDonagh’s second film because it vanished from my local cinema after a week, but having enjoyed ‘The Guard’ (and his brother’s ‘In Bruges’) I eventually arrived at it on video, where I hope it will find a large audience. The reviews (particularly among those who […]

Ahead Of My Time (Again!)

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Here’s the cover of an early novel I wrote, in which Landseer’s lions in Trafalgar Square spring to life: And here’s a still from ‘Night At The Museum 3′, due out at Christmas, in which Landseer’s lions er, come to life. Dang, I knew I was peaking too early!  

Re:View – ‘Cheap Thrills’

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It’s got to the point now where the words ‘low budget horror film’ turn me off completely. Apart from the paucity of their imagination, they usually have no moral compass and therefore events carry no dramatic weight. Every once in a while you do find a gem, though, and this is one. ‘Horror’ is perhaps […]

Re:View – ‘Hannah Arendt’

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How do you make the act of thinking exciting without relying on ‘Sherlock’-style graphics? That’s one of the questions this film has to handle. ‘The banality of evil’ was a phrase created by Hannah Arendt as she tried to come to terms with the crimes of Adolph Eichmann. Margarethe Von Trotta’s morally complex film covers […]

Re:View – ‘Love’

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Now that anyone can create a movie in their parents’ garage and upload it, there are a lot of stilted, dreadful films about that nobody watches. ‘Love’ may have been shot this way and while it’s not without its flaws, there’s something perversely wonderful about it. Directed by William Eubank and produced by electro-band Angels […]

Where Have All The Heist Films Gone?

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There’s nothing like a good robbery, so long as you’re only watching it. From the silent era onwards we’ve loved watching the fallout from a caper. A proper heist movie has to pull off a complex trick. It needs to make you care about the game-players, keep the stakes high and provide a satisfying outcome, […]

Where Have All The Horror Films Gone?

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Where as the horror film gone? A few years ago I took part in a panel on the subject at the height of the ‘torture-porn’ cycle of movies. Someone else on the panel regarded films like Inside and Martyrs as transgressive representations of the future of horror, while I saw them as a step backwards […]

Re:View – ‘Room 237′

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When you work on a film in any post-production capacity, you have to be prepared for the fact that the film will be ruined for you forever. The endless repetition of footage, sound and music cues deconstructs the scenes that touched your heart until they become little more than pixel rainbows. It’s worse when the […]

Re:View – ‘The Borderlands’

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Oh good, another found-footage scary movie – but wait, this one’s different because for once there’s an entirely reasonable explanation for the cast covering everything on film. And the way it’s been covered, while not exactly cheating, certainly suggests that a film editor has cut the footage together for theatrical release. And more good news, […]