Will Hollywood Be Annihilated?

Trigger warning; this is an unapologetically film industry-oriented column, but for me it’s an interesting subject. The Netflix movie ‘Annihilation’ is making waves for all the wrong reasons, but may ultimately turn out to favour the mega-channel and give Hollywood a spanking. Here’s why. The formerly unassailable studio system had dreams of global domination, but […]

Are Critics Getting Less Critical?

Halfway through director Sally Potter’s critically-feted ‘The Party’, the feeling came over me that I was watching a terrible film. Six guests gather for a dinner party to celebrate Kristen Scott-Thomas becoming the Shadow Health Minister, but secrets tumble out within seconds of their arrival. The guests are archetypes; Cillian Murphy tips up with a […]

Best Political Films

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 […]

FilmTalk 1: Water Cooler Moments

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 […]

The Christmas Movie List

‘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 […]

Friday Song!

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 […]

Tom Tryon, Forgotten Author & Alien Sex God

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 […]

Help Save London’s Unique Cinema Museum

  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 […]

Netflix, You’ve Got A Nerve

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 […]

The Friday Song

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.