Film

The Chaos Of Collecting Movies

url

This is a bit of a geeky post unless you’re interested in home entertainment’s future. I try to keep up with what would once have been called ‘B’ movies in the horror/suspense/black comedy/no-budget genres. There are often enjoyable surprises which make the genre worth checking out. I never pirate because I used to belong to […]

Movies Set In Theme Parks

chris-pratt-velociraptor-jurassic-world

As summer films are analogous to theme park rides, it’s curious that there’s an entire sub-genre here – after all, the one thing a film can’t do is provide you with the same level of visceral thrills – or can it? The nearest I got to Disneyland as a child was ’40 Pounds of Trouble’ […]

Christopher Lee: No More Back From The Dead

Lee

They may have to bang a stake into this one to keep him down. As you age you get to watch your band of heroes dwindle. Lee was never a hero as such – he adopted rather too much of a (baritone) one-note in his performances – but he was certainly a powerful part of […]

Just How Far Can Hollywood Fall?

_1422385170

Once Hollywood had something no other creative technology had; it could marry intellectual ideas with their visual realisation. As a result, it was hailed as the major art-form of the 20th century. It reached something of a peak in the 1960s and 1970s, tackling everything from cosmic significance (‘2001′) and revisionist history (‘The Charge Of […]

What’s Your Point?

wild_tales_1

There’s a scene in ‘Trains, Planes & Automobiles’ when Steve Martin rounds on John Candy and says, ‘Here’s a good idea; when you tell a story, try to have a point.’ It’s pretty good advice. Watching ‘Wild Tales’ the other night that simple idea was driven home to me six times in a row. Having […]

Cities Shaped By Hollywood

Bond London

If history is really just all the things you can remember (cf. ‘1066 And All That’), then our cities reflect an idealised Hollywood version in which the past is merged with fiction. In the 1950s London was still a direct reflection of its books and films (from Dickens to Ealing comedies), but was also shaped […]

A Great Eye & A Tin Ear

Zero-Theorem

This is going to be a column about two Terry Gilliam movies; ‘Brazil’ VS ‘The Zero Theorem’. But don’t let the geekiness put you off – I’m trying to make a point about how we experience things. In my old job I saw a lot of films accompanied by artists. After, we’d compare notes. I’d […]

A Disturbing Tale In Any Language

Dictado-773031032-large

When it comes to translating titles, some distributors seem to go out of their way to wreck the films they’ve paid for. ‘The Witches of Zugarramurdi’ was always going to be a problem title, but changing it to ‘Witching & Bitching’ didn’t help. Likewise turned the twisted thriller ‘The Hidden Face’ into ‘The Xxxxxx’ (I […]

Are Clowns Actually Creepy?

Clown

I don’t understand why they terrify Americans. My US friends all seem to have a great fear of clowns when there are surely bigger things to worry about; the guns thing, irrational behaviour (like the woman who just shot up a McDonalds for leaving bacon out of her burger), Fox News, US Customs & Excise […]

White Snow, Black Comedy

Disappearance

What is it that makes snow-set films so appealing? The whited-out spaces that give images a purity of design? The emptiness that conjures the spirit of old westerns? The cinematography that puts figures in vast landscapes? ‘Prize Idiot’ probably wasn’t the best title for a movie, so this new Scandi-noir starring Stellan Skarsgard has been […]