Film

Films With Moral Dilemmas

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It’s a given these days that any film involving corporations, institutions or governments will present a black-and-white picture of good (independent, liberal, quirky, new age) against evil (fascist, secretive, dishonest, betraying) but once in a while we see ethical dilemmas explored in greater detail. Terrence Rattigan’s ‘The Winslow Boy’ has been filmed at least ten […]

‘I Didn’t Come Here To Read’

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Sociologist/writer¬†Dominic Sandbrook makes a good point in his history of the UK in the 1960s, ‘White Heat’; while it seemed everyone was obsessed by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the truth was very different. The most popular album of the decade was ‘The Sound of Music’. In the same way, while critics get excited […]

We Need A Collective Noun For Film Critics

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‘An exit of film critics’? ‘A pretence of film critics’? ‘A sneer of film critics’? Judging by the latest poll of the best 100 films of the 21st century according to 177 film critics it should probably be ‘a wankfest of film critics’. Film polls are notoriously subjective, of course, but dear God in Heaven, […]

Whimsy: The Marmite Film Genre

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There’s a certain type of Marmite movie I sneakingly love. It would have been the kind of movie I hated at 18, when I just wanted to watch cars explode and heads get cut off. It’s the whimsical movie, best exemplified by ‘Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amelie Poulin’, or as it was called in the US, […]

Charles Wood, The Great Experimentalist

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As Roger pointed out in Comments Section yesterday, Charles Wood had another problem as a writer – his plays were expensive to stage, which was fine when the UK put huge amounts of money into brave original theatre works but no good for modern times. Even when Wood worked on a traditional subject he still […]

Film Review: The Neon Demon

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Nicolas Winding Rein may just be winding us up. ‘The Neon Demon’ feels like a companion piece to ‘Black Swan’ – neurotic women, gorgeous visuals, surreal bloody mayhem – but is it any good? Well, two-thirds of it is terrific, and even the last third is just about forgivable. The story is as old as […]

Another Film That Didn’t Make My Top Ten List

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It should have made the top ten. ‘The Producers’ is a touchstone film for me. I saw it when it came out at the cinema in a double bill with ‘Where’s Poppa?’ (or possibly ‘Kentucky Fried Movie’). The plot; terminally nervous accountant Gene Wilder attempts to do the books of sleazy theatrical agent Zero Mostel, […]

‘Victoria’ Puts Right What Hollywood Gets So Wrong

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If there was ever a film that revealed the growing gap between an increasingly isolated, risk-averse and irrelevant Hollywood and the rest of the world, it’s ‘Victoria’. Sebastian Schipper’s real-time movie is a total triumph, but you wouldn’t think so to read some of the reviews. The plot is simplicity itself. A young Spanish girl […]

Films That Didn’t Make My Top 10 List

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Choosing ten desert island films for my upcoming event at London’s wonderful Cinema Museum on May 14th (a few tickets still available) has been a nightmare, mainly because I change my mind every ten seconds. (Is it only guys who love making lists?) I finally decided to limit my choice to ten films that directly […]

A Few Of My Favourite (Deadly) Things

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‘So, I guess you think a lot about killing people,’ said the customs officer as he went through my bag yesterday. I’d told him I was a writer because I was trying to explain why I had four copies of the same book in my bag. And I suppose I do think about murder rather […]