Sight & Sound No.1


Why do we love films? For me, one of the earliest and greatest thrills I ever had was discovering the moments in film when visuals and music perfectly match each other to create great moments – we think perhaps of classics like ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘Psycho’, but this is a new sequence of sight & […]

The Tragedy Of ‘Timbuktu’


In Abderrahmane Sissako’s astonishing new film we get a chance to explore the sheer lunacy of the jihadists’ worldview from both sides. In a heartfelt polemic that uses subtlety and calm (Oliver Stone, please note) it builds a complex picture through the simplest images, via several unfolding story strands. A herder loses a cow and the […]

Those Fabulously Dreadful 1950s Monster Movies Part 2


In 1957 the fear of atom bombs, destruction and mutation reached its peak, and Bert I Gordon was there to capitalise on it. He specialised in films about really big things. In ‘The Amazing Colossal Man’ it’s an ordinary man who’s mutated by errant, uncontrollable atom energy. After the huge success of ‘The Incredible Shrinking Man’ […]

Who Needs Film Critics Anymore?


With winter nights drawing in I’d hoped we would get a bumper crop of horror films – my guilty pleasure – and after the beautiful-looking but cartoonish ‘Crimson Peak’ I’d hoped for something original at the low-budget end. Instead I watched ‘We Are Still Here’, an astoundingly bad, illogically plotted haunted house movie starring former […]

Films Which Have Really Peculiar Moments In Them No.3


Here’s one where the peculiar moment comes in the opening moment of the film. ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ is a now forgotten movie set in a disco-era nightclub that’s stuffed to the gills with soon-to-be big stars including a then-unknown Donna Summer and Jeff Goldblum! But even as the film starts, the disco beat has […]

Bond Is Back (But He Never Went Away)

2 Fingers

There are certain constancies to British life, things which have been set in place all my life; the Queen, London, the Beatles and Bond being among them. Every generation is seeing changes of course but London has a fundamentally stable culture. The first 007 book was published when I was 5 years old, and I’m […]

Those Fabulously Dreadful 50’s Monster Movies Pt. 1


High ambitions, low budgets – it’s easy to forget how enjoyable the American SF movies of the 1950s are. In ‘It Conquered The World’ the space mission appears to be run from a standard-sized motel room, and as glaring greaseball Lee Van Clef announces that Venusians are on their way to colonise the Earth his wife […]

Films Which Have Really Peculiar Moments In Them – No.2


Everybody remembers ‘A Spoonful Of Sugar’ from ‘Mary Poppins’, but it also has a song about investment opportunities and banking foreclosures sung by Dick Van Dyke disguised as an old man, which somebody must have thought was a good idea to drop into the film at the exact point where its climax should have been. […]

Films Which Have Really Peculiar Moments In Them – No.1


Right in the middle of Leos Carax’s wonderfully surreal movie ‘Holy Motors’, in which an eccentric millionaire is driven around the city in order to adopt different guises, the action stops dead and Denis Lavant dons an accordion in a church. What follows is an exhilarating interlude in an already strange movie. Enjoy.

Not Crazy About The Krays?


Quite why the Kray twins occupy such a central pillar in the legends of London criminal life is a bit of a mystery these days. Surely whatever residual glamour that was once attached to them has gone? Peter Medak made a very decent movie, ‘The Krays’, which looked as much at the women as the […]