Film

It’s Time To Bury Giallos

Blood and Black Lace Mannequin

I saw my first Italian dubbed crime/horror movie at around 16, (Argento’s ‘Four Flies on Grey Velvet’) and loved it. The term ‘giallo’ was term used to describe the mainly 1970’s Italian genre of literature and film with mystery, slasher and later fantastical elements. The three star directors to look out for were Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci […]

Remake It? Please Don’t!

maxresdefault

The biggest mistake directors commit when they remake classic films is misunderstanding the intent of the original. The last few years have seen one weak reboot after another, the most recent being Disney’s decision to remake its animation films as live action features. Originality is born out of time and place; Hollywood’s great screwball comedies, […]

Films With Moral Dilemmas

eye-in-sky

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’

robinson11

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

Victoria

‘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

image

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

the_charge_light_brigade

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

Neon

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

images

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

victoria-poster

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 […]