Re:View – ‘The Wind Rises’


Put two men in a room and they’ll eventually talk about drainage. We like discussing the nuts and bolts of invention, and to that extent ‘The Wind Rises’ could be called a boys’ film. But it is also achingly beautiful, surreal, fragile. I first fell in love with the work of Miyazaki Hayao, animation director […]

Re:View – ‘Painless’


NO SPOILERS When everyone else is busy producing sequels and reboots, you can rely on Spain to create genuinely original new genre films. The latest to appear as a subtitled DVD is this, which could be described as a Catalan ‘Devil’s Backbone’ – although it’s not quite in the same league.But if it falls short […]

My Favourite Non-Disney Animated Movies

Porco Rosso - Anime Wallpaper 03

As a child I loved Disney animations for their painterly vistas and tight storytelling structures, but there were films from other companies I’ve watched almost as much. I’ve left out the obvious choices – ‘Spirited Away’, ‘The Wind Rises’ and ‘Anastasia’ among them – and am still looking for a decent copy of ‘The Suicide […]

Re:View – ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’


I misread the title of this film before I saw it and thought it was ‘Guardian of the Galaxy’. I figured I was in for two hours of watching a superhero explaining about transgender rights in local government. Instead I found myself watching a talking raccoon with a ray-gun. For every successful comic Marvel produced, […]

Re:View – ‘Godzilla 3D’


I finally caught up with this on the big (B-I-I-I-I-G) screen in a deserted Toho Cinema on a thunderously rainy night in Tokyo, the perfect place to watch the big guy kick off against the world. Or rather, not against the world buy against two more monsters; Godzilla’s WWF smackdown unfortunately turns the film into […]

Britain In Half-Light

The Goob

Last year I wrote this about films like ‘Fish Tank’ and ‘The Selfish Giant’, and the cliches of British neo-realism. ‘Usually there are long-held shots in silent fields at half-light. Here the Midlands landscape is harsh and as alien as Mars, but the families are always the same – broken, illiterate, incontinent with  children, angry […]

Re:View – ‘Calvary’


It took me a while to get to John Michael McDonagh’s second film because it vanished from my local cinema after a week, but having enjoyed ‘The Guard’ (and his brother’s ‘In Bruges’) I eventually arrived at it on video, where I hope it will find a large audience. The reviews (particularly among those who […]

Ahead Of My Time (Again!)


Here’s the cover of an early novel I wrote, in which Landseer’s lions in Trafalgar Square spring to life: And here’s a still from ‘Night At The Museum 3′, due out at Christmas, in which Landseer’s lions er, come to life. Dang, I knew I was peaking too early!  

Re:View – ‘Cheap Thrills’


It’s got to the point now where the words ‘low budget horror film’ turn me off completely. Apart from the paucity of their imagination, they usually have no moral compass and therefore events carry no dramatic weight. Every once in a while you do find a gem, though, and this is one. ‘Horror’ is perhaps […]

Re:View – ‘Hannah Arendt’


How do you make the act of thinking exciting without relying on ‘Sherlock’-style graphics? That’s one of the questions this film has to handle. ‘The banality of evil’ was a phrase created by Hannah Arendt as she tried to come to terms with the crimes of Adolph Eichmann. Margarethe Von Trotta’s morally complex film covers […]