Film

The Baztan Follies

Incredibly, the reviews for the trilogy are terrific. If Lockdown brought one good thing for me it was the return of really awful B movies. After scrolling through Netflix’s premium listings, all seemingly aimed at children, I dredged the dross at the bottom of their EPG. As a lover of Spanish cinema how could I […]

Amuse Yourself: The Virus VS The Story

It’s easy to forget there are actual words inside them Excellent news; book sales are up thanks to Lockdown; no real surprise there. Fiction dipped slightly but general sales are good, probably driven by desperation for something to do that wasn’t watching Netflix or cleaning out the composter. But we were already doing well; British […]

The Tuesday Song…And A Question

I’m researching today so let’s have a song – it’s been far too long. We need a little jazz hands in our lives occasionally, especially since there’s no theatre anymore. Don’t you often think, why aren’t there more film musicals set in a postwar Sovietski Soyuz workers commune? Your prayers are answered. And while I’m researching, […]

Film Review: ‘Bacurau’

What a great couple of years it’s been for Latin cinema. It feels as if South American, Hispanic and Chicano films have taken a forgotten page from the Hollywood playbook and reapplied it to cinema. Forgetting fancy effects, stars and hype, they’ve put story back front and central, so much so that the sinister political […]

Lights! Camera! Euro-Action!

Because of my connections to various organisations I’ve always been able to see a lot of the world cinema that doesn’t open in local overseas arthouses. These are the bread-and-butter indigenous movies that fill Saturday night screens and are likely to be regional, certainly not intended for international exhibition. A few years back, ‘Welcome To […]

Alien Territory Part 5

Five parts is enough for any blog article, so let’s put this baby to bed. With nowhere to go except Earth (something only audiences expressed a desire to see) the Alien franchise now did what it always did – it shifted gear into an unexpected direction. For the fifth film, out went Sigourney Weaver and […]

Alien Territory Part 4

It should have died, but the studio cattle-prod had been charged and was now attempting to fire life back into a dead franchise. Ripley was definitively gone, but Sigourney Weaver was still up for the role, having moved from ingenue in tighty-whiteys to grieving mother to bald warrior-queen – how could she come back? Molten […]

Alien Territory Part 3

And so the drop ship roars into the problem zone of the third Alien film, in a tangled situation entirely created by Fox’s suits. The crowd-pleasing ‘Aliens’ had proven such a massive success that the franchise was now cursed with too-high expectations. You couldn’t go bigger, but could you scale it back? Our company had […]

Alien Territory Part 2

For many, director James Cameron destroyed the ‘Alien’ franchise. It was inevitable that a film as successful as ‘Alien’ would continue in a sequel, a series of comics, videogames and even toys. Cameron supposedly killed the golden goose by giving everyone exactly what they wanted to see; a full-throttle action film which did away with the […]

Alien Territory Part 1

In a month of dire warnings about Russian spies, Chinese viruses, American fascism, global heating (six months left to fix it, apparently, which means the planet is doomed before I can get tickets for the National Theatre again) watching say, ‘The Salisbury Poisonings’ or reading Cormac McCarthy seems like a little light entertainment. Meanwhile, scientists […]