The Return Of The Blimp

Martin Scorsese has recently been in London promoting his wonderful film ‘Hugo’ (see review on this site) and introducing another restored Powell & Pressburger film, ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp’. Powell & Pressburger’s films are impossible to define – each one is unique and special, and fits no clear demographic. ‘The Red Shoes’ […]

Goodbye, Mr Naughty

Ken Russell, iconoclastic director of ‘Women In Love’, ‘The Devils’ and ‘Tommy’ has died at the age of 84. The archetypal naughty boy, he directed BBC biographies of musicians that gave way to excessive satires and biographies, including ‘The Music Lovers’ (Tchaikovsky), Liszt (‘Lizstomania’), Valentino, Mahler and Isadora Duncan. Much of his work remains unavailable […]

Re:View – ‘War Horse’

I turned down tickets to see the show when an alarm in my head sounded about noble beasts and tearful lads, and indeed, it would take a heart of stone not to laugh at parts of this tragic tale. My cynical stance came from the idea that I would have to watch a depoliticised view […]

Re:View – ‘Mimic – The Director’s Cut’

Unlike the head of Universal (see further down), Guillermo del Toro doesn’t compromise his ideas. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if the film we had planned together had been made (Guillermo mentions it on the DVD extras here, bringing a lump to my throat) but at least he had a chance to partially […]

Re:View – ‘Cold Fish’

One of the darkest Japanese thrillers for a long time, this is another of director Sion Sono’s high-volume melodramas that offers an incredibly cynical and misanthropic view of humanity. Shamoto, the timid owner of a small tropical fish shop, has a bored second wife and a daughter who hates her. This is revealed in a […]

Re:View – ‘Melancholia’

Depression is a planet-sized weight that’s unstoppable, so you might as well accept how terrible life is and be positive; that’s Lars Von Trier’s message, and perhaps it has never wavered; from ‘Breaking The Waves’ to ‘Dancer In The Dark’ and ‘Dogville’ his women sacrifice themselves for the greater good. But at first it’s hard […]

Re:View – ‘The Artist’

There aren’t many films about these days that you can genuinely call enchanting, but this is one of them. Having wowed audiences at Cannes (a year when every film was about death or violence) ‘The Artist’ is that rare thing, a crowd-pleaser without compromise or sentiment. It’s a love story and a comedy about a […]

Re:View – ‘Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn’

First, the obvious question; why didn’t they shoot it live action instead of going with dead-eyed rubbery motion capture in the style of the ghastly ‘Polar Express’? After the first twenty minutes an answer emerges – such is the feverish ADD pacing of the new Tintin film that no live action adventure would ever have […]

Re:View – ‘Attack The Block’

Joe Cornish’s ‘Attack The Block’ received rave reviews from the critics, and in many ways rightly so, but – well, there’s a big BUT. The story of a South London street gang who take on an alien invasion is slick and compact. After a female alien smash-lands on a council estate, the kids spend the […]

Very Sixties

I’m busy working on ‘Film Freak’, the sequel-of-sorts to ‘Paperboy’. It’s about working in films and advertising in the arse-end of the 1970s, and I’m trying to watch old films from the period immediately before the setting. One of the movies I vaguely remember seeing was ‘Every Home Should Have One’, a satire in which […]