Film Reviews

Film Reviews

100 Years Ago: Way Down East

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 Film Reviews,

Few movies have been more rapturously received than D.W.Griffith’s Way Down East. For the Boston Post it became the subject of a heavily italicised editorial on 21 September, 1920: “This remarkable film should be seen by everyone; it is clean, sweet and beautiful; enlivened by humour and thrilling beyond description. When this art reaches so […]

Film Reviews

Epidemic entertainment

Thursday, March 26th, 2020 Film Reviews,

If there were a stockmarket for movies the smart money would be on Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion (2011), which has become one of the most searched and downloaded titles on the web, even though it’s not available on Netflix or most of the other the major streaming services. With the news cycle so completely dominated by […]

Film Reviews

The Personal History of David Copperfield

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 Film Reviews,

One wonders what Charles Dickens would have made of Armando Iannucci’s adaptation of The Personal History of David Copperfield? Despite his reputation as a champion of the poor and downtrodden, the famous novelist shared all the popular racial prejudices of his time. No-one disputes that the character of Fagin in Oliver Twist, is a notorious […]

Film Reviews

Alliance Française French Film Festival 2020

Friday, March 13th, 2020 Film Reviews,

“I film, therefore I am.” If asked to guess who made this heroic declaration you might imagine it was some famous French director such as Henri-Georges Clouzot or Jean Renoir, or perhaps a more recent auteur, like Jean-Luc Godard or Agnès Varda. In fact, it was Charles Aznavour, the small, dark, weedy crooner who dominated […]

Film Reviews

Dark Waters

Saturday, March 7th, 2020 Film Reviews,

“Corporations are sociopathic,” says Mark Ruffalo, who plays a crusading lawyer in Dark Waters. It seems the only language universally understood by the upper echelons of American big business, is that of money. Unresponsive to moral imperatives and human suffering, able to buy all the necessary political favours, the corporation can only be hurt by […]

Film Reviews

Motherless Brooklyn

Saturday, February 29th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Edward Norton acquired the rights to Jonathan Lethem’s novel, Motherless Brooklyn, in 1998 but didn’t finish writing the script until 2012, by which time Lethem had published another six books. Filming would finally commence in February 2018 but a fire on set and resulting lawsuits set the project back by a further nine months. It […]

Film Reviews


Thursday, February 20th, 2020 Film Reviews,

There are many ways of reading Jane Austen (1775-1817). She may be the author who inspired every Mills & Boon romance but she is also one of the writers who feature in F.R.Leavis’s ‘Great Tradition’ of English literature along with George Eliot, Henry James, Joseph Conrad and D.H.Lawrence. What distinguishes Austen from the churners of […]

Film Reviews

Birds of Prey

Thursday, February 13th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Margot Robbie is not short of admirers nowadays but her performance in Birds of Prey (and the fantabulous emancipation of one Harley Quinn), has to be seen to be believed. I usually feel my brain turning to jelly at the prospect of every new, big-budget superhero flick, but there’s something about this particular lump of […]

Film Reviews

A Hidden Life

Friday, February 7th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Terrence Malick is the only Hollywood director to have translated a book by German philosopher, Martin Heidegger. I haven’t checked, but I’m fairly confident that Cecil B. DeMille or Steven Spielberg never felt the urge to dabble in the impenetrable utterances of the sage of Freiburg. Before he began making movies Malick lectured in philosophy. […]

Film Reviews

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

Friday, January 31st, 2020 Film Reviews,

 “What the hell was that!?” said a colleague when we left the cinematheque after viewing A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood. As the usual routine is that we all shuffle out avoiding eye contact, jealously guarding our tiny insights, such an exclamation was – to say the least – unusual. I only wish I could […]