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Tag: drama

Film Reviews

Shirley

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 Film Reviews,

It may be the ultimate tribute to a novelist when she becomes the subject of someone else’s fiction, or it may be poetic justice. For the four children of American writer, Shirley Jackson (1916-65), it has been hard to recognise their mother in a new film by Josephine Decker. Although Shirley contains detailed portraits of […]

Film Reviews

Mrs. America

Friday, June 5th, 2020 Film Reviews,

It takes a moment before one recognises those first four notes in the jazzy theme music for Mrs. America. It’s a ‘switched-on’ version of Beethoven’s Fifth – in the composer’s own famous words: “the sound of fate knocking on the door.” But for whom does it knock? Is it for Phyllis Schlafly, the formidable conservative […]

Film Reviews

The Great

Thursday, May 28th, 2020 Film Reviews,

With films based on actual people it’s always tempting to take a peek at the historical record. Fictional characters will invariably be created and genuine ones omitted, myths will be treated as facts. No-one can resist adding a dash – or a bucketload – of romance to prosaic reality. In the case of The Great […]

Film Reviews

Colour Out of Space

Thursday, May 7th, 2020 Film Reviews,

H.P. Lovecraft is the undisputed Old Master of American horror fiction. Although he died of cancer at the age of 47 in 1937, Lovecraft’s output was positively volcanic. The fantastic tales have made him posthumously famous, but he also wrote reams of poetry, and countless essays on science, philosophy, political and social issues. He ghost-wrote […]

Film Reviews

Unorthodox

Thursday, April 30th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Now that everyone lives in a closed community it may be the ideal time to look at a Netflix series set in the hermetic world of the Hasidic Jews. Unorthodox takes us into the lives of the Satmars, a group founded in Hungary in 1905 by a visionary Rabbi who escaped the Holocaust and brought […]

Film Reviews

The Plot Against America

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 Film Reviews,

History is one long game of ‘What if?’ ‘What if Germany had been victorious in the Second World War?’ Philip K. Dick gave us a fictional answer in The Man in the High Castle, which was made into a successful TV series. In his 2004 novel, The Plot Against America, Philip Roth explored another historical […]

Film Reviews

Vivarium

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 Film Reviews,

This may not be the best time to release a feature about a couple trapped in a suburban nightmare, completely isolated from the rest of the world. Are we eager to stream a film that reminds us of our own predicament? Perhaps there’s a vicarious pleasure in watching others doing it harder than oneself. Vivarium […]

Film Reviews

Uplifting for Easter

Friday, April 10th, 2020 Film Reviews,

Stranded at home for days and weeks on end, the inevitable question arises: “What should I watch?” This is a conundrum with the potential for major domestic unrest. In trying to come up with suitably ‘uplifting’ titles for hermits I’m having to face the brutal realisation that everyone likes totally different stuff. Tell your families […]

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 […]