adventure

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

November 29, 2014

Although it rocketed to the top of the box office in its first week, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, is a holding operation in this popular Hollywood franchise. As the title suggests, this is only the first part of a grand finale. It has been described as “half a film”, and that’s largely true. … More


Interstellar

November 22, 2014

After the intense, inward-looking focus of a film such as Winter Sleep, it’s almost disconcerting to turn to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, a genre-scrambling science fiction blockbuster that poses the usual big questions about the future of our planet and the species. It is also an old-fashioned Hollywood drama about a hero torn between the love … More


The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

November 8, 2014

Jean-Pierre Jeunet belongs to the other extreme of Francophone cinema to the Dardennes. His films are modern fairy tales with characters that are impossibly charming or grotesque. One of his favourite actors, Dominique Pinon, who has a small role in The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, manages to be both charming and grotesque. Jeunet’s films … More


The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

August 23, 2014

Forrest Gump never made it to Sweden, or else the Swedes loved the film so much they still haven’t gotten over it. Felix Herngren’s The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, takes elements familiar from Forrest Gump (1994), Zelig (1983), and Being There (1979), and adds an extra dose of … More


Godzilla

May 24, 2014

When Godzilla rose out of the ocean in 1954 and proceeded to trash Tokyo, no-one could have foreseen that he would still be wreaking havoc 60 years later. The durability of the “king of the monsters” owes something to the personality he developed in the 1960s, and something to his connections with nuclear energy, which … More


The Amazing Spider-Man 2

April 26, 2014

To go from the cultish Only Lovers Left Alive to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, is to leave the would-be sublime for the out-and-out ridiculous. The latest blockbuster is always referred to as “eagerly-awaited”, but at last week’s preview, audiences had to wait more than an hour and a half because of problems with a digital … More


Divergent

April 12, 2014

After spending a couple of hours at The Grand Budapest Hotel any other movie might seem humdrum. Neil Burger’s Divergent has the bigger problem of standing directly in the shadow of The Hunger Games, already an established franchise in the lucrative Young Adult market. I’m beginning to feel I’ve been wasting my life writing film … More


The Grand Budapest Hotel

April 12, 2014

Walking into a preview of The Grand Budapest Hotel, a colleague wondered aloud if this was the film in which Wes Anderson would overcome his penchant for symmetry. In fact, The Grand Budapest Hotel must be the most maddeningly symmetrical movie ever produced! Frames are composed with a neatness and correctness that feels obsessive-compulsive. The … More


Noah

April 5, 2014

In Chapter 6 of Genesis, God gives Noah very specific instructions about how to build an ark. It clocks in at a length of 300 cubits, a breadth of 50 cubits, and a height of 30 cubits. 300 cubits is roughly 138 metres in today’s measurements. By comparison the Titanic measured 269 metres from end … More


Tracks

March 8, 2014

In April 1977 the 26 year-old Robyn Davidson set out with a dog and four camels to walk 2,700 kilometres from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. Tracks, her memoir of the journey, was published in 1980 and became a world-wide best-seller. The film rights for the book were first sold in the early 1980s … More