drama

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Cold War

December 28, 2018

In Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) Alain Resnais set Marguerite Duras the task of writing a love story that would not seem insignificant alongside the brute fact of the atomic bomb. In Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski gives us a love story that traverses the oppressive political landscape of the years following World War Two, when capitalism … More


Vice

December 20, 2018

Dick Cheney will forever be known as the man who put the “vice” into “Vice President”. While the Trump administration continues to sink into a legal quagmire we can look back at Cheney and marvel at how he ever got away with it. His continuing prosperity, indeed his very existence, suggests that his contract with … More


Colette

December 14, 2018

“When one can enter the enchanted kingdom of reading,” said Colette, “why write?” Many writers have expressed a profound distaste for their profession, but Colette (1873-1954) was one of the most natural talents ever to pick up a pen. Although she felt writing to be a dreadful chore she produced a constant stream of novels, … More


The Children Act

December 6, 2018

It’s a big year at the movies for Ian McEwan, a novelist who seems to enjoy pulling the carpet out from under his protagonists. In August we had On Chesil Beach, adapted by McEwan from his own novel of 2007. Now he has written a screenplay for The Children Act, published in 2014. McEwan is … More


Shoplifters

November 30, 2018

Everyone knows George Santayana’s famous line: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. This is axiomatic, most especially in an age when attention spans are shrinking to the size of a mobile phone screen. The philosopher’s second-most-popular quotation is rather more problematic. When Santayana wrote: “The family is one of nature’s … More


Widows

November 23, 2018

When Steve McQueen won the 2013 Academy Award for Best Picture for 12 Years a Slave, it was a testament to his choice of subject matter rather than his skills as a director. With a background in video art – a medium in which boring and pointless exercises often enjoy critical acclaim – McQueen has … More


The Old Man & the Gun

November 15, 2018

There was an old man with a gun Who spent his whole life on the run His favourite prank Was to hold up a bank He said it was his kind of fun If The Old Man & the Gun is the swansong of Robert Redford’s acting career he’s not going out with a bang … More


Suspiria

November 8, 2018

Most remakes leave one pondering the wisdom of Oscar Wilde’s line: “each man kills the thing he loves.” If a filmmaker feels so attached to a movie that he or she wants to make it again, surely that remake should be an insightful re-imagining of the original. I don’t need to stress how rarely this … More


Bohemian Rhapsody

November 2, 2018

When a film spends eight years in production, from first announcement to opening night, it doesn’t augur well, epecially if that same film changes directors when two-thirds complete. After such a painful birth perhaps we should be pleased Bohemian Rhapsody made it to the cinema at all. Dare we hope that it’s any good? Bryan … More


A Star is Born

October 20, 2018

One learns to mistrust the movie that is hyped to the skies – whether it be “critically acclaimed” or simply a “box office sensation”. The box office is the worst guide to quality because popular taste is fixated on superheroes, brain-dead action films, lame comedies and sentimental mush. As for the critics, they couldn’t stop … More


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