romance

The Invisible Woman

April 19, 2014

Charles Dickens (1812-70) was not only a literary giant, he was a celebrity whose every move was chronicled in the press. As a practising Christian and tenchant social critic Dickens had a reputation to uphold, but his temperament and energy lured him away from the path of convention. The Victorians were no more flawed than … More


Romeo and Juliet

April 5, 2014

When an actor’s star is rising there is no point in pausing to ask whether they are actually right for a role. Douglas Booth may have been a bit too pretty and soft to play Noah’s son, Shem, but one could say the same about his portrayal of Romeo in Carlo Carlei’s new version of … More


Le Weekend

March 1, 2014

To turn from Gloria to Le Weekend is to become conscious of the gulf that separates 58 from the mid-60s. Instead of the problems of being a single mature-age woman, we meet with the frustrations of a couple who have been yoked together for 30 years, to the point where they can hardly imagine themselves … More


Blue is the Warmest Colour

February 15, 2014

Queen Victoria allegedly saw no reason for criminalising lesbianism because she couldn’t understand what such women actually did. Although this old story is almost certainly false, on the very slim chance there is anyone today feeling similarly bewildered, Blue is the Warmest Colour offers a most comprehensive demonstration. This film, which goes by the catchy … More


Her

January 18, 2014

Somebody had to make a film such as Her, and Spike Jonze was a good candidate. His last feature was an accomplished fairy tale, Where the Wild Things Are (2009); the previous one, the clever Adaptation (2002). In between there have been shorts, documentaries, and music video clips. Yet Jonze is a more mature filmmaker … More


Kill Your Darlings

December 21, 2013

Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Lucien Carr. The first three were among the most famous writers of their generation, the last worked for 47 years as a news editor for United Press International. Yet in the formative years of the Beat Generation, Lucien Carr was the hippest of the hip. This brief, glittering … More


Night Train to Lisbon

December 7, 2013

In Jack Cardiff’s Girl on a Motorcycle (1968), which marries pretension and sexploitation in a way that only the 1960s could conceive, Marianne Faithfull abandons her boring schoolteacher husband and roars off to Switzerland on a big Harley-Davidson for a romantic assignation with Alain Delon. Most girls might think this sounds like a perfectly logical … More


Stoker & The Best Offer

August 31, 2013

There was a moment in the 1980s when Australian directors such as Bruce Beresford, Peter Weir and Gillian Armstrong heard the siren call of Hollywood and went to make films in the United States. It seems this alluring melody is now drifting towards South Korea, with directors such as Park Chan-wook (Oldboy), Bong Joon-ho (The … More


Behind the Candelabra & What’s in a Name?

July 27, 2013

It is almost impossible to explain Liberace to anyone under thirty. A walking Christmas tree decked out in rhinestones, sequins, furs and ostrich feathers, with a bouffant wig the size of Uluru, Liberace had millions of fans who never suspected he was gay. When newspapers dared make such slanderous accusations he sued them and won. … More


The Great Gatsby & Happiness Never Comes Alone

June 1, 2013

It has become a cliché to call Baz Luhrmann a director of video clips rather than motion pictures, but like so many clichés this one has the ring of truth. The Great Gatsby – long-awaited, much-talked-about, supremely overhyped – has arrived. It shows Luhrmann demonstrating his gift for lavish spectacle and his lack of almost … More