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Film

Cinema

20,000 Days On Earth: is Nick Cave the missing link? Or the next stage in evolution?

20 September 2014
20,000 Days on Earth 15, Key Cities

Inspired by Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never (2011), Katy Perry’s Part of Me (2012) and One Direction’s This Is Us (2013), Nick Cave has released a documentary about himself. No… Read more

Whoop! The 1985 Gay Pride march through central London

Ignore the simplistic politics, Pride will make you laugh and cry

13 September 2014
Pride 15, Nationwide

1984 and all that. Which side were you on? The side of Margaret Thatcher, her hairdo and person standing rigid against a rising tide of industrial activism and British declinism?… Read more

Identity crisis: Nicole Kidman in Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep prefers creepy car parks to feelings

6 September 2014
Before I Go to Sleep 15, Nationwide

Before I Go To Sleep is Rowan Joffe’s adaptation of S.J. Watson’s bestselling thriller of 2011, but whereas the book was smart, gripping, ingeniously plotted and had psychological depth —… Read more

Herculean feat: hauling a steamship over a mountain for ‘Fitzcarraldo’

The enigma of Werner Herzog

30 August 2014

Strange things happen to Werner Herzog — almost as strange as the things that happen in his haunting, hypnotic films. In 1971, while making a movie in Peru, he was… Read more

Angry young man: Jesse Eisenberg as Josh in ‘Night Moves’

Night Moves – the opposite of a Dan Brown film

30 August 2014
Night Moves 15, Nationwide

Night Moves is a film by Kelly Reichardt, who also made the heart-wrenching Wendy and Lucy (2008), which may be one of my favourite films of all time. (If you… Read more

Inhuman being: Scarlett Johansson as Lucy

Lucy: the shoot-outs, car chases and mysteries of the universe

23 August 2014
Lucy 15, Nationwide

Here’s an idea for an article: The Tree of Life (2011) is the most influential film of the past decade. There’s quite a strong case to be made. Everything from… Read more

21 June 2014

The not-so-great charter David Cameron wants every child to be taught about Magna Carta. Some bits he might want to leave out: — ‘If one who has borrowed from the… Read more

Granville Sharp

The conservative anti-slavery hero who Belle leaves out

14 June 2014

Americans make movies about slavery and its abolition. In the past two years we’ve seen the Oscar-winning Twelve Years a Slave, based on a 19th-century slave narrative, and Django Unchained,… Read more

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Why Ken Loach hasn’t made a decent film since Kes

31 May 2014

‘If you want to send a message,’ said Sam Goldwyn, one of the men who invented Hollywood, ‘try Western Union.’ It is such a well-known remark one might have thought… Read more

Macon Blair in Blue Ruin

Blue Ruin is unwatchable, bloody – but, from what I saw, rather good

3 May 2014
Blue Ruin Key Cities
Looking for Light: Jane Bown Key Cities

Blue Ruin is a low-budget yet highly accomplished revenge thriller although whether you have the stomach for it is another matter. I do not have a strong stomach, as we… Read more

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Simon Callow’s notebook: What it’s like to lose at an awards ceremony

8 March 2014

It was one of those weeks. On Monday, I was in four countries: I woke up at crack of dawn in Austria, took my first plane in Germany, my second… Read more

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Harry Shearer on bringing out Richard Nixon’s feminine side

18 January 2014

Hollywood tends to treat Richard Nixon as an oafish B-movie villain, so it is ambitious and original of Harry Shearer to try to convince a British audience of the very… Read more

They also serve: the Kennedy family enter the White House

The Butler, about a black domestic in the White House, is too painfully obvious

16 November 2013
The Butler 12A, Nationwide

The Butler tells the story of an African–American butler at the White House who served eight American presidents over three decades and it plays as a ‘greatest hits’ of the… Read more

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'You can't handle the truth!' — the greatest courtroom dramas of all time

9 November 2013

Our legal system is pure theatre and always has been. Many barristers stand accused of being failed actors and vice versa. Judges love the dressing-up box and a chance to… Read more

Give us the money: James Toback and Alec Baldwin

Ryan Gosling couldn’t play Taki better than Taki

9 November 2013
Seduced and Abandoned 15, Key Cities

Seduced and Abandoned is both a satire on film-making and a love letter to film-making and a joy. A documentary made by the director and writer James Toback, in cahoots… Read more

Scary monsters: the demon from Jacques Tourneur’s 1957 film

How I learned to start screaming and love the horror movie

2 November 2013

Buddy, you can keep your Christmases and your Easters, your Hanukkahs and your Eids. For someone like me, the annual celebration that really matters is the one that falls on… Read more

Searching for her lost son: Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

Philomena is Dame Judi’s film

2 November 2013
Philomena 12A, Nationwide

Philomena is based on the true story of an Irish woman searching for the son stolen from her by the Catholic Church 50 years earlier, and although, as a cinematic… Read more

Forced to work together: Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy

Sandra Bullock must be blindfolded when she picks her movies

3 August 2013
The Heat 15, Nationwide

Sandra Bullock is a highly watchable actress and she seems like she’d be fun to hang out with — I have no idea why I think that; I just do… Read more

Out of its time: Mick Jagger in Nicolas Roeg’s debut film, Performance (1970)

The World is Ever Changing, by Nicolas Roeg - a review

20 July 2013
The World is Ever Changing Nicolas Roeg

Faber and Faber, pp.256, £25, ISBN: 9780571310838

‘Value and worth in any of the arts has always been about timing,’ writes British director Nicolas Roeg at the age of 84. Few directors understand this better — this… Read more

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Nicolas Roeg interview: ‘I hate the term “sex scene”’

13 July 2013

‘Oh, some of my films have been attacked with absolute vitriol!’ said Nicolas Roeg, 85, and still one of the darkest and most innovative of post-war British directors. We were… Read more

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Daniel Radcliffe: why are the leaders of our political parties so uninspiring?

22 June 2013

Daniel Radcliffe is wearing the standard rehearsal outfit of T-shirt, black jeans and trainers. ‘Ah, this is for The Spectator. I probably shouldn’t have worn my fake Che Guevara T-shirt.’… Read more

A troubled conscience: Saoirse Ronan as Eleanor

Gemma Arterton's new vampire flick, Byzantium, is melancholia at its most trying

1 June 2013
Byzantium 15

Neil Jordan’s Byzantium may well be stylish and moody — so moody, in fact, I wanted to send it to its bedroom with the instruction it could only come down… Read more

'Seduced And Abandoned' star Alec Baldwin poses with wife Hilaria at this years Cannes Film Festival Photo: Getty

Taki: What's Cannes all about? Seducing someone important

25 May 2013

Cannes It’s raining, the stars are hiding, the hacks and paparazzi are waterlogged and frustrated, and the shimmering images of the beautiful people walking up the red carpet are just… Read more

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The end of the affair?

10 March 2012
Secrets and Lies Christine Keeler with Douglas Thompson

John Blake, pp.290, 17.99

Of those caught up in the 1963 Profumo affair, the only winner seems to have been that blithe spirit Mandy Rice-Davies. Everyone else lost. Profumo’s family bore the brunt, of… Read more

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Loves, hates and unfulfilled desires

18 February 2012
Zona Geoff Dyer

Canongate, pp.229, 16.99

Montaigne, who more or less invented the discursive essay, had a method which was highly unmethodical: ‘All arguments are alike fertile to me. I take them upon any trifle .… Read more