Stronger than fiction

21 January 2012 10:00 am

I think it was a Frenchman — it usually is — who observed that the English love their animals more…

Who’s the real monster?

31 December 2011 10:00 am

‘The first monster that an audience has to be scared of is the film-maker. They have to feel in the…

Scenes from the Mad Hatter’s tea party

2 July 2011 12:00 am

I only ever heard my mother admit twice to fancying other men.

The Midas touch

23 April 2011 12:00 am

Now that we can read on Kindle and some people fear that paper-and-ink books will become extinct, one’s first impulse might be to say hurrah for this mighty production.

Still life

12 February 2011 12:00 am

I didn’t go and see the Coen brothers’ remake of True Grit this week because I couldn’t get excited about it and don’t like westerns anyhow.

Steps to destruction

22 January 2011 12:00 am

I have always suspected that, if you look for the black swan within yourself, it will end in tears, and now Darren Aronofsky has proved me right.

Neither here nor there

15 January 2011 12:00 am

Conviction is yet another film based on ‘an inspirational true story’ because, I’m assuming, Hollywood has now run out of made-up stories.

Film: Farewell to arm

8 January 2011 12:00 am

Unless you’ve been living under a rock — in which case, keep it to yourself; I’m done with rocks — you’ll have already heard about 127 Hours.

The wow factor

18 December 2010 12:00 am

‘Nothing succeeds like excess,’ quipped Oscar Wilde, and Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Aida at La Scala, Milan in 2006 bears him out: for sheer jaw-dropping, applause- garnering theatrical bling, I have never seen anything like it and I doubt I ever will.

All the lonely people

11 December 2010 12:00 am

Whereas Sofia Coppola’s directorial breakthrough, Lost in Translation, featured two lonely souls rattling about in a Tokyo hotel, her latest film, Somewhere, features one lonely soul holed up in a Californian hotel, and isn’t half so good.

Mastering the k-word

11 December 2010 12:00 am

The film The King’s Speech, which is due to appear in the UK in January, tells the story of George VI’s struggle to overcome his stammer.

Catching up with Clooney

27 November 2010 12:00 am

There are quite a few reasons to like The American. It is an action film with almost no action, making it a non-action action film which, I now know, is my favourite kind of action film. It stars George Clooney, and while I have tried to imagine Mr Clooney doing something uncharismatically — rinsing out his pants in the sink, say, or hosing down the car on a Sunday morning — I cannot. I’d buy a ticket for both. And it’s directed by Anton Corbijn, the Dutch photographer turned film-maker who made Control, the excellent film about Joy Division, and who knows how to compose a shot gorgeously.

BOOKENDS: Flesh and blood

13 November 2010 10:00 am

Flesh. Lots of flesh. That was the simple promise of a Hammer horror film. In this collection of classic Hammer…

Interview – Tomas Alfredson: outside the frame

23 October 2010 12:00 am

Without warning, Tomas Alfredson jumps up and starts wading about the room like a water bird treading over lily pads.

A certain look

7 April 2010 12:00 am

Just as there are people who are their own worst enemies, so there are books that are their own worst reviews.

Cast a long shadow

24 February 2010 12:00 am

Many years ago I invited a young student of mine to see Psycho, a film of which she had never heard, made by a director (Hitchcock) with whose name she was unfamiliar and shot in a format (black-and-white) whose apparent old-fashionedness so mystifed her she wondered aloud why no one thought to complain to the projectionist.

A dramatic streak

10 February 2010 12:00 am

Late in the 19th century, archaeologists digging in the Roman Forum discovered a lime kiln.

The face of a muffin

30 December 2009 12:00 am

What was it about post-war British cinema? Our films were lit up by a collection of wonderfully idiosyncratic performers.

Moving swiftly on

20 May 2009 12:00 am

Chaplin’s Girl, by Miranda Seymour
Love Child, by Allegra Huston

Perfectly unreliable

28 January 2009 12:00 am

Ticks and Crosses: Personal Terms 4, by Frederic Raphael

The Millers’ tale

29 December 2008 12:00 am

Arthur Miller, 1915-1962, by Christopher Bigsby

Living the legend

3 December 2008 12:00 am

My Judy Garland Life, by Susie Boyt

Gruff Justice

26 November 2008 12:00 am

James Robertson Justice: What’s the Bleeding Time? by James Hogg, with Robert Sellers and Howard Watson