I think it was a Frenchman — it usually is — who observed that the English love their animals more…
‘The first monster that an audience has to be scared of is the film-maker. They have to feel in the…
I only ever heard my mother admit twice to fancying other men.
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.
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.
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.
Conviction is yet another film based on ‘an inspirational true story’ because, I’m assuming, Hollywood has now run out of made-up stories.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
Flesh. Lots of flesh. That was the simple promise of a Hammer horror film. In this collection of classic Hammer…
Without warning, Tomas Alfredson jumps up and starts wading about the room like a water bird treading over lily pads.
Just as there are people who are their own worst enemies, so there are books that are their own worst reviews.
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.
Late in the 19th century, archaeologists digging in the Roman Forum discovered a lime kiln.
What was it about post-war British cinema? Our films were lit up by a collection of wonderfully idiosyncratic performers.
Chaplin’s Girl, by Miranda Seymour
Love Child, by Allegra Huston
Ticks and Crosses: Personal Terms 4, by Frederic Raphael
Arthur Miller, 1915-1962, by Christopher Bigsby
My Judy Garland Life, by Susie Boyt
James Robertson Justice: What’s the Bleeding Time? by James Hogg, with Robert Sellers and Howard Watson