MAN OF IRON

1981; directed by Andrzej Wajda; written by Aleksander Scibor-Rylski; 147 mins

[Sorry, couldn’t find a suitable English language clip or trailer]

With the passing, late last year, of director Andrzej Wajda, and with Cannes 2017 well underway, I thought it time to check out Palme d’Or winner Man of Iron – interestingly, the only sequel ever to win the prize. Previously, I had only seen Wajda’s 1958 masterpiece, Ashes and Diamonds and beyond that, my knowledge of Polish cinema is pretty poor, so let’s delve in… Continue reading

POOR COW

1967; directed by Kenneth Loach; adapted by Nell Dunn and Kenneth Loach; 101 mins

As we walked out of the screening of this film, my Mum and I were talking about the menu board outside the seaside cafe with all it’s offerings of offal and we started talking about the various accompaniments for chips such as curry sauce or gravy or cheese and then moved to the best meal of all time: faggots, chips and mushy peas! Continue reading

COMING HOME

1978; directed by Hal Ashby; written by Robert C. Jones and Waldo Salt; 126 mins

It’s funny how this film looks so much like the prototype “worthy” Oscarbait film: topical message, politically engaged stars tackling ISSUES, low-key filmmaking and an able-bodied actor in the main role of a disabled person. It lost the top award that year to Michael Cimino’s right wing and – if not actually racist then massively, blindly misjudged – The Deer Hunter. It’s a real shame cos this is way better! Continue reading

THE UNKNOWN GIRL

2016; written and directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne; 106 mins

Receiving what was, for the Dardennes, an uncharacteristically unfavourable response at last year’s Cannes film festival and hot off their Oscar-nominated 2014 effort, Two Days, One Night, it seems that The Unknown Girl has dropped off the radar both commercially and critically. That in the background, I was prepared for disappointment… Continue reading

LE DOULOS

1963; adapted and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville; 109 mins

I’m not a smoker but neither am I anti-smoking and the amount of fag smoke wreathed around the mise en scè€ne of this movie put me in mind of the low-hanging cloud that used to permeate so many pubs my family went to when I was a kid. I mean this is in a good, nostalgic way and also as a demonstration of how Jean-Pierre Melville‘s films still work so well… Continue reading

T2 TRAINSPOTTING

2017; directed by Danny Boyle; adapted by John Hodge; 117 mins

21 years on and it’s funny that everyone’s so excited for the return of these most beloved and – truly – iconic movie characters… because they are psychos and junkies! I mean, for me, that’s my kinda characters but it’s not often that the national or international consciousness waxes positive on disreputable working class characters. Normally, they need to stay in line with projected middle class values or be validated by meeting a royal or some such shite. Not here. I mean, one of the film’s saving graces is that even despite having Oscars in his pocket, Danny Boyle hasn’t turned into a ‘respectable’ director so whilst there is melancholy and regret but still all done with Captain Big Bollocks on the accelerator! Continue reading