LOS OLVIDADOS

1950; directed by Luis Buñuel; written by Luis Alcoriza and Luis Buñuel; 77 mins

The eye-slicing bit from Un chien andalou really put the shits up me when I accidentally saw it at the age of 12, so consequently, I shied away from watching Luis Buñuel films. Still! This one turned up for free so I figured I’d give him a go. Turns out this is one of his least surreal films – not without its bizarre moments but pretty close to the era’s definition of a docudrama. Continue reading

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CHILDREN OF PARADISE

1945; directed by Marcel Carné; written by Jacques Prévert; 186 mins

Made under extraordinary and dangerous conditions during the Nazi Occupation in WWII, this is one of those movies often trotted out as a film beloved by critics and filmmakers. Knowing nothing of the director’s work, I thought it time to give this one a whirl. Happily, it’s an absolutely wonderful film. An immersive epic about love and romance and all the people in-between. It’s a classical costume drama that still, after more than 70 years, has a lot to say about the traps we all fall into in love and the traps society pushes us into, because, this being a very French film, it deals with class distinctions in a very acute and intelligent way. Continue reading

SOMERS TOWN

2008; directed by Shane Meadows; written by Paul Fraser; 68 mins

This is possibly my all-time favourite film about love. It’s a film about two boys discovering their first love at the same time with the same woman. It’s not about a sexual awakening, it’s about that confusion of what the Hell to do which undercuts the surety of what you want. In that sense, it’s one of those rare teen boy films that, I suspect, speaks to people whatever their gender. Continue reading

BARRY LYNDON

1975; adapted and directed by Stanley Kubrick; 184 mins

From that grandiose opening whoosh of Sarabande by Handel, accompanied by a fantastic old Warner Bros. logo*, you are plunged into a three hour long 18th century landscape painting which is strangely, frustratingly, tantalisingly mesmeric. Long held up as an empty indulgence, a pretty film with nothing to say. Recently, it has enjoyed a reappraisal in critical thinking but that gives me pause and great smugness to say; “I was there first!” Continue reading

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S

1961; directed by Blake Edwards; adapted by George Axelrod; 115 mins

[Spoilers]

And I said; ‘what about breakfast at Tiffany’s?‘ She said; ‘I think I remember the song and as I recall I think we both kinda remembered the film and it was a touch unsavoury to our modern sensibilities but then, as it turns out, audiences didn’t like Mickey Rooney’s racist Japanese character back then either”… as I believe is how the song goes, if memory serves. Continue reading

ARMY OF SHADOWS

1969; adapted and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville; 145 mins

Funnily enough, I was talking to a bloke today about buying DVDs on a whim, not knowing what the film or TV series within was like and finding a real unexpected treat. This is one of those treats. I bought this not having seen any of Jean-Pierre Melville‘s work, just grabbing the Criterion DVD* out of curiosity. It is one of my all-time favourite films. Continue reading

SNOWDEN

2016; directed by Oliver Stone; adapted by Kieran Fitzgerald and Oliver Stone; 134 mins

Having followed Stone on Facebook for a while, it was abundantly clear that he adores Edward Snowden and what the man has achieved, so the idea of Stone being the director to bring this story to the big screen as a feature drama was very exciting. Not just because of it’s contemporary resonance and immediacy, which, ideally, is the director’s ballpark but it really felt like, after quite a few years off the boil, the story had got him fired up and this could be the comebackContinue reading