HUD

1963; directed by Martin Ritt; adapted by Harriet Frank Jr. and Irving Ravetch; 107 mins

How times change. Apparently, the character of Hud Bannon became sort-of a counter culture icon in the 60s because he was seen as the free-wheelin’ rebel young people wanted, thumbing his nose at tradition and the ways of the Old West. If Hud, the movie, were made now, I think young people would see him for the bastard he’s portrayed as. Continue reading

sex, lies and videotape

1989; written and directed by Steven Soderbergh; 100 mins

God damn! This long-awaited viewing of Steven Soderbergh‘s Palme d’Or winning and surprisingly confident debut movie* was well worth it! Like a sleek mix of Bleak Moments and prototype 90s Indie film, for a movie that’s got yuppies talking about heavy petting, it’s one of the most gripping and sexy movies I’ve seen since forever ago! Continue reading

WHITE MATERIAL

2009; directed by Claire Denis; written by Lucie Borleteau, Claire Denis and Marie N’Diaye; 106 mins

Jesus! I’ve just noticed… it’s ten minutes since the film finished and my heart rate is still up! I should quickly state that this is no pulse-pounding thriller, rather an intense drama depicting the last vestiges of colonialism in Africa and the fallout of an empire coming full circle to ruin it’s own descendants. Continue reading

CLERKS

1994; written and directed by Kevin Smith; 88 mins

Whatever happened to the no-budget indie? In the 80s and 90s, you had a string of movies made for fuck all like The Evil Dead, Bad Taste, Pusher, Slacker and El Mariachi. Even into the early Noughties, you had things like Primer and Scott Ryan’s The Magician. Movies made with no profile whatsoever and nothing to rely on other than actual talent. Now, all we get are those fucking awful Asylum movies but nothing else seems to break through in the way they did. Strange when you think of the availability of cameras and the rise of special features on DVD and Blu-Ray. One of the shining, shitty beacons amongst all these is Clerks, the foul-mouthed, funnier and shorter B&W answer to ‘Ulysses’. Continue reading

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