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



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


1982; directed by Steven Spielberg; written by Melissa Mathison; 114 mins

Imagine a world in which popular, mainstream tastes coincided with someone like Alejandro Jodorowsky. Imagine if what we really loved was really out there, violent surreality and quasi-religious stories about poets and circus performers. Imagine that we didn’t like derring-do and heartwarming stories and three-act structures that move us to tears. I don’t think Steven Spielberg would give a fuck. I think he’d still make the same movies. Continue reading


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


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


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


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


1989; directed by Richard Donner; Written by Jeffrey Boam, Shane Black and Warren Murphy; 114 mins

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and so this must’ve seemed par for the course back when it came out but looking at these older Hollywood crime flicks, it amazes me just how damn good they really are. This isn’t going to be a review about how everything is shit now, though. We’re going through a really great period of action films with things like The Raid, John Wick, The Bourne movies and Atomic Blonde but films like Lethal Weapon 2 do have a something that the new ones don’t. Continue reading