tue 22/07/2014

Tom Birchenough

tom.birchenough

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Bio
Tom has been based largely in Moscow since 1991, from where he has written for a range of publications. He has contributed to Variety since 1993, and was for many years the film critic for the main English-language publication in Russia, The Moscow Times. He has been associate producer on a number of television documentaries on Russian subjects.

Articles by Tom Birchenough

theartsdesk in Moscow: Blood brothers on film

“We are not politicians – we are artists.” It’s the familiar cry of creatives all around the world, but it came with an added, rather surprising accent when uttered by Moscow International Film...

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The Golden Dream

You can almost feel the dust on your skin in Spanish director Diego Quemada-Diez’s debut feature The Golden Dream. It’s the dust of the precarious journey from Central America towards the US,...

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Spring in a Small Town

Shanghai director Fei Mu’s final film Spring in a Small Town appeared at the end of an era, coming out in 1948, a year before revolution engulfed China. The subsequent upheaval saw the director...

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Going to the Dogs, Channel 4

Two years ago Penny Woolcock was at the heart of Birmingham street gangs in her documentary One Mile Way; that one was titled after the fact that two of the city’s competing outfits were separated...

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DVD: Birds, Orphans and Fools

What an astonishing rediscovery Juraj Jakubisko’s Birds, Orphans and Fools is! The 1969 Slovak film stans both outside history, and yet firmly within the context of its time, the year after Soviet...

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When I Saw You

Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir excels at catching both individuality of character and wider background context in her second feature, When I Saw You. The initial background is a refugee camp in...

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The South Bank Show: Abi Morgan, Sky Arts 1

It’s been a decade since the television drama Sex Traffic brought writer Abi Morgan into the mainstream. It won an impressive collection of awards, and its tale of international prostitution networks...

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10 Questions for Director Annemarie Jacir

In 2007 Annemarie Jacir made her debut feature, Salt of This Sea, the first film directed by a Palestinian woman director. Her follow-up, When I Saw You, is released this week in the UK, after...

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Jimmy's Hall

Ken Loach’s regular collaborators have said that Jimmy’s Hall will likely be the director’s last film, at least on the level of major projects. And his latest work is a big piece, both in scale and...

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Spies: Fact & Fiction/Edmund White, Brighton Dome

Espionage may have been the strict theme of the Brighton Festival’s Spies: Fact & Fiction (****), but the talk's perspective quickly widened towards broader aspects of statecraft, secrecy and...

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DVD: Man of Marble

Andrzej Wajda’s Man of Marble may well be the film that foretold the end of Communism in Poland. Its script gestation period lasted almost 14 years, starting from 1962, and though its official...

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An Autumn Afternoon

The classic Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu named a number of his films after the seasons, but he restricted himself to spring, summer and autumn. I don’t believe he ever titled one after winter - not...

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DVD: Reaching for the Moon

Films in which poetry is almost a character can often become bombastic, but there’s no danger of that in Bruno Barreto’s Reaching for the Moon, whose heroine is the repressed, rather quiet American...

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Silent Sonata

The forces of death and life come up against each other in the strange, somehow impressive Slovenian war drama Silent Sonata. I say “Slovenian” only because director Janez Burger hails from there,...

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In Bloom

The teenage heroines of In Bloom may be only 14, but in the world in which they live – the film is set in the Georgian capital Tbilisi in 1992 – they are forced to act much older, to take on...

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Cupcakes

There might seem to be a world of difference between Israeli director Eytan Fox’s last film, the coming-out-of-grief, intimate drama Yossi, and his new movie, the delicious, prove-what-you-can-do...

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