mon 23/04/2018

BFI

DVD/Blu-ray: Bergman's The Magic Flute

Opera on film's most magical offering, better by some way than Joseph Losey's cinematically tricksy Don Giovanni, at last makes it to Region 2 in this BFI dual-format release. I've watched Ingmar Bergman's sublime response to Mozart many times, and...

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DVD/Blu-ray: An Actor's Revenge

Japanese director Kon Ichikawa’s An Actor’s Revenge is something of a one-off. Even in the context of the prolific director’s career variety, it’s an unusually stylised and visually captivating story of high artifice – there’s rich melodrama in its...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Shiraz

The subtitle of Franz Osten’s 1928 film, A Romance of India, says it all: this Indian silent film is a tremendous watch, a revelation of screen energy and visual delight. An epic love story-cum-weepie with lashings of action and intrigue thrown in,...

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DVD/Blu-ray: When the Wind Blows

Adapted by Raymond Briggs from his best-selling graphic novel, When the Wind Blows was released in 1986 and stands up so well that you’re inclined to forgive its flaws: namely David Bowie’s leaden theme song and an abundance of fairly flat black...

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DVD: A Journey Through French Cinema

Bertrand Tavernier’s trip through French cinema is shot through with the love of someone who has grown up with cinema and knows how to communicate his passion in a way that is totally engaging. The three hours-plus that he delivers make you want to...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Wages of Fear

The opening shot sets the tone for what follows: a pair of duelling cockroaches attached to a string, tormented by a bored child. In 1953’s The Wages of Fear, we quickly sense that Henri-Georges Clouzot’s characters are similarly powerless. His...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Frantz Fanon - Black Face White Mask

The much-respected visual artist Isaac Julien made his name as one of the first great black British filmmakers, not least with Looking for Langston (1989) and Young Soul Rebels (1991). While Steve McQueen moved from gallery art and installations to...

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LFF 2017: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool / Professor Marston and the Wonder Women reviews - stellar turns by Annette Bening and Rebecca Hall

Screen biographies are tricky things to pull off when the person portrayed has left behind an indelible screen presence. It was hard to love Michelle Williams dragging up for My Week with Marilyn; Grace of Monaco was far from Nicole Kidman...

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LFF 2017: Last Flag Flying review - anti-war film without a bite

Richard Linklater’s sort-of sequel to one of the great American films of the Seventies, shown at London Film Festival, stars Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell and Laurence Fishburne as old Vietnam buddies reunited as America is embroiled in another...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Life Is Sweet

Sweet isn’t the right word; in Mike Leigh’s 1990 film, life is unfair, frustrating and confusing by turns. Though, despite the darkness, Life Is Sweet exudes positivity and remains one of Leigh’s funniest, most quotable features.Many of the best...

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DVD: Every Picture Tells a Story

James Scott’s filmography is wide-ranging, including the 1982 short film A Shocking Accident, based on the Graham Greene story, which won an Academy Award the following year, and other works on social questions. But these documentaries, several...

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God's Own Country review - a raw, rural masterpiece

There are many outstanding things in writer-director Francis Lee’s remarkable first feature, and prime among them is the sense that nature herself has a distinct presence in the story. It brings home how rarely we see life on the land depicted in...

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