thu 30/05/2024

film directors

Blu-ray: Werner Herzog - Radical Dreamer

Weird, quirky Hollywood Werner can obscure the fierce visionary who warred with Kinski in the jungle. This is even true of many of his own features since moving to LA which, like his peer Wenders, usually pale next to his reverent, supernal...

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This Blessed Plot review - a right old English carry on

The hefty Essex builder Keith Martin, who plays a version of himself, as do most of the non-professional actors in Mark Isaacs' comic docufiction This Blessed Plot, is no Olivier or Branagh. But he puts brio and a touch of bombast into the dying...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Old Oak

Margaret Thatcher’s witless assertion that “there is no such thing as society” dates back to 1987; Ken Loach’s The Old Oak offers a belated but powerful rebuttal.His film highlights several discrete societies coexisting in a depressed Durham mining...

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Best of 2023: Film

Numbers indicate if entries are listed in order of preferenceSaskia BaronAnatomy of a FallBrokerFallen LeavesJoylandKillers of the Flower MoonOtto Baxter: Not a F**ing Horror StoryReturn to SeoulSt OmerScrapperA Thousand and OneThe reason I go to...

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Powell and Pressburger: A Celtic storm brewing

“Nothing is stronger than true love,” a young laird says to a headstrong young woman in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s I Know Where I’m Going! (1945), his voice heard above the sounds of wind and waves. She replies, “No, nothing.”Even as...

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Powell and Pressburger: In Prospero's Room

There’s a thread of bright magic running through British cinema, from Powell and Pressburger through Nic Roeg, Derek Jarman and Lynne Ramsay, and it’s wrapped around Jarman’s last home like fisherman’s rope.His friend and collaborator Tilda Swinton...

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Napoleon review - Sir Ridley Scott's historical epic is wide but not deep

Sir Ridley Scott has taken umbrage at the French critics who weren’t too impressed with his new movie. Not only do they not like his film, but the French “don’t even like themselves”, according to the dyspeptic auteur.But I feel our French cousins...

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May December review - a queasy take on sexual exploitation

There’s much to admire  here – May December features impressive performances from Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman, and director Todd Haynes shows his mastery of classic Sirkian style. But disappointingly, this comes across as a...

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How to Have Sex review - compelling journey of a vulnerable teen

Molly Manning Walker surprised herself by winning the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes this year with her rites-of-passage feature, How to Have Sex. Why the surprise? It’s a compelling debut.For the first five minutes, you might decide you won’t...

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Powell and Pressburger: Spy masters

Alfred Hitchcock and Michael Powell are, almost certainly, Britain’s greatest directors. Hitchcock was slightly older, and entered the film business earlier; in fact, Powell worked as a stills photographer on Hitchcock’s Champagne and...

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Michael Powell interview - 'I had no idea that critics were so innocent'

Michael Powell fell in love with his celluloid mistress in 1921 when he was 16. It’s a love affair that he’s conducted for 65 years. At 81, he’s not stopped dreaming of getting behind the camera again. At Cannes this year he hinted at plans to make...

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Martin Scorsese's 'Mean Streets' - a triumph of personal filmmaking

Ask someone to pick their favourite moment from a film by Martin Scorsese, something defining.Many would cite De Niro’s memorable "you talkin’ to me?" challenge to his own leering, gun-toting reflection in Taxi Driver (1976); others, the...

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