Author Archive
Tabu and the Ghosts of Silent Cinema

Tabu and the Ghosts of Silent Cinema

I walked into the screening of Tabu expecting to see one of my favourite films of the year. If you follow any pre-release chatter on blogs or Twitter, you’ll likely have heard of this mysterious Portuguese object – a work praised for its originality and eccentricity, by a new auteur...
Sgt. Andy (Is Going to Help Me) - An appreciation of XTC in five notes

Sgt. Andy (Is Going to Help Me) – An appreciation of XTC in five notes

1. It’s becoming harder and harder to take seriously announcements that bands are breaking up. The new economics of the music business call for most artists to be consistently ‘active’, always ready to generate new products and content, or dare risk slipping from prominence. This extends to bands supposedly declared...
Turkish cinema: another time, another world

Turkish cinema: another time, another world

The themes of Reha Erdem’s Kosmos will be much recognisable to devotees of the transcendentalist-spiritual sector of world cinema, yet it is perhaps more interesting for granting us another timely cinematic look at Turkey, for a film-clientele newly enamoured with the regional visions of Nuri Bilge Ceylan. From a non-native...
Children of the Revolution: The Keys to Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom

Children of the Revolution: The Keys to Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson’s long-awaited new film, offers us an uncommonly expansive view of a New England island community, but it begins in a country house that is isolated and cut-off from the outside world in every sense. Anderson’s camera, determinedly stocked with Super 16mm film in a pervasively digital...
“If we could tell a film, then why make a film” - Jafar Panahi’s This is Not A Film

“If we could tell a film, then why make a film” – Jafar Panahi’s This is Not A Film

Like many an oppressive political regime before it, Iran has shown a horrifying effectiveness in marginalising its own artists. In 2010, a decade of increasing censorship and intimidation eventually came to a head for the Iranian New Wave great Jafar Panahi. He was arrested and branded an agitator against the...
The Oscars - what happened to the pomp and the buzz?

The Oscars – what happened to the pomp and the buzz?

Mirroring the wider film industry’s own identity crisis and financial restructuring, the Academy Awards currently finds itself in a curious phase of renewal. In its own eyes, and through the alterations it imposes on itself year after year, it is engaged in a constant struggle between attempting to single out...
What the Wolf watched in 2011

What the Wolf watched in 2011

Honourable Mentions: Poetry; Hugo; Mysteries of Lisbon; Weekend; Cave of Forgotten Dreams; A Separation. 10. The Salt of Life Gianni Di Gregorio wrote the much-loved Gomorrah [2008], and used his new found film-world clout to finance and produce his own personal projects. His first, Mid-August Lunch, was entertaining but hamstrung...
The Skin I Live In

The Skin I Live In

Pedro Almodóvar’s work possesses an unmistakable stylistic signature: a colourful, knowing fusion of Hitchcock and Sirk, compassionate portraits of strong women, and lush visuals harking back to the veneer of star-dominated golden age Hollywood. The Skin I Live In joins his output from the past decade in the same staggered...
Review: A Separation

Review: A Separation

Western filmgoers often seem quite surprised that an Iranian film industry exists at all. I remember one conversation I had when Certified Copy was about to come out, where I mentioned that its director Abbas Kiarostami was from Iran. “Iran?” my companion said surprisedly, “I thought everything was censored there.”...