Filed under film review

Liverpool Biennial – ABC Cinema

After struggling to focus on my writing over the summer, I waited till the schools were back and prices down to escape to Liverpool for the tail end of their festival, in the hope of kick-starting my brain. My first stop was this GradeII listed Art Deco cinema, now gloriously ruinous, dimly lit, with artworks … Continue reading

Endurance for Film Censors

This is from the i a few weeks ago: It is not often that the British Board of Film Classification finds itself in the headlines. Last November, however, the UK’s film and video regulator was unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight when a frustrated film-maker came up with a unique way to protest agains the “prohibitively … Continue reading

The Lobster

This is a movie that can only make it on the indy circuit, it is so brilliantly bonkers. It stars Coin Farrell as a short sighted David, a single man sent to a hotel for a last chance to find a mate before being turned into an animal of his choice. We know the threat … Continue reading

Gone With The Wind

I have just staggered bleary eyed from a screening of this epic – 4 hours plus a 10 minute break, and it may well still be the greatest films ever made. I saw it years ago and it was the scenes of Atlanta under siege that stayed with me: the railroad yard full of injured … Continue reading

The Claim

I watched this as part of my research for wife selling, as this is based on Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge, in which a man sells his wife and child for a gold claim, becomes fantastically wealthy before his women reappear and he has to deal with his past actions. The scenery is spectacular, … Continue reading

Slow West

This film comes highly lauded from Sundance, and with Michael Fassbender promises to be rather special – a modern take on the endlessly being reinvented Western. It is the story of Scot without much of an accent Jay Cavendish who is in search of his lost love, falls in with Fassbinder’s Silas Sellick who he … Continue reading

Gran Torino

I  missed this film when it came out, with the great Clint Eastwood on both sides of the camera, so seems to have been a story close to his heart. What put me off in the past was that the plot seemed a bit cheesy, a grumpy old guy who comes to like his Asian … Continue reading


I’ve heard mixed reports on this film by Abderrahmane Sissako, and I almost didn’t see it, but I’m glad I did. Sort of. It is a beautifully made film, about an area taken over by Islamic extremists who are mostly shown as clowns so has drawn parallels with Chris Morris’s brilliant black comedy. Four Lions. … Continue reading

Far From the Madding Crowd

The 1960s version of this Thomas Hardy classic has been restored but I missed it, so had to settle for the new, shorter version with Carey Mulligan as the strong, independent countrywoman choosing between the dashing young soldier, a middle aged gent (Michael Sheen) or shepherd Michael Schoenaerts. I was surprised at how good this … Continue reading


I’ve been dying to see this film ever since I heard Jon Stewart was both writing and directing it. It seems to be part of a general movement of comedians into straight drama, and a lot of them are doing a good job of it. Stewart deals with this heavy subject – of the kidnapping … Continue reading