Filed under film review

Listen To Britain 75th Anniversary

Listen To Britain 75th Anniversary

This is an incredibly famous documentary made in the dark days of World War II by Humphrey Jennings as a means of uniting the United Kingdom. I’d heard a lot about it but never seen it before. Documentary maker Kevin Macdonald introduced it, describing it as a masterpiece; it is that and more. There is … Continue reading

The Tree of Wooden Clogs

The Tree of Wooden Clogs

This is one of the first foreign language films I saw, and despite its length, I remember being fascinated by it. Set in a farm settlement in 19th century Lombardy where the families have to give 2/3 of their produce to the landlord, it shows a year in the lives of 5 families. They live … Continue reading

Edith Walks

I have often wondered why the UK has never produced an equivalent of Kerouac, of Hunter S Thompson, the wild, crazy, drug and alcohol fuelled travellers and story tellers. Yes, I know Britain is a lot smaller. Any road trip would be a lot shorter, but here’s a film that comes close. It begins with … Continue reading

Stromboli

Stromboli

This is another film free to subscribers of the BFI. The film is important in its own right, but also for the scandal that accompanied it – Ingrid Bergman had written to the director Roberto Rosellini  as an admirer of his work, wishing to appear in a film. Their scandalous affair produced the actress Isabella … Continue reading

Unrelated

This film by Joanna Hogg features a very young Tom Hiddleston, probably the first of several they have done together. It’s an unusual take on relationships – 2 families are on summer holiday in Tuscany, when a 40something friend of the mother arrives. There is a lot of drinking, and the friend choses to hang … Continue reading

Stockholm My Love

This is a film by critic Mark Cousins described as a love story about Neneh Cherry’s home city. I am not a fan of Cousins: his ponderous narration of his film on his film on children’s cinema was painful. This film comes free with subscriptions to BFI player, but most people have better uses of … Continue reading

The Silence

The Silence

This is the second time Liam Neeson has played a 17th century Jesuit priest, but this is a far cry from his role in The Mission. The film opens with him watching his fellows being tortured for refusing to recant their faith. Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield were his students, inspired to follow him to … Continue reading

Fish Tank

Fish Tank

This is the third Andrea Arnold directed film I’ve watched, so I think that’s the whole of her output, and this is another intriguing story of a young woman at odds with the world. Mia lives on a council estate in Essex. Her single mum has a boyfriend, an early appearance of Michael Fassbender. The … Continue reading

La La Land? So-so

La La Land? So-so

The opening scene is huge set piece, an explosion of song and dance by a load of young people stuck in a traffic jam on an elevated road in LA. It’s bold, sassy and brilliantly done. Emma Stone is reading her lines and Ryan Gosling is being ridiculously cool listening to jazz. The traffic clears … Continue reading