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It's Hateful

It’s Hateful

I am not sure what is worse, the narcissistic assumption that we are as interested in his opus numbers as we might have been in Fellini’s, or the unbridled and increasing tendency to defile his models. Whereas Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, and even Jackie Brown, elevated their pulp material into something more measured and […]

A Good Year

A Good Year

Peter Mayle’s book, A Year in Provence, was a newstand hit at the same time I spent my own very formative year there, and so I resisted reading it and, for a long time, resisted watching Scott’s screen version of it. (I was there first, and I wasn’t having anyone else telling me how gorgeous […]

Carole, ma parole!

Carole, ma parole!

She lit up the screen tonight at Ipswich Film Society, a true artist and comedienne of the front rank and… what a dress! (To Be or Not to Be)

The Force Awakens - or is it a recurring nightmare?

The Force Awakens – or is it a recurring nightmare?

Having been drawn by some irresistible force (sic) to visit J. J. Abrams Star Wars reboot (http://www.cinefileonline.co.uk/cinefile-database/7476/), I was underwhelmed by the storytelling, even if some shots, like the last one, attained some sort of mythic greatness. What kept coming to mind was Oppenheimer’s famous misquote: ‘I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds’. Now […]

Close to Heaven

Close to Heaven

I have seen the best film of 2015 and its name is Carol. It is as close to perfection as anything you could hope to see, short of a re-run of Doctor Zhivago. It’s a love story that does not forget the other characters, like Far from Heaven did not, and it had me squirming […]

The astronaut and the funambulist

The astronaut and the funambulist

Two movies just seen, The Martian (http://www.cinefileonline.co.uk/cinefile-database/7456/) and The Walk (http://www.cinefileonline.co.uk/cinefile-database/7455/), exemplify the symbiotic relationship Hollywood now has with CGI. It is hard to conceive of anything that cannot be realized for the screen, with the possible exception of the human face, which still resists digital counterfeiting. At least, however, in these two cases the technology went […]

Sicario

Sicario

http://www.cinefileonline.co.uk/cinefile-database/7441/ Just caught Denis Villeneuve’s taut new thriller, a much needed slice of intelligent film-making for the multiplexes, and another beefed-up role for Emily Blunt after Edge of Tomorrow.

Face of a star

Face of a star

Just saw Face of a Fugitive on Film Four, and what a great B-movie Western it is. But more than that, it caused me to reflect as I watched Fred MacMurray’s effortlessly charismatic performance, on how every great American star tried his hand at the genre, and nearly always came up smelling of roses: Wayne […]

High Noon and Carl Foreman

High Noon and Carl Foreman

So The Duke despised it (‘Whoever heard of a sheriff running around asking for help against a bunch of gunmen?’), Hawks hated it (not enough action to keep it going), and then there was all the ‘pro-Commie’, liberal belly-aching, anti-Carl Foreman thing; some even said it wasn’t a Western at all. But then Ike loved it […]

Minion morceau

Minion morceau

As my French colleague’s pronunciation of their name never fails to remind me, the Minions are nothing if not cute (Fr. mignon).  And this third film featuring the droll little critters trades heavily on that fact.  Indeed, there is a great deal of trading going on here, merchandising not included. Their language, remarkably for a ‘gallophobic’ […]