Retrospective

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)

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 […]

I Am Cubist

I Am Cubist

I made a discovery a couple of weeks ago from which I am still reeling with surprise and elation. It was Mikhail Kalatozov’s 1964 film, I Am Cuba (Soy Cuba), made as the world recovered from the Bay of Pigs crisis and the United States learned to accept the presence of a Communist state just […]

Straight as a Bullitt

Straight as a Bullitt

I was taking another look at an old favourite the other week – Peter Yates’s classic police thriller, Bullitt (1968).  It is a movie I have seen some nine times – I used to catch it regularly on ITV late-night screenings at one time, and now of course I have the DVD, a particularly fine […]

A Kubrickian Odyssey

A Kubrickian Odyssey

Last month the Ipswich Film Society showed Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory, in part to commemorate the hundred years that have elapsed since the commencement of the First World War. I say ‘in part’, since we are, after all, a film society and there can be few self-respecting societies across the land that do not […]

Ah, quelle joie supreme!

Salon de musique

Stung by Patrice Leconte’s latest underwhelming effort (A Promise) at the IFT last month, I dusted off one of my old favourites, The Hairdresser’s Husband, to be reminded of former glories. For a moment there, back in the 90s, we seemed to have a new Truffaut and a new Michel Deville, all rolled into one. […]

Opening Credits

Opening Credits

What with exam marking and report writing it has been a pretty fallow month on the cinematic front so, if I may be permitted an indulgence, I thought I would take my cue from Sight & Sound’s very successful ‘closing shot’ series at the end of their monthly magazine and turn my attention to film […]

The Weary Death

The Weary Death

Death holds out his hands for the innocent babe’s life, but the heroine after some hesitation demurs.  This still, which you would have seen brought to life had you been at Ipswich Film Theatre on October 30th, seems to portray a glowering figure of Death, ready to snatch the infant from its mother.  It shows […]