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Tarantino’s Eight and a Half

Quentin Tarantino’s movie #8 ‘and a half’ (Death Proof being only half a show) is, appropriately enough, both a film about Hollywood, and a story of a career in crisis (cf. Otto e mezzo). One wonders whether he is aware of this coincidence (let’s not misuse the word ‘irony’ – unless he is not, in […]

Isabelle de jour

Isabelle de jour

Just seen Ozon’s Jeune & Jolie, and found it to be as elegant and mixed up as its young heroine, uncertain whether it is offering a comment on the prevalent sexualisation of youngsters’ lives leading to frigid wantonness, or a Buñuelian pièce à outrance with tongue partly in cheek. Either way, it never quite convinces, […]

All's well that celebrates Wells

All’s well that celebrates Wells

  It is customary for Ipswich Film Society to hold an end of season event around this time of year, and on 28th April in Ipswich Library lecture hall Sylvia Hardy gave an informed presentation of the career in film of H. G. Wells.  This is something of a specialism for Ms Hardy, who is […]

2014 - the Hollywood year, or the imitation game

2014 – the Hollywood year, or the imitation game

  As the media’s pundits perch, Janus-like, on the threshold of the New Year, and consider the fruits of 2014 while anticipating the pleasures to come – which read ever more like some galactic football results – you would think it remiss of me not to do something akin. And as I look ruefully at […]

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 […]

Anglo-American Hustle

Anglo-American Hustle

Yep, it’s that time of year again, and has been since Christmas.  We have had the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs, with the inimitably imitable Stephen Fry, still the best of hosts, despite the occasionally misguided off-the-wall fancy that brings back memories of A Little Fry and Laurie.  You may remember that 12 Years a […]

Elf-girl Power!

Elf-girl Power!

I went to see the second instalment of Peter Jackson’s epic visualisation of Tolkien’s The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug – the other day.  It is clearer than before that he is not just concerned with translating the book to the screen – in all its detail – but with providing a bridge to […]

Sorrentino Roma

Sorrentino Roma

The cinematic event of last September was for this viewer undoubtedly Paolo Sorrentino’s new film, La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty).  This portrait of a writer in the throes of middle-aged ennui recalled the extravagances of the director’s 2008 Il divo and had me reaching for the likes of Fellini in search of comparators.  All of […]

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 […]

Clooney's gravitas

Clooney’s gravitas

Are you, like this writer, a George Clooney fan, I wonder?  During the last month I happen to have seen a number of films in which he had a hand: Gravity, a stunning exercise in effects work at the service of a tense scenario and expertly calibrated star performance (Bullock’s); Argo, last year’s Oscar winner, […]