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Goodfellas

Readers know that I am no admirer of contemporary American cinema. However there is one genre where they lead the world: the mobster movie. We have had back and white era classics such as  Scarface, White Heat, The Petrified Forest, The Asphalt Jungle. There was a significant change in 1972 with [...]

June 6, 2014 // 0 Comments

Those were the days

I don’t know why or how, but I was reminded today of the famous roadside café scene from Five Easy Pieces (1970), directed by Bob Rafleson, one of Jack Nicholson’s early great movies. Looking at it again, one is reminded both by how good Jack was in those days – and indeed, how [...]

June 6, 2014 // 0 Comments

Taxi Driver (revisited)

It’s always interesting to revisit a seminal movie and see whether it has stood the test of time. Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1975) is regarded as a classic but 40 years on I am not so sure. The story is of a psychologically-damaged Vietnam vet Travers Bickle (Robert de Niro) who, [...]

May 27, 2014 // 0 Comments

An old friend drops by

After lunch at the coast yesterday, I spent some time sitting with my father on the terrace overlooking his lawn, ‘chewing the cud’ together. With thunderstorms and torrential rain predicted for today, the weather couldn’t quite make up its mind and was alternating weak sunshine with dark [...]

May 22, 2014 // 0 Comments

Two Faces of January

Yesterday I travelled to the south coast to see Robert Tickler who wanted my view of a director whose film Robert was interested in financing. Dear old Robert was in jovial form, joshing with a plumber who was repairing his washing machine. “45 quid, Neil” he said, ” … less [...]

May 21, 2014 // 0 Comments

Sporting films

Charles Thursby  has identified the main problem with sporting films, namely that you cannot suspend disbelief that the actor is the athlete. Some have crossed the barrier successfully, notably Robert  di Niro in Raging Bull or Russell Crowe in The Cinderella Man, but the boxing genre works [...]

May 8, 2014 // 0 Comments

The perils of authenticity

For some reason which escapes me, yesterday I spent some time contemplating Chariots Of Fire, the 1981 British Oscar-notching [seven nominations and four wins including Best Film and Best Screenplay] movie and specifically what disappointed me about it. Three decades’ worth of distance may allow [...]

May 7, 2014 // 0 Comments

Religious Film List

 I would term these as movies where religion, faith or lack of it, or a religious character, play an important role.   Of Gods and Men 2010 Xavier Beauvais A stirring tale  of a monastic order in a quandary as to whether to go or stay in the face of fundamentalist terrorists, in which the [...]

April 25, 2014 // 0 Comments

Blue is the warmest colour

I finally got to see this controversial film. I left it with mixed views. The story is of Adele who is unsatisfied sexually and emotionally until she meets Emma. She is a suppressed lesbian and this is drawn out by Emma a free spirit of a painter. The relationship is intense both physically and [...]

April 24, 2014 // 0 Comments

Religious films

I was searching around for a topic for my film list and was greatly aided by Front Row, the Radio 4 arts programme, which considered this genre. It put the theme in historical context with the two celebrated versions of the Ten Commandments by Cecil B De Mille. It continued to explore sun & [...]

April 19, 2014 // 0 Comments

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