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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

Fall of the Roman Empire

Yesterday I had to babysit for the grandchildren. They are good kids, by which I mean as long as they can play AngryBirds they leave me alone. I was going to work on some articles but saw that the Samuel Bronstein sword and sandal epic Fall of the Roman  Empire was on the television. The critics [...]

April 17, 2014 // 0 Comments

Les Valseuses 1974

In the Seventies our set of Jewish adolescents went to see this daring movie with its explicit scenes of sex and nudity. One of our group, being derided as prim  although all of us were inexperienced, did not like the film and after she left she came in for some patronising criticism. Forty years [...]

April 11, 2014 // 0 Comments

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