Archive for May, 2014

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A Man and a Woman (Claude Lelouch, 1966)

May 31, 2014

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In a driving scene roughly thirty minutes into A Man and a Woman, the host on a station playing from the car radio says, “I can tell you right away that the weather forecast is rainy. There’ll be rain all over France.” He’s certainly not wrong, as Claude Lelouch’s Cannes prize-winner might be the drizzliest film ever made, with light rain, or at least overcast skies, pervading as backdrop for most of its exterior scenes; even those without have either snow or the dimming light of dusk to encourage its characters to bundle up. It’s a film where the warmth of an emerging romance happens amid perpetual chill – Baby, It’s Cold Outside was apparently not a working title…

Click for the full piece for Sound On Sight, as part of a spotlight on Palme D’or/Grand Prix winners in the 1960s

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EIFF 2014 Preview

May 30, 2014

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I wrote a preview article on this year’s very exciting line-up for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which you can read here.

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Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman, 2014)

May 29, 2014

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Based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s more memorably titled novel All You Need Is Kill, director Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow is basically a mash-up of existing sci-fi efforts, from story elements to deliberate casting choices. This, however, doesn’t diminish the film’s clever, playful pleasures one bit, and there is plenty of imagination in its thrilling execution…

Click for the full review for The Skinny

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Boomerang! (Elia Kazan, 1947)

May 26, 2014

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Boomerang!, from 1947, is an early example of ‘docu-noir’ – a sub-genre in which facts from a real-life incident are used as framework for exploring film noir staples like violence and corruption. The street murder of a priest opens the film and sends shockwaves through the small Connecticut town of its setting. Police are pressured to issue swift justice, and all witnesses from that night identify an antsy out-of-towner and WWII vet as the gunman…

Click for the full review for The Skinny

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Seen Your Video #36: Richard Burton Playing Bane and Talking About Concrete

May 21, 2014

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On the latest episode of Seen Your Video, Chris Ward and I mainly discuss Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. We also take a look at The Double, The Zero Theorem, and Pain & Gain.

Stream the episode here.
Alternatively, you can download the episode or subscribe to the podcast by looking up Seen Your Video on iTunes.

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Godzilla (Gareth Edwards, 2014)

May 15, 2014

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Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla revival is a beautifully directed, perfectly paced blockbuster that effortlessly veers between enormity and quieter, almost transcendental, moments. It inherits more than a trick or two from prime Spielberg and fully earns favourable comparisons to the likes of Jurassic Park and Close Encounters of the Third Kind in its balancing of awe-inspiring spectacle and the accompanying terror induced by its world-altering premise…

Click for the full review for The Skinny

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The Two Faces of January (Hossein Amini, 2014)

May 14, 2014

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Patricia Highsmith adaptation The Two Faces of January is very much in the narrative mould of the author’s familiar brand of Mediterranean noir. Athens tour guide Rydal (Isaac) befriends the wealthy Chester MacFarland (Mortensen) and his wife (Dunst). He then aids them when Chester’s shady past sees the pair needing to flee the country. Money seems to drive part-time scam artist Rydal, but ulterior motives soon reveal themselves…

Click for the full review for The Skinny