RETROSPECTIVE: The L-Shaped Room [DVD/BluRay]

Edwardian hypocrisy and post-war deprivation are the order of the day in Brian Forbes’ The L-Shaped Room.

Based on Lynne Reid Banks’ book of the same name, the film follows Jane (an Oscar-nominated Leslie Caron), a twenty-seven year-old French émigré who arrives in early-60s London.…

Little Grey Celluloid: Some Thoughts on Poirot in Film (and TV)

So, Brexit…

When Agatha Christie conceived of perhaps her most iconic creation, her choice of nationality for him carried with it a certain European esprit de corps. It was 1916, though the first novel wasn’t published until 1920, and Belgium was then occupied by the forces of imperial Germany.…

London Film Festival 2017 – An Update

Okay, so, I’m just under a week into London Film Festival 2017 and, to be honest, I’m already knackered (boo hoo, woe is me, right?).

As it stands, I’ve seen thirteen films; which isn’t that many compared to previous years, but I’m struggling to find the head-space to write about any one of them.…

RETROSPECTIVE: Carrie (1976), The Shining, & IT [Stephen King On Screen @ The BFI]

Nightmares come in many forms, and it seems like most of our collective ones emanated from the subconscious of a seventy-year-old Mainiac.1

With his central themes of small-town corruption and loss of innocence, Stephen King he might well have become a latter-day Shirley Jackson, beloved of the literati,2 had he simply stayed around from pulp.…

RETROSPECTIVE: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (3D)

“Four billion human lives ended; August 29th, 1997. The survivors of the nuclear fire called the war Judgement Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare: the war against the machines”.

Out of all the films I’ve seen in my lifetime, and I like to think I’ve seen a few, perhaps none is as indelibly printed in my memory as James Cameron’s magnum opus, Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

RETROSPECTIVE: New Battles without Honour or Humanity

Few things can be relied on to sell a movie like sex and blood.

Packaging is, however, important; especially in terms of genre. As audiences slowly grow disenchanted with old reliables – as Americans did with Westerns and musicals back in the mid-‘60s – it’s important for studios to get one step ahead.…

RETROSPECTIVE: Desire, criminality, & hope in Prick Up Your Ears & Victim

2017 marks fifty years since the Sexual Offences Act was introduced in the UK, which led to the partial decriminalization of male homosexuality.

It’s also, coincidentally, fifty years since the death of taboo-busting gay playwright Joe Orton.

The BFI is currently presenting two separate seasons inspired by these events, Gross Indecency and Orton: Obscenities in Suburbia.…

RETROSPECTIVE: The Swimmer in the Age of Trump

‘When you talk about The Swimmer will you talk about yourself?’

So runs the poster tagline of Frank Perry’s sunny, psychologically fraught 1960 melodrama. While it’s true the film’s themes do have, if you’ll pardon the pun, a certain currency, they do seem particularly relevant in this; the so-called Age of Trump.…

RETROSPECTIVE: The Battle of Algiers, or The Revolution Will Not Be Simplified (Christopher Nolan Presents @ BFI)

The Battle of Algiers is perhaps the timeliest film about terrorism ever produced – from half a century ago.

When it was first released back in 1966, Gillo Pontecorvo’s depiction of the eponymous conflict was both praised and condemned for its scrupulously balanced presentation of terrorist and government atrocities during the French occupation of Algiers.…

Edgar Wright Presents Car Car Land @ The BFI

What is it about the image of a lone professional sat behind the wheel of a car that’s so damn cool?

Laconic, self-sufficient, in control. The timeless masculine elegance of a classic American muscle car certainly doesn’t hurt none.

Of course, they’re not always alone.…