Film Review

Sex, Pills and Crazy Women in American Movies

Scott Winfield Sublett Apart from Covid vaccines, the big pharmaceutical story in the US these days is the saga of Purdue Pharma, which has filed for bankruptcy and sooner or later will pay an enormous settlement to compensate for their wildly addictive pill OxyContin. It’s basically opium, peddled by street-level dealers in lab coats known as physicians. Historically, psychotropic drugs …

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Chaplin’s Comedy The Kid Turns 100

Scott Winfield Sublett Screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz said of Charlie Chaplin, “If people don’t sit at Chaplin’s feet, he goes out and stands where they’re sitting.” Of course, Mankiewicz might have been a bit envious. He, after all, wrote only one masterpiece, and that one not entirely solo (despite the confabulations of Mank director David Fincher). Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, meanwhile, …

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The Mole Agent

Gill Fickling Do not watch this film if you are on the verge of committing yourself, or being committed, to an old people’s home. It will make you inclined to fall on your sword instead. That being said, if you feel like a good laugh followed by a good cry, then this is the film for you. A quirky documentary …

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Peter Doig Talks to Karl Ove Knausgård About Edvard Munch

Mary Fletcher I had not thought there was a connection between the work of Doig and Munch, but it seems Peter Doig consciously gave his picture Echo Lake similarities to the background in Edvard Munch’s Ashes. There is a similar use of swishy shapes of paint and horizontal bands of composition. There’s a similar sort of intensity and memorable imagery. …

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The Marvel-ous Future of Cinema: How One Corporation’s Pseudo-Mythical Universe Will Control the Rest of History

Scott Winfield Sublett Earlier this year I bought as much as I could afford of pandemic-depressed Disney stock at $101. I’m a university professor, so… not much. But if it gets down to 101 again, which it won’t, buy, buy, buy, because the future is written and Disney owns it. Their domination of world culture through gobbling up folk tales …

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Who Kick Ass

Scott Winfield Sublett Something happened the other day that made me realize yet again how quickly and completely cinema’s idea of the erotic has changed. A 30-ish science fiction writer of my acquaintance had just watched, on my recommendation because I felt he needed cheering up, Howard Hawks’ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in which Marilyn Monroe sings Diamonds Are a Girl’s …

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On Behalf of the Planet

Patricia Wilson Smith On 12 September this year painter and performance artist Ken Turner took to the streets of St Ives in Cornwall to express his outrage and concern for the future of humanity and the planet. At a healthy advanced age, Ken’s crusading spirit is, if anything, stronger: his will to be heard more determined. In the past decade …

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BAIT

Mary Fletcher   Why does Mark Jenkin use black and white film which he develops himself? Is it because it looks old or suggests a shoestring budget or for aesthetic reasons? This is a film set in Newlyn, Cornwall – a fishing town where tourism has grown. The Cornish characters have authentic accents and are local people, not professional actors. …

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A Real Joy

Lynda Green   Take a break from the harsh realities of life as we now know it by treating yourself to two hours of pure escape in the form of the 2019 Italian film Pinocchio. Directed by Matteo Garrone, it is shot in beautiful Tuscany and stars Frederico Ielapi as the most endearing puppet you will ever come across and …

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Mierle Laderman Ukeles: ‘Maintenance/ Survival / and its Relation to Freedom’

Mary Fletcher Mierle Laderman Ukeles mentions names familiar from the avant garde of the 1960s – Pollock, Duchamp and Rothko – pointing out that that they didn’t change diapers and that when she had a baby daughter she was suddenly in a world of maintenance, involving both mind-bending boredom and the rediscovery of the world as her baby did. In …

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Every joke hides a truth

by Al Jirikowic, Washington DC Editor Joker, the latest film by Todd Phillips, is a work of art. All the characters carry modern American ‘allegorical weight’. They are metaphorical constructs. I saw compounded layers of inherent mental-social problems, the deft compilation of ‘mental glazes’ layered, as a fine Renaissance painting presents itself, as the actors intimated — simultaneously building cross-referential …

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Joker is number 9

Synopsis: Quentin Tarantino is one of my personal idols, but with his latest he let me down. The comix genre on the big screen wasn’t my cup of tea. To begin with I studied filmmaking at Harvard in the academic year 1994-95 under the tutelage of the renowned Yugoslav (quite an anachronism at the time) director Dušan Makavejev. I saw …

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Film Review – Wise Blood

Wise Blood is a Gothic drama, shot through with dry humour and set in the Deep South It is based on the novel by Flannery O’Connor and directed by John Huston, who also takes a cameo part. Hazel Motes, played by Brad Dourif, is a disillusioned young man back from the Second World War, Dourif’s performance is intense, his blue …

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Beauty and the Beast

In 1946 John Cocteau took this fairy story and made of it a film for adults, it was to become a classic, one of his most famous films. Made in black and white, and with music by Georges Auric, it is wonderfully strewn with magical moments, stone heads on plinths, the eyes following the goings–on,; a door which introduces itself, …

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