Best New Releases. 2014 has been a year that I’ve genuinely struggled to keep up with in terms of new releases. The sheer wealth of material out there and the incessant obsession of online reviewers to desperately be up-to-date has been an interesting but ultimately fruitless exercise to try and mimic. Luckily, I’ve watched a good number of excellent films from all around the world … Continue reading 2014 Review and Top 10s.
A shifting sense of time, space, and place can bring huge advantages to fantastical works of fiction. The feeling that time is a folded concept, repeating and resetting in a quasi-ritualistic ceremony of life adds a sheen of the monumental to even the smallest and most intimate of dramas. This sheen is the absolute embodiment of the work of writer, Alan Garner, and is never … Continue reading Red Shift (Play For Today, 1978) – John Mackenzie (BFI).
This review contains minor plot details. When a body of work is inherently made up of intricately layered themes and hidden caches of ideas, surmising the work as a whole can be extremely difficult. This is never more prescient than in the BFI’s release of six films by French film writer and director, Alain Robbe-Grillet; a seemingly missing link in French cinema of the 1960s … Continue reading Alain Robbe- Grillet: Six Films, 1963-1974 (BFI).
The late 1970s and early 1980s occupy a strange realm in our current affections of nostalgia. While openly acknowledged as a problematic era for politics, riots and race/police relations being at an all time low, there has been a steady but gradual yearning for the age’s art. This isn’t just in the traditional sense of nostalgia but quite a specific relationship; the era is currently … Continue reading That Sinking Feeling (Bill Forsyth, 1979) – BFI Flipside.
In spite of working wearily outside of the French New Wave movement, Claude Sautet’s debut feature, Classe Tous Risques (1960), cannot help but evoke the cinematic environment bursting forth around it. While it may seem crass to spend time discussing more well known work in an article about a director whose work has been largely ignored outside of his national audience, it should also aim … Continue reading Classe Tous Risques (1960) – Claude Sautet (BFI)
In contrast to other cineastes that I follow online, I really don’t get out that much. While so many excellent film writers seem to be able to see every relevant new release as it comes (even before if they’re lucky enough to have time and money to get thoroughly into the festival circuit), it’s actually a rarity for me to be able to get into … Continue reading 2013 in Film.
Mythological Introduction by Philip Larkin. A white girl lay on the grass With her arms held out for love; her goldbrown hair fell down her face, And her two lips move: See, I am the whitest cloud that strays Through a deep sky: I am your senses’ crossroads, where the four seasons lie. She rose up in the middle of the lawn And spread her … Continue reading Village Green Repression in Film, Television and Philip Larkin.
Director Digby Rumsey sees his BFI DVD debut this month on the Flipside release of Leslie Megahey’s Schalcken the Painter. Rumsey is a traditional BFI director, coming from the same ranks as Terence Davies, Bill Douglas and Peter Greenaway. His work in Gothic short films, especially adaptations of work by Lord Dunsany, places him firmly in the British Gothic traditions of directors such as Jonathan … Continue reading Interview With Digby Rumsey (BFI Flipside, The Pledge).
The notion of gothic is quite rightly taking over the BFI at the moment. Their gothic season is looking set to be its most all encompassing and vast seasonal retrospective for some time. The gothic tint has found its way into a number of avenues including its DVD range. The Flipside label always seemed fit for the sort of gothic releases still residing in the … Continue reading Schalcken The Painter – Leslie Megahey (BFI Flipside).
The BBC experienced a real golden age for television horror during the late 1960s and 1970s. Almost every year seems to have produced an array of horror delights, ranging from ghost stories of all types to full blown, psychological nightmares. Though now over half of the series is missing from the archives, 1972’s horror anthology Dead of Night and its surviving three episodes represent a … Continue reading BBC Dead of Night (1972) – BFI