Kanal – Andrzej Wajda (1957).

It’s the last few days of the Warsaw uprising and the resistance of the third platoon is down to its last few men and women; made up of a motley bunch of different fighters all with a common cause of disrupting the Nazi occupiers at any cost.  Reading this short summation, it’s very easy to imagine Andrzej Wajda’s 1957 film Kanal, as some sort of boys-own romp … Continue reading Kanal – Andrzej Wajda (1957).

Falstaff: Chimes At Midnight – Orson Welles (1965)

Like most films by Orson Welles, Chimes At Midnight (1965) sits uncomfortably in the shadow of his debut film; Citizen Kane.  However this is a view often dismissed by viewers that actually take the time out to watch the rest of the Welles canon and a viewing of any number of his films will quash the ridiculous criticism of achieving success too early on. Chimes At Midnight is an … Continue reading Falstaff: Chimes At Midnight – Orson Welles (1965)

Paths Of Glory – Stanley Kubrick (1955)

The pointlessness of war and the slaughter of men at the word of fools at the top of the hill has been a poignant and depressingly timeless subject of war films since their very inception.  One of the most powerful of these films is Stanley Kubrick’s Paths Of Glory(1955) which portrays the most infuriating yet believable tales of injustice. The film deliberately accentuates the contrasts between … Continue reading Paths Of Glory – Stanley Kubrick (1955)

The Tomb of Ligeia – Roger Corman (1964)

Roger Corman’s adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories are just as vital to the classic horror canon as the films by Hammer and Amicus productions.  Their influence is vast and the number of big names to come out from under Corman’s wing is monumental.  Having set up a distinctive style to filming Poe’s work by shooting them all on soundstages, Corman sort to go … Continue reading The Tomb of Ligeia – Roger Corman (1964)

If… – Lindsay Anderson (1968)

That natural progression from film critic to filmmaker seems to be a route rarely traversed these days.  The natural opposite of this is often a more comfortable way to explore both the medium and the craft, with many filmmakers writing books specifically after they’ve established a film career.  Along with renowned critic and filmmaker, Francois Truffaut, director and critic Lindsay Anderson is one of the … Continue reading If… – Lindsay Anderson (1968)

Night of the Hunter – Charles Laughton (1955)

Charles Laughton is perhaps better known for being a strong character actor than a prolific director, yet his lone directorial effort shows an eye for beautiful visuals, fleshed out characterisation and heady mix of genres and styles.  Often lumped in with far more generic film noir fair, 1955’s Night of the Hunter is far more than a simple gangster noir or Raymond Chandler adaptation.  In fact it’s so far … Continue reading Night of the Hunter – Charles Laughton (1955)

Bicycle Thieves – Vittorio De Sica (1948)

Bicycle Thieves, or Ladri Di Biciclette in its original Italian title, is a genre defining and trend setting film by maverick Italian director Vittorio De Sica. Its importance to the Italian Neo-Realism movement is unquestionable but it seems that more discourse is raised about its influence on later films than the actual content itself these days. Its gritty coating means that it spearheads the Neo-Realism … Continue reading Bicycle Thieves – Vittorio De Sica (1948)

The Third Man – Carol Reed (1949)

Film-Noir is a genre so confidently dominated by Hollywood that it takes a film of monumental brilliance to find success in the genre when made outside the valleys of oranges and glamour.  France has Henri-Georges Clouzout’s Les Diaboliques, Germany has Fritz Lang’s M but here in the U.K. we have a Film-Noir that stands higher in the polls than all of the American efforts to grace the genre … Continue reading The Third Man – Carol Reed (1949)

Kwaidan – Masaki Kobayashi – (1964)

Thanks to films like Nakata’s Ringu and Shimizu’s Ju-On (The Grudge), Japanese horror is part of the popular pantheon of horrific cinema.  Many ghost films of the West borrow heavily from these two films but because of their enormous success, it seems that Kaiden (Japanese ghost stories) of the past are often overlooked for their more thrillingly modern counterparts. Looking past this injustice, it can be stated that Masaki … Continue reading Kwaidan – Masaki Kobayashi – (1964)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Tobe Hooper (1974)

When looking into the history of film titles, there surely cannot be one more controversial and loaded than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? It’s a vicious, daring piece of marketing that implies what’s in store is something altogether grim and deeply disturbing as well as graphically violent.  Thankfully the film in question is far more intelligent than that and is most definitely not to be confused with the recent … Continue reading The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Tobe Hooper (1974)