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).
From its opening declarations, John Akomfrah’s documentary on Stuart Hall, The Stuart Hall Project (2013) explicitly acknowledges that it is going to be condensing fifty years of complex history and ideology into its relatively short running time. Akomfrah achieves this in an unusual but extraordinary way by linking the ideas and history of the public intellectual with his passion for the music of Miles Davis. … Continue reading The Stuart Hall Project – John Akomfrah (BFI).
This review contains spoilers. Fluidity is rife within Antonio Campos’ 2012 film Simon Killer. From its character’s perception of reality to its editing and direction, the film seems in a constant state flux, moving in and out of ideas and emotions as easily as its sociopath protagonist. For a film with such a violent, blunt title, it almost betrays the melancholic, rarely visceral content of … Continue reading Simon Killer (Antonio Campos, 2012) – Masters of Cinema.
It’s an oft repeated dictum that British director, Humphrey Jennings, had a gradual decline of quality within his work towards the end of the Second World War. It’s repeated several times in the booklet of this excellent BFI release but, like many of the others who start with this statement, there is a “but”. That “but” is that Jennings’ weaker work is in fact not … Continue reading The Complete Humphrey Jennings Volume 3 (A Diary for Timothy) – BFI
This review contains minor spoilers. The final instalment of the BBC Ghost Stories sees a return to form from the haphazard final days of the original 1970s specials. Though, as previously discussed in the review of Volume 1’s 2012 adaptation of Whistle And I’ll Come To You, recent attempts to carry on the tradition is automatically up against a monumental past whose shadow is hard … Continue reading BBC Ghost Stories – Volume 5 (A View From A Hill, Number 13) BFI.
The first of the two BFI releases due out on the 20th of August, this double bill of the classic BBC ghost story adaptations sets the tone for the future releases while also justifying the detail and time put into them. This release contains both adaptations of perhaps M.R. James’ most famous short tale and the release plays wonderfully on the natural juxtaposition of the two … Continue reading BBC Ghost Stories – Whistle And I’ll Come To You (1968 & 2010).
Writing about a film such as Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker is not an easy task. Anyone with a pure and honest love for cinema will find Tarkovsky’s work in general to be awe inspiring, perhaps even approaching cinematic perfection. Stalker is something so ambitious in its message and graceful with its visuals, watching another film after it can be extremely trying, yet simply waxing lyrical about it wouldn’t do … Continue reading Stalker – Andrei Tarkovsky – (1979)