Rope – Alfred Hitchcock (1948)

One of Hitchcock’s most experimental films, Rope contains all the ingredients that came to define his mid period but at the same time seems weirdly at odds with them.  The first thing to note about this rather twisted affair is its composition.  Unlike pretty much any other Hitchcock film, the shots are extremely long in length giving it the feel of a stage play.  This … Continue reading Rope – Alfred Hitchcock (1948)

Night Of The Eagle – Sidney Hayers (1962)

If Alfred Hitchcock were to have made an occult horror film, it’s not beyond the realms of fantasy to believe that it would look something like Sidney Hayers’ 1962 film Night of the Eagle.  Mixing up all sorts of clean cut imagery and marvellously juicy language, the film is one of the more Freudian in the horror canon and a far more subtle affair than … Continue reading Night Of The Eagle – Sidney Hayers (1962)

Das Kabinett Des Doktor Caligari – Robert Weine (1920)

Film is at its best when the subject in hand is presented through the obvious visual elements of the medium rather than outside factors such as sound, dialogue etc.  The lure of silent cinema is an exotic one, one perhaps of curiosity as well as nostalgia for a time when cinema’s aims seemed in line with that of the artistic being parallel to the entertaining. … Continue reading Das Kabinett Des Doktor Caligari – Robert Weine (1920)

The Mummy – Terence Fisher (1959)

Having hit gold with their adaptations of Universal classic horrors Frankenstein (Curse of Frankenstein, 1957) and Dracula (Horror of Dracula, 1958), Hammer delved further into the back catalogue of monsters and villains in its 1959 production, The Mummy.  Unlike the previous two adaptations, this one seems relatively similar to its Universal predecessor in tone and feel, making it feel like a necessity for the company … Continue reading The Mummy – Terence Fisher (1959)

My Neighbour Totoro – Hayao Miyazaki (1988)

No other film produced by the Studio Ghibli animation company has come to define the studio in its creative aims and ideals more than its 1988 film My Neighbour Totoro directed by Hayao Miyazaki.  Not only is the company now represented by the images of the creatures found in the film, it is the perfect blend of naive idealism and alternative animation with the depth and … Continue reading My Neighbour Totoro – Hayao Miyazaki (1988)

The Wicker Man – Robin Hardy (1973)

The sub-genre of Folk Horror is possibly the oddest mixture of ideals and ideas ever to join in the world of cinema.  Trying to envision a genre taking best aspects from Folk tradition and mix it with the scary and disturbing edges of Horror can be difficult to imagine. However, amongst this small group of films, all of which are brilliant, sits one that transcends the … Continue reading The Wicker Man – Robin Hardy (1973)

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)