When whole continents of viewers believe you to have made your best and most accomplished film on your first go, two things can potentially happen. Arrogance can take a hold turning you into a useless artist or the burden or pressure to create something just as brilliant can cripple. For some reason though neither of these factors seem to have bothered Orson Welles too much … Continue reading F For Fake – Orson Welles (1973)
Last week saw the passing away of one of Japan’s greatest and most forward thinking directors to appear in the country’s golden age of cinema. At the age of 100 Kaneto Shindo was still going strong having only made his last film in 2010 as well as his much overdue retrospective starting at BFI Southbank being mere days later, it seems his life was one … Continue reading Onibaba – Kaneto Shindo (1964)
Dostoyevsky’s dark parable on human emotion is uprooted from its Russian Summer setting and manoeuvred to the cold, snowy straits of northern Japan in Akira Kurosawa’s bleak but majestic adaptation of The Idiot. Kameda, a shy and delicate man after living life in an asylum for being convicted of war crimes, travels to Hakaido to start his life afresh. The story revolves around the evolution of … Continue reading The Idiot – Akira Kurosawa (1951)
Carl Theodor Dreyer is one of the more gentle directors to rise from the Scandinavian art house and a man who’s work in general showcases a sensuality and delicate touch that would leave many of his contemporaries completely enamoured. With the exception of his often-praised emotional tour de force La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc, Vampyrcomfortably stands as the directors crowning celluloid achievement. During the period that Vampyr was made (1932 … Continue reading Vampyr – Carl T. Dreyer (1932)
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)
F.W. Murnau should be a name familiar to everyone. Sadly this is not the case so some explanation should be given as to his importance. He was one of the key instigators of the German expressionist movement, a group of films that not only visually defy the time in which they were made but are also almost always beautiful to look at. Faust: A German Folk … Continue reading Faust – F.W Murnau (1926).