Great British Documentaries

“In documentary we deal with the actual, and in one sense with the real. But the really real, if I may use that phrase, is something deeper than that. The only reality which counts in the end is the interpretation which is profound.” – John Grierson. With Sight & Sound’s recent poll for best documentaries (September 2014), I wanted to explore some of the British … Continue reading Great British Documentaries

Short Film – Pastoral.

Having been in the midst of my third year at university and an impending move out back home looming, I haven’t really had the time to film any new material.  Though this has been frustrating (I haven’t even bought film for my 8mm yet) I’ve managed to find some older material that I filmed at various points and thought I’d put some of it together. … Continue reading Short Film – Pastoral.

Solitary Music In Melancholia and The Turin Horse (von Trier and Tarr).

This article contains spoilers. Considering the large amount of time and effort that goes into creating and putting together the soundtrack to a film, one of the most interesting creative choices for filmmakers (often outside of the mainstream) is to use a piece of music continuously throughout rather than use different music for different scenes and segments.  This choice often highlights a desire for the … Continue reading Solitary Music In Melancholia and The Turin Horse (von Trier and Tarr).

Musical Emphasis on Visual Words (François Truffaut and Pier Paolo Pasolini)

The relationship between sound and vision in film is one that is complex and almost indefinable in a broad sense due to each director and composer treating such relationship in different ways.  The two examples about to be discussed are almost reverse images of each other’s effects; the same method has been applied but for different reasons and different results.  Much examination has taken place … Continue reading Musical Emphasis on Visual Words (François Truffaut and Pier Paolo Pasolini)

David Lynch + Assimilation of Avant-Garde Aesthetics in Subversive, Mainstream Soundtracks (Part 1)

Introduction – The Boundaries Of Criteria. “He was the most original director in 1980s cinema, its only surrealist” – Mark Cousins on David Lynch (2004, p.394). The Avant-Garde is like a spark or a flash of quick-fire creative ideals.  The idea of Avant-Garde cinema is not so much to present an experience or escapism, but is there instead to quickly question the ideals of the audience … Continue reading David Lynch + Assimilation of Avant-Garde Aesthetics in Subversive, Mainstream Soundtracks (Part 1)

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).

BBC Ghost Stories – The Stalls of Barchester/A Warning To The Curious (1971/1972)

This review contains spoilers. The second release of the BBC Christmas ghost stories finds the real birth of it as a staple of the wintery Christmas nights of the 1970s and showcases the first two of five serials by Lawrence Gordon Clark.  Though both of the stories are again M.R James adaptations the connecting factor here, apart from being chronologically accurate, is the inclusion in … Continue reading BBC Ghost Stories – The Stalls of Barchester/A Warning To The Curious (1971/1972)

The Wolf Man – George Waggner (1941)

One of Universal’s best efforts within the gothic tradition, 1941’s The Wolf Man is one of the studio’s best horror films from its golden era. Though its director isn’t well known for his horror, the success of this feature is no doubt down to borrowing certain stylistic elements from Universal’s most innovative horror director, James Whale. George Waggner’s film could easily be a Whale film, … Continue reading The Wolf Man – George Waggner (1941)

The Trouble With Harry – Alfred Hitchcock (1955)

Hitchcock’s obsession with the macabre and murder seem to take over the majority of his work and often produced spellbinding and suspenseful results.  In 1954 though, Hitchcock produced a film that put on a different viewing filter on his dark vision.  Though a death lies at the very heart of The Trouble With Harry, never before has Hitchcock been so jovial and comedic about the … Continue reading The Trouble With Harry – Alfred Hitchcock (1955)

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)