2017 Review

Like last year, I have tried to keep up with enough new releases to eventually have something say at the end of the year.  And exactly like last year, I have virtually failed to see ten new releases that I’ve actually enjoyed.  I quietly accepted once again that, with some notable exceptions, new digital films are not especially for me and require a huge crossover … Continue reading 2017 Review

2015 Top 10 (New Releases and First Time Viewings).

New releases As often stated at the beginning of my end of year reviews, I’ve struggled to keep up with the year’s new releases.  Every year, so much more new cinema is put out there for consideration that I doubt keeping track is financially viable or creatively of point; the huge shift in quantity, over the last five years especially, most definitely has not lead … Continue reading 2015 Top 10 (New Releases and First Time Viewings).

Alchemical Magic in Derek Jarman’s The Tempest (1979).

Forever a cinematic alchemist – a sage that conjured and devoured celluloid before the eventual ritualistic sacrifice- Derek Jarman is the perfect suitor to Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1979); a play whose heart is bathed in the tragedy and power of magic.  Of course Jarman isn’t the only person from the Brit-pack of avant-garde directors to remould the work but his is the most natural.  Peter … Continue reading Alchemical Magic in Derek Jarman’s The Tempest (1979).

Interview With Digby Rumsey (BFI Flipside, The Pledge).

Director Digby Rumsey sees his BFI DVD debut this month on the Flipside release of Leslie Megahey’s Schalcken the Painter.  Rumsey is a traditional BFI director, coming from the same ranks as Terence Davies, Bill Douglas and Peter Greenaway.  His work in Gothic short films, especially adaptations of work by Lord Dunsany, places him firmly in the British Gothic traditions of directors such as Jonathan … Continue reading Interview With Digby Rumsey (BFI Flipside, The Pledge).

The Use of Sound and Music in Film About the British Working Class – Conclusions (Part 9).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Part 8. Conclusions The aim of this assessment of music in film about the British working class was initially construed to highlight which of the uses discussed was the most critically honest. The obvious chronological order of the films was originally intended to show a positive growth in quality and a … Continue reading The Use of Sound and Music in Film About the British Working Class – Conclusions (Part 9).

Distant Voices, Still Lives (Part 4) – Communal Singing and Domestic Abuse.

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Communal Singing of Popular Music. “Song lyrics threaten to offset the aesthetic balance between music and narrative cinematic representation. The common solution taken by the standard feature film is not to declare songs off limits – for they can give pleasure of their own – but to defer significant action and … Continue reading Distant Voices, Still Lives (Part 4) – Communal Singing and Domestic Abuse.

Distant Voices, Still Lives (Part 3) – Music, Memory and Society.

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Music, Memory and Society. Adorno and Eisler argue that: “As a matter of principle, priority goes to the truly novel musical resources. However, motion-picture music can also summon other musical resources of the most varied nature, on the condition that it reaches the most advanced contemporary modes of composing, which are characterized by … Continue reading Distant Voices, Still Lives (Part 3) – Music, Memory and Society.

Distant Voices, Still Lives – Sounds of the Past. (Part 2)

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 The Sounds of the Past “To this inexorable, insidious awareness of your own dependence on your past, like an illness that grows even harder to bear, I gave the name “Nostalgia”…” (Tarkovsky, 1986, p.206) One of Distant Voices, Still Lives’ key differences to all that had gone before in the canon of British working class … Continue reading Distant Voices, Still Lives – Sounds of the Past. (Part 2)

Distant Voices, Still Lives – Nostalgia and Hardship Through Sound & Music (Part 1).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Working Class Pasts – Nostalgia and Past Hardship Through Sound and Music. “Since the 1970s especially, the tendency has grown for directors to indulge their own musical tastes in scoring a film” (Gorbman, 2006, p.17). Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) – Differences in Time. Terence Davies’ autobiographical second feature is the last film to be examined.  Unlike … Continue reading Distant Voices, Still Lives – Nostalgia and Hardship Through Sound & Music (Part 1).

Sound And Music In Cinema About The British Working Class (Part 1).

Propaganda, Metaphor And Nostalgia:  Sound And Music In Cinema About The British Working Class. Introduction – Class and the Arts “The collective function of music has become transformed into the function of ensnaring the customer.” (Adorno, 1947, p.61). Class is an ever pervasive issue in British society. While manifesting into many forms around the world, the British flavour of delineation appears to draw the most … Continue reading Sound And Music In Cinema About The British Working Class (Part 1).