June 22, 2014


Blancanieves (Pablo Berger, 2013). Like The Artist, this is set at a key moment in cinema history, although with a much greater sense of film literacy (if the still above doesn’t suggest Sunrise …). Yet Pablo Berger’s approach is romantic and never academic. Snow White is now a female bull fighter – believe me, it works. 

June 21, 2014


Philomena (Stephen Frears, 2013). Despite the journalism clich├ęs, this is actually a story about the triumph of journalism. With Frears in charge, all potential for satire is contained and any outrage is barely perceptible. I could have done with a little of the latter. Incredible story, either way: you wouldn’t believe a word of it if it wasn’t true.

June 7, 2014

24 hours

Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler, 2013). Arguably, this is new black cinema that is historically conscious of other new black cinemas, meaning that it has the focused anger and tragic sense of Do the Right Thing and Boyz N the Hood a generation ago and the social realism of Killer of Sheep a generation before that. I don’t even mind the narrative inventions or persuasions. Under the circumstances, how can you?

June 6, 2014


Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002).