Tag Archives: Chinatown

There Will Be Blood

Many audiences complain that Daniel Plainview is unlikable. But where is it written that characters have to be likeable? Characters only have to be interesting.

Zodiac

When a film breaks with tradition, it is often rejected by audiences. Which may be why Zodiac was not initially recognised as the groundbreaking masterpiece it is.

Die Hard

What makes a classic film? The plot’s originality, director’s vision, or the star’s magnetism? Paradoxically, any, all, yet none of the above. It’s the audience.

Reds

As Hollywood found the formula for the modern blockbuster, Warren Beatty embarked on a project examining the origins of American communism.

The Maltese Falcon

John Huston’s film of Dashiell Hammett’s classic novel was the third adaptation of the hard-boiled mystery. How did he succeed where others had failed?

Chinatown

Chinatown is often referred to as film noir. But lacking a dark look and a femme fatale, it is the rarest of Hollywood’s breeds; a true tragedy.

Blazing Saddles

We like to think of ourselves as modern and sophisticated, but is the humour of Blazing Saddles too outrageous for anyone in Hollywood to make it today?

Se7en

Mention Se7en and chances are talk will lead to the head in the box. But while that makes the ending so unforgettable, it’s also the film’s biggest problem.

Blue Velvet

David Lynch’s shocking and mesmerising look at suburbia’s underbelly also showed he could turn popular music into a nightmare.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

How do you make a film about a character who can neither move nor speak, but can only blink his left eye?

True Detective

Whether it be theatre, film or TV, all stories need good plots and performances. But what elevated True Detective Season 1 to the status of classic was its structure.

Fifty Shades of Hate

This video-essay addresses the abuse inflicted by men against women in cinema. The films are critically acclaimed, Oscar winners and box-office hits. WARNING: It features scenes of extreme graphic violence.

The Crying Game

Neil Jordan won an Oscar for his script, but only after every studio had turned him down saying his story was uncommercial, offensive and the characters unsympathetic.

Money, Money, Money

All industries need profits to survive. So why do so many Hollywood films castigate wealth and capitalism?

Angel Heart

Some films generate controversy, but Alan Parker’s Angel Heart was creating quite a stir even before it was released. Was it worth the trouble?

Surrealism in Cinema

Surrealism was an art movement that originally set out to shock. So how has it become such a normal element in Hollywood cinema? Has it lost its original power?

The Graduate

The Graduate has long been regarded only in terms of Benjamin Braddock’s affair with Mrs. Robinson. But what does it tell us about Elaine Robinson?

Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary’s Baby was controversial before it was made. Inspired by a real-life Satanist, a sinister aura has hung around it ever since its release in 1968.

Ennio Morricone

Without over 400 titles to his credit, Ennio Morricone has worked in many genres and with many of the world’s best directors.


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