Tag Archives: cinematography

Battleship Potemkin

Sergei Eisenstein devised montage for black and white and silent film. How have the elements of sound, colour and digital cinema extended his theories?

The Cook the Thief his Wife & her Lover

First seen as an eviscerating critique of Thatcherism, 30 years on it belongs with the MeToo and Time’s Up movements.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Released in 1971, critics bracketed Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller as a revisionist western. Truth is, the western has always been revising itself.

Easy Rider

Upon its release, it seemed that Easy Rider typified the spirit of the nineteen-sixties. But it really should be viewed as the first film of the seventies.

Bicycle Thieves

Many films enjoy exaggerated reputations, but it is almost impossible to underestimate the beauty, truth and importance of Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves.

Blow Out

Rear Window, Vertigo, Blowup, Weekend, the Zapruder film and The Conversation are all to be seen and heard in Brian De Palma’s Blow Out.

The Gospel According to Matthew

How did a blasphemous, homosexual, Marxist, atheist manage to make the greatest film about the life of Jesus Christ?

Festen

William Shakespeare, Sigmund Freud, Ingmar Bergman and John Cassavetes are just some of the disparate influences on view in Thomas Vinterberg’s masterpiece.

A Matter of Life and Death

Francois Truffaut once claimed ‘cinema’ and ‘Britain’ were incompatible. Powell and Pressburger proved him wrong.

Ida

In ancient Greece, all violence took place off stage. How can filmmakers show the violence of the Holocaust without exploiting the memory of the victims?

A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ novel is still relevant today because the Ludovico Technique is conversion therapy: Pray Away The Gay.

Babette’s Feast

In adapting Karen Blixen’s short story, Gabriel Axel chose to omit the politics and focus on the religious parable. But really, it works best as a recipe for life.

Meet Me in St. Louis

This hit from 1944 delivered one of the all-time classic Yuletide songs – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – as well as redefined the musical genre.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

With his Palme d’Or winning masterpiece, Jacques Demy wove more than a musical. He delivered a story worthy of tragic opera.

Reds

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

The Leopard

All countries have troubled histories they would rather forget. The Leopard is a masterpiece that admits to those troubles as well as the failure to fix them.

Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver was written in ten days by first-time screenwriter, Paul Schrader as a means to exorcise his festering, masochistic, narcissistic anger.

The Rules of the Game

Reviled and banned upon its release, then seemingly destroyed and lost forever, Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game stands today as a victory for liberalism.

Le Mépris

When it comes to making movies about making movies, many directors choose to venerate the medium. Not Jean-Luc Godard. He treats it with contempt.

Deliverance

When we think of American cinema in the seventies, all too often we all too quickly think of the great directors. But what of the cinematograph-auteurs?

Day for Night

Francois Truffaut created the auteur theory, and with Day for Night he delivered a tribute to the art form without which he felt his life could not make sense.

8 1/2

Fellini’s masterpiece is often described as a film about not being able to make a film. But really it is about responsibility, liability, lying, loving and living.

Dunkirk

All boring films are alike; every great film is great in its own way. Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk belongs not just to the latter but amongst the greatest ever made.

Great Openings – Part One

What makes for a great opening? Character? Conflict? Poetry? Hopefully, more than something we’re supposed to just look at.

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