Tag Archives: music

No Country for Old Men

While Cormac McCarthy’s acclaimed novel broke genre convention, the Coens’ adaptation is a study in audiovisual chaos.

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

Films about writers are tricky propositions but you can roughly divide the genre into two eras; pre- and post-Mishima.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Joel and Ethan Coen never make it easy for the characters, sometimes pitting them against forces of nature. But Llewyn Davis is faced with a uniquely historical storm.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Werner Herzog’s hallucinatory telling of a Conquistador’s search for El Dorado etches a landscape of greed on the human face.

The Godfather Part II

The Godfather Part II is less a sequel and more a cloak that wraps itself around the original, leaving Michael Corleone haunted by the memory of his dead father.

Munich

Upon its release, Munich was attacked for historical inaccuracy, political naivety and moral equivalency. But it is one of Spielberg’s greatest works.

Yi Yi

As the title to Edward Yang’s masterpiece indicates, Yi Yi is a series of doubles; narrative, thematic, visual and aural, that deliver a subtle family portrait.

2001: A Space Odyssey

For all of 2001’s groundbreaking special effects and narrative innovation, Stanley Kubrick owes a bit of debt to a romantic fantasy and a Soviet propaganda film.

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.

Great Openings – Part Three

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

Great Openings – Part One

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

if….

Despite being labelled fascist and an insult to Britain, if… won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1969. Almost half a century later, it still retains much of its power.

Dreams

If the dream sequence is a crutch for many dull thrillers, horrors and mysteries, what makes a good one? One that challenges and stretches cinematic language.

Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola’s radical adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novella is one of the most astonishing achievements in the entire history of cinema.

David Bowie

Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust or The Thin White Duke. Who was David Bowie is the wrong question to ask. Much better to ponder on what he made and why.

In the Mood for Love

Taking elements from the European art film and a British melodrama, Hong Kong’s Wong Kar-wai delivered a masterpiece of aching beauty.

Withnail and I

When a filmmaker enters the realm of autobiography, the result is all too often soaked in nostalgia. Bruce Robinson’s Withnail & I is fermented in fine wine.

The Killing Fields

When it comes to America’s military intervention in South East Asia, David Puttnam’s Oscar winner is the anomaly. Less a war picture, it’s more a love story.

The Parallax View

Adapted from Loren Singer’s poorly reviewed best seller, Alan J. Pakula’s conspiracy thriller is a classic of assured pacing and paranoia.

Amy

Asif Kapadia’s extraordinary documentary makes for uncomfortable viewing, not least because he doesn’t only focus on the flaws of the tragic singer.

The Concert Film

With content pretty much always the same, what elevates one concert movie above others is not just the quality of the music, it is also the film’s form.

Jaws

For all the fun stories and anecdotes about how the shark didn’t work, none of them help explain how Steven Spielberg managed to deliver a masterpiece.

Jazz in Film

If jazz really is the authentic American art form, why are there so few great jazz movies? No matter, at least there are dozens of great jazz soundtracks.

The Adventures of Robin Hood

The legend has endured for 500 years and Hollywood has filmed it a dozen times. But Errol Flynn is still the only Robin Hood.

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