Tag Archives: Oscar

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.

The Wages of Fear

Described as the most evil film ever made, Henri George Clouzot’s masterpiece resembles Hemingway, Hitchcock, neo-realism and Casablanca.

The Great Beauty

While Paolo Sorrentino’s film follows in the footsteps of Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni, its quest arrives at a very surprising answer.

A Matter of Life and Death

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

The Silence of the Lambs

Jonathan Demme’s film is a classic because its Little Red Riding Hood plot mines the moral depths of its central characters.

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.

Reds

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

The Battle of Algiers

The impact of Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece is so great that it extends far beyond cinema and into terrorist organisations, as well as the US Pentagon.

Hannah and her Sisters

Woody Allen’s romantic drama draws from unusual sources; the Great American Songbook, Italian opera and Russian literature.

Dog Day Afternoon

With an Oscar-winning script from Frank Pierson, Dog Day Afternoon is a masterclass in breaking the basic rules of screenwriting.

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.

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.

Great Openings – Part Four

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

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.

Thelma & Louise

The Oscar-winning Thelma & Louise was released in 1991 to a storm of controversy. Did it warrant it then and does it hold up to scrutiny now?

Great Openings – Part One

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

Cyrano de Bergerac

Why did French playwright, Edmond Rostand base his play on a real-life historical figure and then choose to turn his writing talent into a tragedy?

Cabaret

Before it was adapted into a film, Cabaret was a memoir, a short story, a play and a Broadway musical. Released in 1972, it now serves as a history lesson.

The Killers

Ernest Hemingway hated what Hollywood did with his novels. The only film of his work he liked was this classic adaptation of his celebrated short story.

Great Shots – Part Three

What makes a great shot? Beauty? The lens? Lighting? Combined, they create much more than just an image.

Great Shots – Part Two

What makes for a great shot? Beauty? The lens? Lighting? Combine them and you have something more than just an image.

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.

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