Categories
Feature Four Frames

A Late Awakening: Isshin Inudo’s Across a Gold Prairie

One morning, 80-year-old Ayumu Nippori wakes up believing he is 20 years old. Seemingly disoriented, he walks around his house, calling for his mother. Two clearly very old black-and-white photographs of Nippori’s parents on a chest of drawers that are visible briefly in one of the shots are a first clue that something is wrong. […]

Categories
Feature Thousand Words

Struggling to Watch Drive My Car (On Hamaguchi, Ozu and the Importance of Being in the Moment)

I’ve always believed that films should be viewed in one sitting. No pauses, stops or breaks (take that pee before the movie, dummy!). An immersive experience that demands, or, at the very least merits, your full attention for what is a relatively short period of time compared to, say reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace or […]

Categories
Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: ‘Everybody Dreaming Together’ in Agnès Varda’s Mur Murs

I recently returned from a short holiday to Spain, where – apart from reminding myself that the sun did in fact exist – I was introduced to the amazing murals of Estapona; a small resort town two hours west of Malaga on the south coast. The huge arts initiative, which invited painters from all over […]

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Fashion & Film Feature

Very, Very Natural and Herself: Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby

Is Katharine Hepburn playing herself in Bringing Up Baby (1938)? And if so, why not? Katharine Hepburn turned Hollywood on its head. She fearlessly and uncompromisingly set out to become a star in an industry that wanted greatness on its own terms, an industry that often tried to destroy the original few. She wanted greatness […]

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Podcast

The Big Picture Podcast: Episode 6, Great Director Debuts (part 1)

In this special 3 part episode, Gabriel and Tom select and discuss great director debuts from the year 2000 and up. Right out of the gate, these film-makers showed a clarity of vision and creative maturity that ensured theirs would be names (and films) we’d remember. In part 1, our spotlight focusses on Kenneth Lonergan’s […]

Categories
Feature Four Frames

Relationships Between Humans and Nature in The Land of Hope

Shot a few months after the triple disaster that hit Japan’s Eastern Pacific Coast in March 2011 – an earthquake followed by a tsunami and core meltdowns in three reactors at the nuclear power plant in the Fukushima Prefecture – Sion Sono’s The Land of Hope (Kibo no kuni, Japan, 2012) addresses a great variety […]

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Hidden Gem Reviews

Hidden Gem: Jeff, Who Lives at Home (Duplass Brothers, 2011)

Jay and Mark Duplass’s film starts with Jason Segel’s 30 year-old slacker Jeff musing about the significance of fate into a dictaphone while sitting on the crapper. M. Night Shyamalan’s 2002 film Signs, with its thread of meaningful coincidences, points to a loose philosophy for Jeff to cling to as he idles away endless hours […]

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New Release Reviews

Blu-Ray Review: Pale Flower (Criterion)

There’s something uncomfortable in the way that gangster films often ask us to empathise with central characters who are, in effect, psychopaths. ‘Anti’ and ‘heroic’ are separated by a very thin line as the movie gangster is made of sterner stuff than us mere mortals, seemingly existing in a place once removed from normality; a […]

Categories
New Release Reviews

New Release: The Batman

The Batman (2022) has received something of a mixed reception from critics and film fans, but I’d like to go on record to say it deserves at least Se7en out of zen. It’s reminiscent of the look and feel and general modus operandi of David Fincher’s 1995 serial killer opus – if not quite Zodiac […]