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Revisiting Orson Welles’ searingly relevant portrait of US-Mexican relations

Orson Welles was never one to adhere to audience expectations, and when a contract deal forced him to adapt the pulpy novel Badge of Evil, the result was a delirious, baroque noir which had very little to do with the source material, but was all the better for it. To watch this study of racial […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Hidden (Michael Haneke, 2005)

Hidden begins with an immobile long shot of a domestic Paris street. Only the occasional passers-by and cyclists remind us it is not a photograph. “Well?” we hear a voice say. “Nothing,” replies another. The sequence literally fast-forwards, pauses as Georges Laurent (Daniel Auteuil) leaves his home, rewinds and pauses again. We realise that the […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959)

Few directors are as interested in the interiority of their characters as Robert Bresson. His ascetic style strips films of their furnishings, leaving behind a bareness of images and sounds, to be seen and heard with intensified awareness, as if we stand in the protagonist’s shoes during his most private moments. Pickpocket is one of Bresson’s […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976)

The Union Broadcasting System took a risk when they let a visibly unwell Howard Beale on air. With his frantic demeanour and dishevelled appearance, the anchorman was in no state to present the news. What Beale does instead is denounce the social ills of 1970s America in a monologue that keeps escalating in its hysteria. […]

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Features Lost Classics Reviews

Lost Classic: Happy Together (Wong Kar-wai, 1997)

The weight of memory has long been portrayed as an onerous facet of life, and in Wong Kar-wai’s 1997 film Happy Together, it’s as heavy as a ball and chain. “Lai Yiu-Fai, we could start over,” is the first line we hear, but Yiu-Fai has heard his boyfriend Po-Wing say it numerous times before. Their […]

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Features Lost Classics Reviews

Lost Classic: Dangerous Game (Abel Ferrara, 1993)

Have there ever been two artists more different from each other than director Abel Ferrara and singer Madonna Louise Ciccone in Dangerous Game? Although Madonna is an icon of artificiality and calculation, Ferrara is one of brute sincerity and bedraggled aesthetics. Even Ferrara’s occasional forays into the exploitation market also belie any interest in genre […]

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Parting Shots: Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)

It’s one of the most memorable scenes in cinema. As Michel Poiccard swaggers down the Champs-Élysées, he spots a picture of Humphrey Bogart displayed outside a cinema screening The Harder They Fall. “Bogie,” he drawls as he rubs his upper lip, channelling the American movie star’s gritty aura while staring at the picture with wide-eyed […]