Categories
Features Thousand Words Widescreen

On Location: Trafalgar Square, London as seen in An American Werewolf in London (Dir. John Landis, 1981)

The World Film Locations book series – inspired by The Big Picture magazine’s ‘On Location’ feature – kicks off in a few months time with the release of titles for Tokyo, Los Angeles, London and New York. A highly visual exploration into the relationship between the city and cinema – each book will be chock […]

Categories
Features

Back in Cinemas: Boudu Saved From Drowning (Jean Renoir, 1932)

Stumbling shambolically back onto cinema screens this month is Michel Simon’s iconic portrayal of that terrible tramp Boudu. With his raison d’être that no mischief should be left unmade, Emma Simmonds finds herself charmed and highly amused by this fish-out-of-water. In Jean Renoir’s broad satire, based on René Fauchois’ comic drama, Michel Simon (who also […]

Categories
Reviews

Festival Review: The 54th BFI London Film Festival

In a year in which, for many, there was no standout film, a whole array of exciting new cinema clamoured for the limelight and this year’s festival was, not least, a splendid showcase for British talent – which is both heartening and terrifying in an industry about to be hit by an almighty austerity drive. […]

Categories
Features

Recommended: The Arbor (Clio Barnard, 2010)

Artist filmmaker Clio Barnard’s debut feature is the affecting tale of playwright Andrea Dunbar; her chaotic life, untimely death and the lingering impact of both on her children. Told in an unconventional but commendably ingenious manner, it simultaneously gives her subjects a degree of anonymity and a voice. This fresh, evocative take on the documentary […]

Categories
Features Widescreen

Art & Film: The 7th London International Animation Festival

Emma Simmonds reports back following her ten colourful days spent in the presence of the world’s weirdest, wildest, most wonderful animation. What kind of cinema-going experience begins with an impossibly rotund gentleman emerging from a gigantic snail shell to find that he is on the menu, and ends with a body-popping, limb-lengthening, yet philosophical examination […]

Categories
Features

Fatal Attraction Part 1: Classic Hollywood noir villainesses

In the first of a two-part piece Emma Simmonds examines four prototype noir villainesses from classic Hollywood cinema. Next week, she looks at the far-reaching legacy of these scintillating spider women by considering French cinema’s most memorable femme fatales. The Hollywood noirs of the 40s left an indelible impression on cinema. Their depictions of powerful, […]

Categories
Features Thousand Words

Spotlight: Mamma Mia! – Cinema’s most maniacal matriarchs (part 2)

As a continuation to our cover feature on Maniacal Matriarchs in Issue 7 of The Big Picture magazine, Emma Simmonds looks at more memorable movie mothers who exert unholy influence over their offspring. Harold and Maude (1971) Dir. Hal Ashby Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles and Ellen Geer When we first see Mrs Chasen (Vivian Pickles) […]

Categories
Features

Fatal Attraction Part 2: The French Connection

In the concluding part of a two-part piece on cinema’s wicked, wanton women, Emma Simmonds shifts the focus to four significant French contributions to the character type. Despite Hollywood’s popularisation of the enchantress paradigm as a staple of its fabulous noirs, these slinky villainesses are still most commonly described by the French expression femme fatale. […]

Categories
Features Widescreen

In Bloom: Black & White and Colour in Collaboration

Dotted throughout cinematic history are films which boldly combine black and white with colour, occasionally within the same frame. An aesthetically arresting technique – although it draws attention to the artifice and manipulations of cinema – done effectively it can be a symbolic shift which enhances our understanding of character psychology and theme. This is colour […]