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Take 3: Neil Fox’s Favourite Films of 2021

Some of The Big Picture’s regular contributors share their choices for the best films of 2021. Part 2. Petite Maman (dir. Celine Sciamma)One of the most exhilarating moments of the year’s cinema is when Nelly finds a paddle ball and bat in the cupboard of her Mother’s old house, heads outside and exuberantly smashes the […]

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Features Widescreen

Self-Isolation Soundtrack: The Music of If Beale Street Could Talk

So much of Barry Jenkins’ James Baldwin adaptation If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) looks and feels like Love. All its wonder and joyous trepidation and all its pain and fear. The intensity with which the characters of Tish and Fonny stare at each other, and by design, us, is palpable. The energy pierces the screen and […]

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Features Uncategorized Widescreen

Double Feature: Speed (1994) and Paterson (2016)

First of all, credit for highlighting the potentiality of this double feature must go to my friend Rachael Jones, who mentioned it following a screening of Speed for my podcast The Cinematologists. As soon as she said “you should watch Paterson now” something clicked. It’s a perfect double bill, not least because of the full-on […]

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Features Screengems

Screengem: The Dude’s Ralphs card in The Big Lebowski

The first time I went to Los Angeles was in 2002. My friend Wayne picked us up and drove us South to his home in Temecula a couple of hours away, where we stayed with him for a few nights. While staying there, we drove past a Ralphs supermarket. I had to go in. Ralphs plays […]

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Brilliant Failures Features

Why Sofia Coppola’s misunderstood drama is ripe for reappraisal

Cannes Film Festival’s most powerful weapon has long been its ability to make or break a film. Before a radically changing film landscape dulled this potency, one of its victims was Sofia Coppola’s third film, her deeply idiosyncratic portrait of Marie Antoinette. In truth, the film never really recovered from the boos of riled French […]

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Features Lost Classics Reviews

Lost Classic: The Way, Way Back (Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, 2013)

Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s The Way, Way Back is a typical teen movie in so many ways. It captures that feeling of taking a holiday from teenage angst – a holiday with the promise of being whoever you want to be for a short period of time. In a way, however, the film feels […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Best In Show (Christopher Guest, 2000)

The attention to detail attained by Christopher Guest in his finest works is absolute. One of the many high watermarks of his career, the 2000 dog show satire Best In Show, looks and feels authentic in every frame. But more than that, underneath the wonderful comedy, it also looks and feels authentic in each and […]

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Features Lost Classics Reviews

Lost Classic: Black Orpheus (Marcel Camus, 1959)

The moment the title card is smashed to pieces and the famous samba and bossa nova sounds burst through, ushering in a sea of colour and movement, is both a physical shattering and a symbolic one. This playful and powerfully energetic film is not faithfully translating the classic Orpheus story to Brazil, it’s reimagining it in the heat, sweat and delirium of carnival, completely to its […]

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Features Screengems

Screengem: General Mireau’s Sofa in Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick, 1957)

The most oft-discussed visual aspect of Stanley Kubrick’s morally exasperating anti-war polemic Paths Of Glory is the stunning camerawork that accompanies the early sequences in the beleaguered French army trenches. However, one of the most memorable and infuriating moments surrounds the deployment of a piece of furniture. Following the inevitable failure of the suicide mission […]