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Feature Screengem

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 […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: The Immigrant (James Gray, 2014)

To watch The Immigrant in the light of the contemporary refugee crisis is to see the film’s historical context brought shamefully into the present amidst the understanding that mistreating those who seek a better life away from their homeland, often in places that frequently exploit other countries and peoples around the world in the name […]

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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: A Serious Man (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2009)

The Coens’ A Serious Man is rooted visually in the nostalgic memory of the brothers’ lives and thematically in the idea of chaos; there is a fondness for symbols from the filmmakers’ collective memory but also a real cynicism towards religion and the mysticism of meaning. The film is beautifully, tightly wound, building around the […]

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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: Prince Avalanche (David Gordon Green, 2013)

There were the trails. Then there were the rails. Then there was the road. In David Gordon Green’s Prince Avalanche there is the road. This is the road movie – literally. Two men restore, rebuild, and re-imagine the road following a sweeping, tragic natural disaster. Across the course of the film, they travel eight miles physically and, like in all […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: Telephones in Rififi (Jules Dassin, 1955)

Though not a silent film, Jules Dassin’s Rififi is most famous for the absence of audio, strikingly creating a relationship with sound and then removing it. Following a group of robbers attempting a daring diamond heist in the middle of Paris, this crime film delivers on generic expectation from the outset. After a piece of […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)

There are numerous gods in Paul Thomas Anderson’s nihilistic nightmare rendering of the American Dream. Oil, Money and Power are the deities worshipped by both oil baron Daniel Plainview and his nemesis, the serpentine preacher Eli. Throughout the film, iconography and symbolism that can be attributed to the Almighty reveal the duplicity and manipulation at […]

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Feature Thousand Words

Spotlight: Sex and Paranoia – Movies, Satire and the brinks of War

Anyone following the saga that is Sony’s fumbling late 2014 release of The Interview may have thought they were watching a follow up to Barry Levinson’s underrated 1997 satire Wag The Dog. The great movie satires have many commonalities and among them is the discomfort that comes from a story that seems at once utterly […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)

Criticisms of Wes Anderson’s filmmaking often centre on a lack of warmth and humanity, as if his style is a façade and that emotional content is something that is neglected or ignored, willfully or otherwise. But this doesn’t ring true; in this, his third film, the story reaches an emotional crescendo that the design, cinematography […]

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Feature Thousand Words

Thousand Words: We merely get in their way: The fierce chemistry of Herzog and Kinski

When film conversation turns to the greatest filmmaker/actor partnerships common touchstones are Scorsese and De Niro (latterly DiCaprio), Ford and Wayne, Kurosawa and Mifune, Leone and Eastwood, Fellini and Mastroianni or Bergman and Ullmann. Casting a shadow on the conversation is the work of director Werner Herzog and actor Klaus Kinski. Their partnership, in this […]