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Feature Thousand Words

Popcorn and politics: the favourite movies of our glorious leaders

Moats and duck islands aside, we’ve grown used to the personal tastes of our political lords and masters ostensibly being determined for public consumption by focus groups so as to iron out any possible idiosyncratic and potentially unpopular cultural choice that they might actually make. But when it comes to film what has really had […]

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Feature Music & Film

The Score: Titus (Composer: Elliot Goldenthal, 1999)

  In the first of a regular web series, our resident film music aficionado Sean Wilson takes an indepth look at a carefully chosen motion picture soundtrack. Up first is the score to a truly unique cinematic experiment from 1999. Stage director Julie Taymor’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s grisly revenge tragedy Titus Andronicus is generally faithful […]

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Feature One Sheet

One Sheet: The Godfather Poster, Re-imagined

To help promote the re-release in cinemas of The Godfather later this month, The Big Picture editor asked a select group of students at the University of the West of England’s celebrated graphic design course to have a crack at re-designing the film poster to connect with a new audience. The simple brief asked students […]

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Feature

Dearly departed: A theory on queer stereotypes in film

With popular Oscar-nominated films like Milk, Brokeback Mountain and , everything in cinema these days seems to be coming up queer. It was recently reported that even Brad Pitt now wants a gay role to increase his credibility-factor. This heightening of gay/lesbian/queer/transgendered/bisexual representation in dominant culture has been delighting modern, progressive society for some time now, bolstered […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: Michael Myers’ Mask in Halloween (1978)

A definitive feature of the definitive slasher film, the Michael Myers mask is an unlikely masterpiece of movie design. It was, in a favourite titbit of horror fan trivia, adapted by production designer Tommy Lee Wallace from a store-bought Halloween mask of William Shatner. Mercifully, the mask looked little like Captain Kirk when Wallace acquired […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: The Sled in Citizen Kane (1941)

Practically every notable bit of movie memorabilia has been bought for some obscene sum by some obsessive fan. But the sale of the Rosebud sled was special: the buyer who forked out a fortune for it wasn’t bidding on behalf of an ostentatious movie museum-cum-café or an anonymous Charles Foster Kane-esque collector – he was […]

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Feature

Really most sincerely dead?: the myth of the hanging Munchkin

As urban myths go, the one about the suicidal Munchkin, supposedly visible dangling from a tree as Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man meander down the yellow brick road in The Wizard Of Oz is fairly easily debunked, as any cursory study of the clip on youtube will attest. But does the myth say something about the viewing […]

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Feature

If a film wins an Oscar, but nobody saw it, does it make a sound?

When Chris Rock hosted the 77th Annual Academy Awards, a pre-filmed segment flashed across the screen. Edited for giggles, it showed a microphone-equipped Rock smirking mischievously as he wandered around a Los Angeles cinema asking regular Joes which movies they’d paid to see that year. To refresh our collective short-term memories, films like Finding Neverland, Ray, […]

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Feature

Future Visions: Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)

The character of Lemmy Caution – a cliché-surfing private eye in the Sam Spade / Philip Marlowe mould – first appeared in a series of stories (with titles like ‘Dames Don’t Care’ and ‘You Can Always Duck’) by English author Peter Cheyney and then, played by American actor Eddie Constantine, in a number of popular […]