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Features Widescreen

Self-Isolation Soundtrack: The Music of Seven Samurai

Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai, 1954) is one of those rich and complex films that one never tires of watching over and over again. Much has been written about Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece, but the emphasis has rarely been on music. This article is my very humble attempt to have a closer look at Fumio Hayasaka’s […]

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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 Widescreen

The Sounds of Terror: A Conversation with Charlie Clouser

Charlie Clouser is a Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist composer, musician, producer, programmer, and remix artist who has worked with some of the most influential names in the music industry over the last few decades. Charlie gained widespread recognition as a member of Nine Inch Nails from 1994 to 2000, but before that had already built a following […]

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Brilliant Failures Features Reviews

Brilliant Failure: Orchestra Rehearsal (Federico Fellini, 1978)

Federico Fellini’s films often present a caricaturist view of society by magnifying our faults, a trait which is particularly distinct in Orchestra Rehearsal (1978), a film with an unusually strong political message from the Italian filmmaker. The movie presents itself as a faux documentary, with a television crew filming an orchestra’s rehearsal. When the musicians enter an […]

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Features Lost Classics Reviews

Lost Classic: Sweet and Lowdown (Woody Allen, 1999)

He’s the greatest jazz guitarist in the world except for a “gypsy in France”, declares Emmet Ray (Sean Penn), the subject of Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown (1999), a fictitious docu-comedy about a talented musician forgotten by history. Emmet is not a likeable character. He is unfaithful, a kleptomaniac and an egomaniac. On the surface, […]

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Features Thousand Words Widescreen

On Location: Macclesfield in Control (Anton Corbijn, 2007)

Joy Division was always slightly apart from other iconic Manchester bands: darker, sharper and alienated from the swagger and mischief. As a band they were also geographically slightly apart. They hailed from and remained, largely, in nearby Macclesfield throughout their brief period together. As a young man Anton Corbijn created some of the most iconic […]

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Features Screengems

Screengems: The harmonium in Punch Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love is unabashedly romantic. The film has a wide-eyed, almost naïve belief in the power of love told through the story of the child-like Barry Egan (Adam Sandler), and the symbolic use of an obscure instrument. When Barry finds an old harmonium outside his office, it’s somewhat unexpected. Landing on […]

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Lost Classics Reviews

Lost Classic: Plunkett & Macleane (Jake Scott, 1999)

There was a time when Jake Scott was that bloke who did music videos. Then he did a movie. And people quite liked it, critics were sniffy, and it soon passed into the annals of history. Which is wrong, because it’s damn good. It’s essentially a love story buddy movie historical crime caper. With a […]

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Features Screengems

Screengems: Chitty from Chitty Bang Bang (Ken Hughes, 1968)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (or Chitty as she was affectionately referred to) was quite simply the most ‘fantasmagorical’ vehicle ever seen on the silver screen.  Though the film’s cast and locations were equally crazy it was the eponymous Edwardian racing car, from which the family favourite Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) took its name, which […]