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Features Four Frames Lost Classics

Todd Solondz: The home as a battlefield in Happiness and Life During Wartime

In Happiness (1998), the ever-smiling Trish (Cynthia Stevenson), in her neat kitchen, is strongly reminiscent of the female ideal as propagated in American films and commercials of the 1950s and 1960s. However, her affected demeanour und put-on optimism cannot hide the illusion behind the image of the idyllic home that is associated with the American […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Black Moon (Louis Malle, 1975)

Writer-director Louis Malle’s filmography is nothing short of eclectic; over the course of his decades-long career, he tackled war dramas, screwball comedies, coming-of-age chronicles, an assortment of international documentaries, and even a landmark film noir. Yet, even considered within this vast oeuvre, Black Moon (1975) stands out as a singular, unparalleled dream of a film. […]

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Features Thousand Words

Thousand Words: Teenage Wastelands – The Performance of Youth in Almost Famous

Youth, the nascent and ephemeral period situated precariously between the poles of adolescence and adulthood, is the thematic heart of the coming-of-age subgenre within the familiar dramedy narrative. These narratives are typified by the ‘everyman’ protagonist finding themselves trapped within the paradoxical malaise of youth; no longer a child but not yet an adult. This […]

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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 Thousand Words

Thousand Words: Young, White and Aggressive (Made in Britain, 1983)

A young man, head shaved, the tattoo of a swastika on his forehead, stands up abruptly and moves towards the camera as if smashing into the viewer’s face. This opening shot announces the high tension which characterises Alan Clarke’s Made in Britain, a production for Central Television. The actor’s aggressive body language is sustained by […]