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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: The Friends of Eddie Coyle (Peter Yates, 1973)

You’ve got to have friends. “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” We all need to know who our real friends are. “I trust Mr. Brown, I do not trust Mr. Grey.” Friends in high places. “Make him an offer he can’t refuse …” Crime film aficionados will recognise the lingo, and feel they […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)

Shakespeare told us love is blind, although there are those who insist he stole it from Chaucer. It is Preston Sturges who reminds us of the truism in The Lady Eve (1941), a screwball constructed like a clever card trick that always comes up aces. That’s “screwball” as in “farcical romantic comedy” – Shakespeare also has […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: The spittoon in Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959)

Old pals John Wayne (as Sheriff John T. Chance) and Ward Bond (as Pat Wheeler, soon to be murdered, shot in the back) have a conversation that says much about the good guys’ dilemma in Howard Hawks’ classic Western Rio Bravo (1959). Wheeler: A game-legged old man and a drunk. That’s all you got? Chance: That’s […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, 2019)

MATTHEW 25, 6: And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman (2019), his final – we think? – go round the mobster realm and that detailed world and times he knows so well is peopled by … well, let’s just say “colourful” characters. […]

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Feature Thousand Words

Thousand Words: I Don’t like Netflix (oh no – I love it)

I AM NOT anti-Netflix. Of course not. Let’s face it – without Netflix, we wouldn’t have Roma. What’s that? Have I actually watched Alfonso Cuarón’s three-time Oscar-winning masterpiece? Er, no. I’m waiting for the right moment. Or the right big screen. Or the right home sound system. Really, really? I’d really rather watch it in […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: God’s Own Country (Francis Lee, 2017)

  Love is patient and kind, love is not jealous or boastful, it is not arrogant or rude. – 1 Corinthians 13 In Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain (2005), the course of true love never did run smooth. In Francis Lee’s multi-award-winning God’s Own Country (2017), a film predictably if unhelpfully tagged the “Brexit Brokeback,” things […]

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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River

Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River (2017) pitches us into an unforgiving wintry environment and declares once and for all, as if we didn’t know already, that this writer-director will be a survivor. And yes, his movie grips and informs and entertains along the way. A female, big-city-loneliness FBI agent finds herself tracking a rapist and murderer, his […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: Split (M. Night Shyamalan, 2016)

(Warning: This article contains plot spoilers) M. Night Shyamalan has undergone an identity crisis. The writer, director, and bit-part ‘actor’ of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and The Village came something of a mid-career cropper. With his subsequent movies failing to impress, Shyamalan went from being the new master of suspense and king of the […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: John Wayne (1907 to 1979)

Mark Cousins, Northern Ireland’s acclaimed documentary filmmaker, said one of the things that first helped him realise there was more to the movies was “when my father cried at a John Wayne picture”. Yeah, Mark – we’ve all been there. The British critic David Thomson was an excoriator of Wayne – the man and his […]