Categories
Brilliant Failures Features Four Frames

Why Tommy Wiseau’s cult calamity remains a classic

If cinema is an ‘escape’ from real life, then Tommy Wiseau’s cult calamity is a feature-length detachment from reality itself. It’s unlikely there could ever be enough drugs in the world to fully comprehend a film that, for all intents and purposes, resembles something made by an alien trying to recreate about a hundred different […]

Categories
Features Four Frames

Four Frames: National Lampoon’s Vacation (Harold Ramis, 1983)

Many of us will no doubt recall the times we spent as a kid sat in the back of a hot car watching our parents squabble over directions on the way to a summer holiday. We can therefore recognise, at least in part, the pain and suffering endured by the Griswolds in the name of […]

Categories
Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

David Lynch’s films have always existed in their own Red Room, somewhere between surreal reality and unbridled nightmare. The chorus for Roy Orbison’s In Dreams, lip synched so memorably by Dean Stockwell in Lynch’s Blue Velvet, are an even more suitable fit for the noirish themes of murderous obsession, unrequited love and broken dreams (both […]

Categories
Features Four Frames

Four Frames: The Grey (Joe Carnahan, 2012)

By the time Joe Carnahan’s The Grey was released theatrically in 2012, its star Liam Neeson had seemingly devolved from being an award-winning dramatic actor to a geri-action star in search of the next dunderheaded blockbuster. Indeed, Neeson had starred in Carnahan’s previous movie, an ill-advised big screen take on ‘80s TV show The A-Team […]

Categories
Features Lost Classics Reviews

Lost Classic: Valhalla Rising (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2009)

If “art is an act of violence” as the uncompromising Nicolas Winding Refn has attested, then his vicious Viking abstraction Valhalla Rising must surely belong in the Louvre. Cut to the bone in terms of narrative and dialogue, the only thing harsher than the inevitability of (often brutal) death in Refn’s powerful and primeval journey […]

Categories
Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Excalibur (John Boorman, 1981)

Sex, violence, betrayal, revenge – these are the ingredients of a film producer’s wet dream, and the legend of King Arthur has them in spades. It’s no surprise, then, that Arthur has continued to serve as an influence, direct or otherwise, for countless forms of art and entertainment. His latest cinematic incarnation is due to hit […]

Categories
Features Four Frames

Four Frames – My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant, 1991)

The Bard and Keanu Reeves didn’t exactly hit it off when one half of Bill and Ted got himself Golden Raspberry-nominated for his grisly turn in Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado about Nothing (1993). Two years earlier, however, Reeves enjoyed far more success channelling the spirit of Shakespeare’s Prince Hal when he appeared opposite River Phoenix […]

Categories
Features Lost Classics Reviews

Lost Classic: Went The Day Well? (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1942)

Propaganda films exist to sell a varnished version of real events, which makes it even more remarkable that a movie made when the outcome of World Ward Two was far from certain would so boldly write the epitaph for Hitler’s Third Reich. Adapted from Graham Greene’s magazine story, Alberto Cavalcanti’s 1942 classic Went The Day […]

Categories
Features Lost Classics Reviews

Lost Classic: Colossus: The Forbin Project (Joseph Sargent, 1970)

It may have been released back when computers were still the size of refrigerators, but the dire warnings expounded by this cautionary slice of Nixon-era paranoia have only become louder. Professor Stephen Hawking’s apocalyptic exhortation that artificial intelligence could possibly spell the end of mankind if allowed to evolve unchecked will come as little surprise […]