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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: In America (Jim Sheridan, 2003)

Making a change can be difficult at the best of times, but doing so as a way of beginning again following the tragic loss of a loved one is a challenge that almost breaks the Sullivans, the wounded family at the centre of Jim Sheridan’s achingly moving In America. The clan – dad Johnny (Paddy […]

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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: Pi (Darren Aronofsky, 1998)

It’s a trait that has remained constant throughout much of his career, but the dangerous consequences of obsession were never more strikingly explored than in Darren Aronofsky’s distinctive debut. The high contrast provided by the jarring black and white reversal film stock on which Aronofsky filmed Pi (1998) is emblematic of the madness/genius see-saw its […]

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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: The Candidate (Michael Ritchie, 1972)

It’s difficult to pinpoint precisely when the political process finally surrendered to the whim of the media machine and devolved into little more than a playground trade-off centred on bite-sized slogans and soundbites. ‘Playing the game’ has become a damning pre-requisite for those who seek to govern us, as Robert Redford’s idealist-turned-stooge Bill McKay comes […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)

The words “oh God” have been uttered countless different times in cinema, but never with such uncomprehending horror as when Edward Woodward’s sacrifice-in-waiting howls them out in The Wicker Man. Religious intolerance and zealotry have been unfortunate bedfellows for thousands of years and are brought to the fore in Robin Hardy’s cult classic. Ostensibly about […]

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Feature Thousand Words

Thousand Words: The portrait of the religious movie by an atheist director

Ever since its earliest days, cinema has, to quote the esteemed French critic André Bazin, “always been interested in God”. Whether it be biblical tales of all scales and budgets, stories about saints and sinners, or more grounded accounts of everyday church professionals, filmmakers have consistently returned to the well of religion to draw inspiration. Many of the […]

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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: Secretary (Steven Shainberg, 2002)

Long before the box office submitted to the inevitable adaptation of E. L. James’ mummy porn juggernaut, another altogether more fascinating Mr Grey indulged in a spot of big screen sadomasochism. It helps that the Mr Grey of Steven Shainberg’s Secretary (2002) is played by the jittery genius that is James Spader, whose career has […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames – Ace in the Hole (Billy Wilder, 1951)

Anyone who thought Billy Wilder’s savagely cynical noir about a disgraced journalist’s search for a career-rejuvenating scoop was too sensational need only recall 2010’s media circus surrounding the plight of the 33 trapped Chilean miners. The sight of hundreds of rubberneckers flanked by publicity-hungry officials and hordes of reporters dowsing the crisis at ‘Camp Hope’ […]

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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: The Rutles – All You Need is Cash (Eric Idle, 1978)

Hardly ones to take themselves too seriously, the Fab Four nevertheless provided the perfect foils for the grandfather of music mockumentaries. Before Rob Reiner’s This is Spinal Tap (1984) there was The Rutles: All You Need is Cash (1978), a Beatles parody given form partly thanks to its lead guitarist George Harrison. Originally conceived as a […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. As for family, well… Towards the end of Francis Ford Coppola’s tenebrous portrait of a family eating itself from the inside, an aghast Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) asks his adopted brother Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) why he wants to wipe everyone out when he’s already won, to […]