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Thousand Words: Investigation of a Cinema Above Suspicion – Italian Political Film of the 1960s and 1970s

When it comes to the golden age, or l’età d’oro, of Italian cinema, there appears these days to be some general discord over when this period actually took place. There is the argument, and perhaps it is a sound one, that the neorealism of the 1940s represents the true quintessence of Italian film at its uppermost heights: […]

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One Sheet: Looking at Lubitsch

The films of Ernst Lubitsch have become synonymous with bright, colourful characters and situations; accordingly, this is reflected in their various posters and promotional material from the time. Most of these posters – the comedies and romances especially – look to feature Lubistch’s central couple, often in some dramatic and red-cheeked pose, backed by festive imagery. Going […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Ninotchka (Ernst Lubitsch, 1939)

By far the most memorable moment to be found in Ernst Lubitsch’s great Ninotchka arrives mid-way through the film, where Greta Garbo’s eponymous tight-lipped Bolshevik is glumly partaking of some fish soup in a working class Parisian bistro. She is as one with the “common people”, or so she says, but couldn’t look more out of place: her starched clothes, […]

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Thousand Words: The Family in Film Noir

The family has always been a notable thematic absence from the shadowy, suspicious world of classical American film noir. To understand why this is the case is to understand the impact of the second world war upon Hollywood and the nation at large, but these are broader concerns than shall be addressed here. If film noir can be crystallised […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: The Big Heat (Fritz Lang, 1953)

This article contains film spoilers. Discouraged and temporarily defeated, detective Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford) leans heavily, hands in pockets, against the doorway of his young daughter’s room. “That’s the most beautiful castle in the whole world”, he says, referring to the child’s impressive building block creation sprawled across the bedroom floor. She grins, immediately bounding up into her […]

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Features Lost Classics

One Sheet: Ozu’s Families

Family has always been the preferred subject of Yasujirô Ozu; the subtle daily dynamics of the typical Japanese home, and the small moments of drama that may be glimpsed as a fly on the wall. Or perhaps, more accurately, as a fly hovering three feet from the floor: where Ozu’s static camera was always placed, emphasising the […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: The Last Man on Earth (Ubaldo Ragona & Sidney Salkow, 1964)

Perhaps most notable for its existence as the first (and finest?) adaptation of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend and an early example of survival horror, The Last Man on Earth begins under more innocuous circumstances. Sunrise over a cluster of pretty tenement buildings; the calm, empty streets of some wistful European city that suggest in their absence of people […]

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Wallpaper Wednesday | Midnight Cowboy

Life on the streets of New York never looked so desparate or devoid of hope as in John Schlesinger’s late 60s tale of comeraderie in an increasingly hostile world. Midnight Cowboy was just one in a series of films to cast a critical eye on the notion of an ‘American Dream’ at a major turning […]

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Wallpaper Wednesday | The Silence of the Lambs

With his creepily seductive manner and strangely vulnerable persona, Hannibal Lecter cemented himself as one of cinemas grisliest and most memorable screen psychos in Jonathan Demme’s 1990s chiller The Silence of the Lambs, but it was the quietly determined loner Clarice Starling who we couldn’t help but root for at the end. Click below the […]