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Brilliant Failures: The Prowler (AKA Rosemary’s Killer) (Dir. Joseph Zito, 1981)

I imagine few of those who made The Prowler, and few of those who have seen it, regard it as either brilliant or a failure – and yet it warrants inclusion in this series as much as any movie we have featured. The Prowler (which is available on Region 2 DVD under its alternate title, […]

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Features Screengems

Screengem: Bingham’s Backpack (Up in the Air, 2009)

Up in the Air overflows with evocative objects. There is the sleek hand luggage that Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) calculates saves him a week a year (a week’s worth of hours being what anyone who flies as often as he does would waste checking in a suitcase before each flight). There is the almost mythical […]

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Recommended: The Errand Boy (Jerry Lewis, 1961)

Like many comedians capable of bewitching us with their innocence, Andy Kaufmann being an excellent example, Jerry Lewis is easily bewitched by innocence even more pronounced than his own. This is never more evident onscreen than in one of the standout sequences in The Errand Boy, his classic – and uniquely Lewisian – look at […]

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Screengems

Screengem: Carlin’s Cosh (Scum, 1979)

One of the great scenes in British cinema centres on two snooker balls in a sock. While the screws are out of earshot, Ray Winstone’s young convict, Carlin, creates a cosh and uses it to knock Phil Daniels’s Richards off his position at top of their borstal’s power pyramid as emphatically as if he’d killed […]

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Features Thousand Words Widescreen

Art & Film: Jersey Boy Part 3 (in discussion with painter and poet Michael Medina)

Michael Medina‘s paintings, and impassioned discussions of them, proved too much to contain in one issue of The Big Picture. Here, in the final part of his conversation with Scott Jordan Harris, he discusses Grace Kelly, Children of the Corn and the Antichrist. In Issue 7, you told us how, after contracting meningitis at a […]

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Features Thousand Words Widescreen

Art & Film: Jersey Boy Part 2 (in discussion with painter and poet Michael Medina)

For Issue 7, Scott Jordan Harris met Michael Medina, a New Jersey-based painter whose astonishing canvasses are profoundly influenced by film. Here’s the first of two online continuations of their conversation. Many painters are often referred to as ‘filmmakers’ painters’. (The influence of Caravaggio on Martin Scorsese, for example, is well known.) Are there any […]

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Dark Portraits: The photographs of Amanda Norman

Scott Jordan Harris meets Amanda Norman, a British photographer endlessly inspired by macabre movies. Horror photography is a fascinating field. Sports photographers photograph actual sports, and nature photographers photograph actual scenes from nature – but horror photographers do not photograph actual horrors. Instead, they craft fictionalised images of the atrocious and the eerie that are […]

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Features Screengems

Screengem: Charlie’s Golden Ticket

  It’s not coincidental that the brilliant golden ticket needed to board the Polar Express is almost identical to the brilliant golden ticket needed to get inside Willy Wonka’s ‘non-pollutionary, anti-institutionary, pro-confectionery factory of fun’. In the 23 years between Mel Stuart’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Robert Zemeckis’s The Polar Express, the […]

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Features Screengems

Screengem: Indiana Jones’s Hat

Indiana Jones is essentially a superhero: usually the bowtied and bespectacled Prof. Henry Jones Jr., he has only to climb into his chosen costume to become Indiana Jones, whip-wielding discoverer of the Holy Grail and insouciant scourge of the Nazis. And, while his revolver is ever-ready, his whip indispensible and his jacket unmistakable, only his […]