Double Bill Feature

Double Bill: Happiness & Life During Wartime

In Happiness (1998), the ever-smiling Trish (Cynthia Stevenson), in her neat kitchen, is strongly reminiscent of the female ideal as propagated in American films and commercials of the 1950s and 1960s. However, her affected demeanour und put-on optimism cannot hide the illusion behind the image of the idyllic home that is associated with the American […]

Feature 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 […]

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 […]

Feature Thousand Words

Wim Wenders, Paris, Texas and the Great American Roadtrip

There is a fleeting scene about 8 minutes into Wim Wenders’ heartbreaking but life-affirming Paris, Texas that has stayed with me ever since I first saw it twenty-odd years ago. The scene is of Walt Henderson (Dean Stockwell) parked up at a gas station, checking a map which is propped up on the hood of his […]