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Brilliant Failures Reviews

First Snow (Mark Fergus, 2006)

Mark Fergus’ debut feature First Snow initially appears to have much in common with Christopher Nolan’s breakthrough success Memento (2000): both are neo-noirs with Guy Pearce in the lead role, while the central protagonist in each film becomes increasingly unstable due to never having quite enough knowledge to make sense of his predicament. First Snow, […]

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Brilliant Failures Reviews

The Reflecting Skin (Philip Ridley 1990)

If making a film was like baking a cake one would reasonably expect art school polymath Philip Ridley’s 1990 directorial debut The Reflecting Skin, with its combination of fine ingredients, to have turned out like the grandest Viennese sacher torte. So how come it looks and tastes like a Greggs jam doughnut? Actually that’s a […]

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Features Thousand Words Widescreen

Fremont Street as featured in ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ (Dir. Godfrey Reggio, 1982)

As we prepare for the publication of World Film Locations: Las Vegas next month – the latest in our series of books exploring the relationship between the city and cinema– Marco Bohr examines one of the many evocative moments in Godfrey Reggio’s masterly medidation of life, Koyaanisqatsi. In Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi, a group of middle-aged […]

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Features Thousand Words

The Bradbury Building as featured in ‘The Artist’ (Dir. Michel Hazanavicius, 2011)

A star in its own right, Los Angeles’ Bradbury building has featured in films as diverse as Double Indemnity, Blade Runner and (500) Days of Summer. Illuminated by a large central skylight and lined with ornate wrought-iron railings, the courtyard of the Bradbury stages a transition between interior and exterior. In Michel Hazanavicius’ recent (silent) […]

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Features Thousand Words Widescreen

On Location: The LA River as seen in ‘Drive’ (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011)

The LA River is one of the most familiar sights in cinema, though many filmgoers might be hard-pressed to recognise it as a river. A hard-sided cement trench sluicing through the city, it’s rare to see it adorned with so much as a puddle. Indeed, this ‘river’ is a startlingly inauthentic place, empty and barren, […]

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Features Thousand Words Widescreen

On Location: My Voyage to Italy (Martin Scorsese, 1999)

Martin Scorsese’s engrossing four hour documentary odyssey through the Italian films that played a large part in his cinematic education expands our own On Location feature into an all encompassing exploration of personal identity, history, ancestry, geography and changing national cultural, political and social climates. Executive produced by Giorgio Armani and recently released for the […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Shelley Winters and water don’t mix: The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)

It probably wasn’t planned this way but it’s really quite remarkable how often the film characters played by actress Shelley Winters met a watery grave. One of her most hauntingly bizarre demises features in Charles Laughton’s lone directorial outing The Night of the Hunter. To silence his new wife Willa (Winters) evil Reverend Harry Powell […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: The colour palette of Archipelago (Dir. Joanna Hogg, 2010)

The idea of a director ‘painting with light’ in the making of a film has become something of a lazy cliché. In the case of Archipelago, the new British film scrutinising every painful and discomforting nuance of a dysfunctional family holiday on the Scillonian island of Tresco, it is possibly the most apposite description of […]

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Features Thousand Words

Spotlight: On the Road Around the World

Whilst the ‘road movie’ most readily conjures up images of the ever changing social and physical landscape of America, from Easy Rider to Little Miss Sunshine, it is by no means limited to one nation’s collective experiences. All around the World, from Australia to Scandinavia and all places in between, the genre has attracted all […]