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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: Peppermint Candy (Lee Chang-dong, 2000)

At the end of the 19th Century, the Lumiere brothers’ short film Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1895) defined the technological advancements of the era, and terrified audiences who, having seen nothing like it before, believed the train would fly out of the screen. Over a hundred years later, at the turn of […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979)

Until the late nineteen-seventies, Woody Allen had only produced farces and slapstick comedies. It was with the release of Annie Hall (1977), a significant turning point in his career, that Allen demonstrated his intent to produce films that were thematically mature, dramatic, and emotionally engaging. What followed broke the mould for the filmmaker. Beautifully photographed by Gordon Willis in […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengems: The harmonium in Punch Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love is unabashedly romantic. The film has a wide-eyed, almost naïve belief in the power of love told through the story of the child-like Barry Egan (Adam Sandler), and the symbolic use of an obscure instrument. When Barry finds an old harmonium outside his office, it’s somewhat unexpected. Landing on […]

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Feature Thousand Words

Thousand Words: Deconstructing The Manic Pixie Dream Girl

With Ruby Sparks (2012), is Zoe Kazan attempting to deconstruct that most idealised of ‘noughties’ cinematic tropes, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (or MPDG)? And if so, just where will a sensitive ‘new’ man be able to go from there to reassert his ‘masculinity’? Calvin Weir-Fields, the ‘wonder boy’ author at the centre of Ruby […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: Literal and symbolic barriers in Proof of Life (Taylor Hackford, 2000)

Upon its release, Proof of Life (2000) was marketed and received as a vague update of the untouchable and inimitable classic Casablanca (1942). Tony Gilroy’s script pairs a realistic hostage-negotiation scenario with an unconsummated romance between its central characters: Meg Ryan’s Alice Bowman, whose husband Peter (David Morse) has been taken hostage by rebels in […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: C.C. Baxter’s bowler hat from The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960)

From the moment Jack Lemmon’s C.C. Baxter dons his new bowler hat in Billy Wilder’s The Apartment the film changes into a very different beast to what has come before. Baxter’s rise from struggling clerk amid the core of the 19th floor to 2nd administrative assistant with his own office is swift. The endless nights […]

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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: Jeremy (Arthur Barron, 1973)

If you look along the shelf of ‘American performing arts student coming-of-age movie’ high school yearbooks, back through time beyond the tans and tooth veneers of Glee and High School Musical, beyond the mullets and leg warmers of Fame, you’ll come eventually to a half-forgotten, suitably geeky, split-frame spectacled 70s gem called Jeremy. It’s one […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: Homer’s Hooks (The Best Years of Our Lives, 1946)

William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives concerns the fraught homecoming of three servicemen at the end of WWII, and the difficulties they encounter reintegrating into American society. One of the many things that made this film special was the casting of Harold Russell as Homer Parish, a sailor who has lost both his […]