My best of the 2019 Berlin Film Festival

In writing about my favourite films at last year’s Berlin Film Festival – which I confessed from the start was not in my opinion a vintage edition – I felt able to select 10 films to recommend you look out for. In retrospect, now that the 2019 edition has come to an end, selecting that … Continue reading My best of the 2019 Berlin Film Festival

Of birds and bombs: new music from Eleni Karaindrou

If, like me, you’re a fan of the films of the late Theo Angelopoulos, there’s a fair chance that you are also an admirer of the music of the composer Eleni Karaindrou, who composed the music for the great Greek writer-director’s last eight features, from Voyage to Cythera (1984) to The Dust of Time (2009) … Continue reading Of birds and bombs: new music from Eleni Karaindrou

Mulling over Antonioni

Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) was undoubtedly a major artist, and a hugely important, massively influential filmmaker, one of those few who really did change how people thought about the cinema and its potential as an art form. Not surprisingly, then, his films amply repay repeat viewings. (Hence the current BFI retrospective.) That’s partly because the films … Continue reading Mulling over Antonioni

My best movies, music and other moments from 2018

When, around this time last year, I posted my round-up of my favourite movies, music and so on of 2017, I felt the need to say what a difference the arts had made for me in a time of depressing political confusion and chaos. I’m not going to kick off another rant this year, even … Continue reading My best movies, music and other moments from 2018

Movies and music for Christmas and beyond

This time last year I posted a piece highlighting some favourites movies of mine which had been released on disc during 2017; I hoped it might prove helpful for anyone wondering what to buy for Christmas presents. It seemed to go down quite well, so this year I’ve decided to repeat the exercise, with some … Continue reading Movies and music for Christmas and beyond

A plug for ‘Mug’ (Don’t let that title put you off a terrific new movie!)

There’s a new movie out in the UK this week – Mug – though, as is now so often the way with foreign-language titles, it is receiving a disappointingly limited release. I imagine it will probably end up appearing on other platforms, however, so I’d like to draw attention to the film now. It’s well … Continue reading A plug for ‘Mug’ (Don’t let that title put you off a terrific new movie!)

Nicolas Roeg and Bernardo Bertolucci: two film greats remembered.

I am far from the first to lament the recent loss, within a couple of days, of both Nicolas Roeg and Bernardo Bertolucci, and I certainly won’t be the last. What follows is not some sort of double obituary, but merely a brief, personal appreciation of two major filmmakers, both of whom proved to be … Continue reading Nicolas Roeg and Bernardo Bertolucci: two film greats remembered.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: western approaches by the Coens

With the exception of festival reports and annual round-ups I haven’t written very often here about new movies, but every now and then something comes along which I feel merits a bit of a plug. Now, it might seem strange to be doing this for a movie by filmmakers as well known as Joel and … Continue reading The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: western approaches by the Coens

The Other Side of the Wind: at last it can be seen.

Ever since I first became seriously interested in the cinema, I have considered Orson Welles one of the very finest filmmakers of all time; and whenever I’m invited to do the impossible and nominate one movie as the greatest ever made, I usually opt for Citizen Kane. So I was obviously one of those Welles … Continue reading The Other Side of the Wind: at last it can be seen.

Shirkers: the film that never was, but is now.

A few days ago, a documentary I’ve been wanting to see ever since it won the best direction prize at Sundance was made available to watch on Netflix; the film has been garnering positive reviews pretty much wherever it’s screened, so I jumped at the chance to catch up with it at last. It was … Continue reading Shirkers: the film that never was, but is now.