Jonathan Demme, Man from Long Island

I’m certainly not planning to write many memorial blogs for filmmakers, but at the unexpected and very saddening news of the death of the American director Jonathan Demme, aged 73 (portrait above by Peter Hapak), I felt moved to do so. I never got to know him well or count him as a friend, but … Continue reading Jonathan Demme, Man from Long Island

‘A Quiet Passion’: Terence Davies in fine fettle with a film about Emily Dickinson

Of the new films released in the UK this week, a surprisingly large proportion have a distinctly literary bent. Besides the adaptation of Julian Barnes' novel The Sense of an Ending – I read and greatly enjoyed the book, but haven't yet seen the movie –  there are no less than three films actually about real … Continue reading ‘A Quiet Passion’: Terence Davies in fine fettle with a film about Emily Dickinson

From The Colour of Pomegranates to the Armenian genocide: some notes on Tigran Mansurian

If you’ve ever seen Sergei Paradjanov’s remarkable and unforgettably odd film, you will probably recognise the striking tableau above as one from Sayat Nova, released in the West as The Colour of Pomegranates. However much I admire the movie for its bold originality and painterly beauty, I must confess that its radical, highly allusive style … Continue reading From The Colour of Pomegranates to the Armenian genocide: some notes on Tigran Mansurian

My Berlinale: the top ten movies of the 2017 festival

Here, briefly, is a list of the ten films I most admired and enjoyed at the recent Berlin Film Festival. There were others I liked, of course, and perhaps I could/should have included Sebastian Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman or Andres Veiel’s documentary about Joseph Beuys, but in the end I had to make some tough … Continue reading My Berlinale: the top ten movies of the 2017 festival

Remembering John Hurt

I was very sad, though not surprised, to learn this morning that John Hurt had died, aged 77. I first met him twenty years ago, when I interviewed him for Time Out about his role in Love and Death on Long Island, Richard Kwietniowski’s terrific adaptation of Gilbert Adair’s novel. John’s performance in that movie … Continue reading Remembering John Hurt

My year in movies, music and books (what I liked best, anyway)

You certainly don’t need me to remind you that 2016 was in many respects a terrible year – an annus anus, so to speak – and an extremely worrying one in terms of what we may expect of 2017 and thereafter. And I am not going to darken your mood still further by listing the many greats who passed … Continue reading My year in movies, music and books (what I liked best, anyway)

Through Gary Oldman’s eyes: the star gets behind a camera again

It’s now 30 years since I first saw Gary Oldman act – as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy (1986) – and almost 20 since I first met him in person – at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, for an interview about his debut as writer-director, Nil by Mouth (1997). Though both those works – … Continue reading Through Gary Oldman’s eyes: the star gets behind a camera again

Abbas Kiarostami: a remembrance

This tribute was written for and first published by the BFI at http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/comment/obituaries/geoff-andrew-remembers-abbas-kiarostami With Abbas Kiarostami and translator Massoumeh Lahidji on stage at the Marrakech Film Festival, December 2015 When I first met Abbas Kiarostami on the evening of 21 June 1999 – I know the date because it was the night before I interviewed him on … Continue reading Abbas Kiarostami: a remembrance

Where to Begin with Robert Altman…

This piece was written for and first published by BFI online. See http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/all for further pieces. Why this might not seem so easy Despite being one of the most important American directors of the modern era, the late, great Robert Altman (1925-2006) is surprisingly often omitted from discussions that happily namecheck such figures as Spielberg, Scorsese, Eastwood, Lynch, Mann, … Continue reading Where to Begin with Robert Altman…

Great old movie, great new music by Garth Knox

    It’s fitting, I suppose, that for my first-ever blog I should write about what was my highlight of the recent BFI London Film Festival – fitting not so much because of my professional involvement with the Festival, but because the highlight in question featured a combination of film and music, two of the … Continue reading Great old movie, great new music by Garth Knox