Bologna discovery: the films of John Stahl

My annual visit to Bologna’s Il Cinema Ritrovato festival – which specialises in rarities, restorations, forgotten fragments and other filmic arcana – usually turns up a few gems, and often provides a welcome opportunity to get better acquainted with the work of a director with whom I was hitherto barely familiar; last year, I especially … Continue reading Bologna discovery: the films of John Stahl

The 2018 Cannes Film Festival: My Top 12 Movies

While last year’s Cannes - the 70th edition of the Festival – was a little underwhelming, this year’s event turned out to be pretty rewarding, at least in terms of the main competition. While I wouldn’t claim that it produced any indisputable masterpieces, there were many very good films on offer, and around five or … Continue reading The 2018 Cannes Film Festival: My Top 12 Movies

The 2018 Berlin Film Festival – my top ten movies

The 2018 edition of the Berlin Film Festival was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a superior vintage; like myself, most critics I spoke with agreed that there were few if any truly outstanding films, though a couple whose opinions I respect did tell me they had discovered a masterpiece in  the Forum strand … Continue reading The 2018 Berlin Film Festival – my top ten movies

Reworking music from the movies: Norma Winstone’s ‘Descansado’

‘It’s always good if you can find a theme for an album. In this case, what happened was this: Glauco often plays little tunes during sound-checks, and when you ask him what the music is, it frequently turns out to be from some film. So I thought it would be nice to take music which … Continue reading Reworking music from the movies: Norma Winstone’s ‘Descansado’

From Baker Street to Loch Ness: Billy Wilder takes a trip with Sherlock Holmes

I am not usually moved to write here about new DVD or BluRay releases, but in the case of a new release, on Eureka’s Masters of Cinema label, of Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, I decided to make an exception. Those who’ve read me on Wilder before will know that I am … Continue reading From Baker Street to Loch Ness: Billy Wilder takes a trip with Sherlock Holmes

My Best Moments of 2017: films, music and other stuff…

What with the depressing political mess we found ourselves in throughout 2017, which tended to privilege prejudice over reason, brazen deceit over factual truths, personal profit over compassion for others, and the short-term gains of the present over the long-term requirements of the future, it could be difficult to find cause for hope. But that … Continue reading My Best Moments of 2017: films, music and other stuff…

Movies for Christmas… or any time

With Christmas imminent, you may be wondering what to buy for your loved ones (or even, let’s face it, for yourself). Movies on DVD or BluRay can be useful, and there have been a fair few very fine films released over the last year. I’m not one of those people particularly bothered about masses of … Continue reading Movies for Christmas… or any time

A Matter of Death and Life: the Films of Ingmar Bergman

The following piece – an introduction to the work of Ingmar Bergman – was written for the website of the Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle, which last November mounted a brief season of his films. But this slightly amended version might serve equally as a taster for the current, comprehensive Bergman retrospective playing at London's BFI Southbank … Continue reading A Matter of Death and Life: the Films of Ingmar Bergman

Four More Discoveries: An Update after the London Film Festival

Some of you may have already read my recent blog in which I recommended a number of films in the BFI London Film Festival, films which I’d already seen at other festivals earlier in the year. For much of the LFF I was involved in introducing movies and hosting Q&As, but I did, fortunately, find … Continue reading Four More Discoveries: An Update after the London Film Festival

The 2017 BFI London Film Festival – some personal recommendations

With this year's edition of the London Film Festival due to begin in a few days, I thought I'd suggest a few titles to look out for. There are many movies in the Festival, of course, which I haven't yet seen, but of those I have managed to catch already – in Cannes, Berlin, Venice, … Continue reading The 2017 BFI London Film Festival – some personal recommendations