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.

The 2018 London Film Festival: some personal recommendations

As last year, here are some recommendations for the upcoming BFI London Film Festival. There are, of course, many films in the festival that I haven’t yet seen, some of which I am greatly looking forward to. (For me Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and Mike Leigh’s Peterloo are merely the most immediately enticing; since posting this piece … Continue reading The 2018 London Film Festival: some personal recommendations

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