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Drama
 
 

Quarry

Long before HBO owned prime time TV with their visceral and addictive reworking of George RR Martin’s Game Of Thrones books, they had a reputation for groundbreaking drama. Whether Sex In The City, The Wire, or Bored To Death p...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Indochine

Way back in 1975, the Nigerian novelist and critic Chinua Achebe described Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness as an offensive and deplorable book that de-humanised African people  by reducing them to little more than set-dressin...
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Royal Tenenbaums

There is a sense of watching The Royal Tenenbaums that has you wondering if every finite detail on screen was meticulously planned out by writer director Wes Anderson. Because the world of the Tenenbaums is so perfectly realise...
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Shallows

Oh to be a fly on the wall in the original pitch for The Shallows. You can picture it now. A cigar smoke filled room, a group of stuffy looking studio executives smugly nodding as the concept of girl stranded on a rock being st...
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Squid And The Whale

Arriving alongside its more popular cousin The Royal Tenenbaums as part of the Criterion Collection, The Squid And The Whale, for many, will be something of an acquired taste. But even if at first it does not appeal to the pall...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chevalier

Few European directors are as deserving of your time as Athina Rachel Tsangari. Born in 1966, Tsangari’s filmmaking career began after leaving her native Greece to attend film school at the University of Texas at Austin. It was...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Day for Night

These days, it is no longer uncommon to encounter books and articles prophesizing the imminent death of film as a medium. How can the medium that defined the 20th Century have been so thoroughly debased? Was it the alleged resu...
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Lion In Winter

It’s 1183 and King Henry II of England wants his youngest son, Prince John, to inherit his throne. His estranged wife Eleanor of Aquitaine favours their older son, Richard – he of Lionhearted fame. Eleanor is in prison fo...
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Man Who Fell To Earth

At the end of the day it’s all about Bowie.  Nicholas Roeg’s iconic tale is based on a sci-fi classic novel of existential loneness in which an alien – Bowie – arrives on Earth with a plan to save his dying homeward...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Money Monster

It is a crying shame that Money Monster didn’t do better box office business or garner better critical reception. Because it does a lot of things that Hollywood should be doing right now. It tells an original story, engages in ...
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Sacrifice

By 1984, the life of Andrei Tarkovsky had reached an impasse. Soon after the release of his Soviet/Italian co-production Nostalgia, Tarkovsky called a press conference and announced his decision not to return to the Soviet Unio...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nostalgia

One of the more depressing developments in the market for art house film has been the tendency to collapse the market for world cinema into one large amalgamated market for art house film. What this means in practice is that on...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Flower of my Secret

Work your way through the six films included in the excellent Almodóvar Collection and you will begin to notice certain recurring motifs. Aside from Pedro Almodóvar’s fondness for transgressive imagery and his widely-celebrated...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Kika

Back when distribution companies first began releasing and re-packaging the collected works of particular directors, eccentricities of choice could easily be explained away in terms of problems securing rights to well-known fil...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

While Law of Desire may have been the film that brought Pedro Almodóvar to a global audience, it was Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown that cemented his reputation as one of the great European filmmakers. Unlike Law of ...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Law of Desire

As part of the Almodóvar Collection re-release, this version of Law of Desire comes with an excellent introduction by the academic Jose Arroyo. According to Arroyo, Almodóvar’s fifth film was a breakthrough on a number of diffe...
 
 
 
 
 
 

What Have I Done to Deserve This?

Fascism appears to have had a rather complicated influence on the development of Spanish cinema. When the dust finally settled on the Spanish civil war and cultural elites began surveying the damage, they realised that nearly a...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dark Habits

While Pedro Almodóvar is now one of the best known and most widely-respected figures in European cinema, it is easy to forget that he began his career making underground films in the shadows of Europe’s last surviving fascist r...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jane Got A Gun

Given that Jane Got A Gun appeared on 2011’s Black List, a list comprised of the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood, it’s amazing that it ended up being such a nightmare to get made. Because watching Jane Got A Gun you are co...
 
 
 
 
 
 

Knight Of Cups

There was a time you had to wait decades for Terrence Malick to release another film. Then came The Tree of Life and off the back of that a flurry of films. To The Wonder followed, now Knight Of Cups and before long his next ou...