The Duke. Review by Graham Buchan. In The Duke the director Roger Michell establishes exactly the right tone from the outset and maintains it steadily right up to the film’s very satisfying conclusion.
Licorice Pizza (2021). Review by Alan Price. The title Licorice Pizza comes from a long gone record store that director Paul Thomas Anderson knew when he was growing up in Southern California. It featured a female cook holding up her freshly baked ‘licorice pizza’ – a yummy black vinyl record!
Mike Leigh’s Naked (1993). Review by Alan Price. In 1993 Naked was an abrupt shift from Leigh’s domestic comedy dramas. This raw and provocative film, full of black humour, about the underbelly of London cutting into a morally confused lower-middle class, both excited and dismayed people.
Les Enfants Terribles (Melville) 1950 BFI Blu Ray 2021. When critics write of Les Enfants Terrible, Jean-Pierre Melville’s superlative film of Jean Cocteau’s novel, they use terms like “sibling rivalry” and “an obsessive incestuous relationship.’
Hot Air: The Inside Story of the Battle Against Climate Change Denial. By Peter Stott. Review by Barbara Lewis.
A year before the Kyoto Protocol committed the developed world to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, Britain’s Education Act of 1996 incorporated the Thatcher government’s 1986 Education Act that was designed to deal with a perceived issue of left-wing teachers indoctrinating school pupils. Two decades on, mathematician Peter Stott found himself defending climate science against its deniers, who used Thatcher’s legal legacy to take to the High Court their objections to Al Gore’s climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth being streamed in schools.
West Side Story, directed by Steven Spielberg In the new West Side Story Leonard Bernstein’s magnificent music and Stephen Sondheim’s incisive and witty lyrics have all been preserved and bring as much pleasure as before.
BFI. Ingmar Bergman Vol 2 (5 Blu-Ray discs). In the 1950’s we experience Ingmar Bergman’s gradual progression to full maturity as a filmmaker. The culmination of that journey was internationally recognised in such (now) iconic films as Smiles of a Summer Night, Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal.
Director David Greene has gone on record as saying that he finds upheaval in society to be dramatic and exciting. “I like my films to be a sort of reportage of the world around the action.” For me this accurately describes the effect of his three remarkable films of the late sixties. I Start Counting (1969), The Shuttered Room (1968) and The Strange Affair (1968) reveal a brilliantly confident sense of circumvention of plot and action.
Rarely does the cinema provide us with such perfect opportunities for directly (and appropriately) comparing the work of two very different auteurs, but the release, just two months apart, of Jean-Luc Godard’s 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her and Luis Bunuel’s Belle de Jour, provides just such an opportunity.