It’s been a while…

…. probably because 2017 held very few outstanding moments in film for me. Am I not looking hard enough? Am I distracted? Sally Potter’s THE PARTY was acerbic and arresting but pretty minor and as 2018 begins it’s clear we need a fundamental rethink. Weinstein’s downfall has left cinema itself exposed: we need new stories, better told, generated by more women.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


The monumental shock and dislocation of Jackie’s loss. An utterly believable and engaging car ride from hell. An evocation of this woman’s horror from first to last frame. Clear, empathetic, penetrating.
Great music, editing, directing, design, costume, hair and make-up, cast….. the whole list. 

She’s lonely, angry, riven, woebegone and utterly perplexed. Give Natalie Portman that Oscar now!

This film is a symbol of how we can destroy hope in a moment … not irrelevant in these shitty times.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solaris revisited

Watching this beloved film again at the Rio this evening, it’s like rummaging through my own half remembered past. The wondrously cheap sets, bits of crockery, string and old wire only enhance the sense that the battles of the future will be assembled via all our rickety, unreliable yet deeply moved minds.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solaris (1972)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jungle Book

For me this is a father and son thing: my Dad took me to see the first Disney version when I was a kid and last night I took Dovid to see the 2016 remake. We bathed in the warmth and the humour. The original will always be the most magical for me: Disney at its anthropomorphic best, although the latest King Louis is a scary mountain of an ape. The two films are complementary. I’m ready to read the Kipling and to reflect on the real picture in present day India where the caste system lives on and real tigers are horribly slaughtered by poachers. It’s man who poses Shere Khan’s greatest threat. 


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


If only the fact that there are no edits made up for the even bigger fact that we’re watching a bunch of idiots running round Berlin in two hours twenty minutes real time.

Call me very old fashioned, but a well placed cut is a marvellous thing.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Hateful Eight

An exercise in sheer pointlessness.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Revenant

The utter domination of the male gaze over Hollywood.

This film is a convulsion of violence embedded in great natural beauty and accurately portrays the birth of a nation.

The great struggle for money, life and space is played out by groups of men: European and American colonisers and Native American tribesmen alike.

The Native American women who fleetingly appear are victims, supplicants, domestic drawers of water and, in the case of the protagonist’s wife, a ghost. The one woman drawn into the violence is, on being rescued, a vengeful castrator of the male tormentor.

And who can blame her? It’s the only way for women to get noticed in Tinseltown!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Steve Jobs

Lazy thought that saves me burbling : I agree verbatim with Peter Bradshaw’s review in The Grauniad, even though I despair of their copy editors: Levis will NEVER have an apostrophe. My one caveat is that this is still a male dominated film. Director writer star conspire to do nothing whatsoever to dislodge the eternal narrative of A Man’s Gotta Do What A Man’s Gotta Do. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Don’t see it for the yards of extras, frocks, endless 50s vehicles chugging through frame.

See it for the way we linger on Saoirse Ronan’s face, exploring the meanings, depths and dilemmas between the lines.

A terrific film which does justice to the complex emotions of a young Irish  woman.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment