Best of 2017, comment, directors, Favourite films, Movies, Reviews, SAVAGE CINEMA!

Is Darren Aronofsky’s mother! the most reviled masterpiece of 2017? – Spoilers ahoy!

Darren Aronofsky’s new film mother! arrived in nachoplexes this weekend (15th September) carrying a huge weight of anticipation following a carefully calibrated and secretive marketing campaign and a premiere screening at the Venice Film Festival that provoked both applause and catcalls from the audience (at least at the early morning press screening). Now sooner did it arrive than it died at the box office, opening below projections with a reported $7.5m in the US and achieving a rare F from Cinemascore, the lowest possible rating from the site that polls opening weekend audiences in the US as they leave the theatre.

Equating the worth of a movie to its box office success is something only idiots do, but it is interesting to consider why Aronofsky’s film has received such a rough reception from audiences whilst simultaneously being generally well received by critics. That is what I’m going to try to do with this blog whilst also discussing the film, and my personal interpretation of its meaning in depth.

In order to achieve this, I will thoroughly spoil the film. So if you haven’t seen it and you intend to… do not read past the jump. In fact, even if you don’t intend to see it, don’t read past the jump. Because who knows, one night you might stumble over it in late night TV, or find it as an in-flight movie (a hilariously unlikely prospect, but you never know). Trust me, you should see this film as cold as possible for it to realize maximum effect. Continue reading

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Classics, Favourite films, Film festivals, Movies, Reviews, Writers

Television, the drug of the nation: tuning back into Network

Part of the Cinema Rediscovered Festival at Bristol’s Watershed cinema, it was a pleasure to see Sidney Lumet’s 1976 film Network on the big screen for the first time. If you haven’t seen the film some mild spoilers follow… Continue reading

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best of 2014, british film, Favourite films, Movies

Favorite films – Pride (2014)

Shown this Christmas on BBC2, 2014’s Pride was my favourite film of that year and hopefully will find a wider audience on its terrestrial television premiere.

This is an article I wrote about the film (with a few minor edits) for the late and much lamented movie magazine Verite. Continue reading

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comment, crime, directors, Favourite films, horror, Movies, Uncategorized, Verite film magazine

“John Doe has the upper hand!” In the frame – Se7en

This article was first published in the January 2015 issue of Verite Film Magazine. Before you proceed this was for a running feature called ‘In the frame in which Verite writers wrote about their favorite scenes in movies. This was my one entry in the strand and looks at a scene from near the very end of director David Fincher’s 1995 masterpiece of neo-noir horror, Se7en. If you haven’t seen the movie and you read this, I will personally visit you in the night and force feed you Spam till you burst. Spoilers okay! You have been warned. Continue reading

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Classics, exploitation, Favourite films, horror, In Memorium, Movies

Remembering Wes Craven and The People Under the Stairs

The news today (the 31st August 2015) of the death of the director Wes Craven came as something it was hard not to characterise with gallows humour as a ‘Shocker’, of all the directors classed as ‘Masters of Horror’ Craven was the one that had kept a candle burning for the horror genre. Whilst others either fizzled out after initial promise (Hooper), gradually got stuck in a genre rut (Romero), suffered a gradual decline (Carpenter), or left the genre for pastures new (Cronenberg), Craven demonstrated a remarkable resilience.  Continue reading

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Classics, Favourite films, Movies, Reviews

Favourite films – Night of the Hunter

During the great American depression of the nineteen thirties to support his family young father Ben Harper is driven to crime. Arrested for robbery in front of his children, he is sentenced to hang. However, he has secreted the money he has stolen on his property and entrusted its whereabouts only to his children. Waiting for the gallows, Harper is enclosed in a cell with a preacher (Mitchum) incarcerated for automobile theft. Continue reading

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Favourite films, Movies, Music, Reviews

Favourite films – Inside Llewyn Davis

Llewyn Davis (Isaac) is singer plying his trade in the proto-hipster folk scene of Greenwich Village. Davis exists crashing on the floors of long suffering friends, and fellow musicians, whilst scraping a playing gigs and releasing the occasional record. Over one week he endures a perfect storm of crises as his disagreeable personality, bad luck and refusal to brook artistic compromise brings him to the brink of ruin. Continue reading

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