Ken Loach’s latest film is set in Newcastle and stars Dave Johns as a traditional Geordie facing up to the challenge of living and getting by in 21st century England.
With the migrant crisis looming on television screens and in the pages of newspapers – and in all the other places where news is now disseminated – it is surely about time that cinema will show us the side of the story we haven’t seen or read about yet. While politicians ponder the numbers (for… Continue reading Dheepan and the Refugee Experience
It could be said that like the elongated motorway sequence in Solaris (1972), supposedly included to alienate audiences unworthy of an Andrei Tarkovsky film, Miroslav Slaboshpitsky offers a similar manoeuvre by warning us both in the trailer and at the film’s inception that The Tribe will include no subtitles, voice-over or any other explanation of… Continue reading The Tribe (Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, 2015)
It could be said that the history of jazz has followed the same course as the history of the American cinema. Born around the same time in the late 19th century – one in the Deep South, the other in France – and progressing to become the popular American art forms of choice in the… Continue reading Whiplash, Jazz and Creativity
In the first years of the 21st century, Hollywood discovered a thirst for male and female characters with superhuman powers. These extraordinary individuals were able to confront the type of modern crime that has progressively rendered the classical systems of state power – the police and governmental intelligence services – helpless. Exploiting the widespread paranoia… Continue reading Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2015)
Although the vampire genre has always proved popular within both cinema and literature, the 21st century has witnessed a staggering rise in the amount of films centred on vampires. From the profoundly beloved Twilight Saga (2008-2012) to the obscure Thirst (Park Chan-wook, 2009) and the upcoming Dracula Untold (Gary Shore, 2014), it would be difficult… Continue reading Only Lovers Left Alive: Jim Jarmusch and the Vampire Genre
Within a political and social climate blissfully ignorant of the myriad problems our planet will soon face, where the desperate cries of scientists are rarely heard over the noise of those promoting doubt, Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 masterwork Koyaanisqatsi has perhaps never been so relevant. Released before many had heard of the term global warming, Reggio’s… Continue reading Koyaanisqatsi, a Hymn for Planet Earth in the Age of Climate Change
To most audiences, to describe a film as ‘slow’ is to give it a negative value judgement. In answer to the question ‘why didn’t you like the film?’ one often hears the response ‘oh because it was so slow’, especially in relation to non-mainstream and art cinema. The word ‘slow’ regularly works as a… Continue reading Slow Cinema and Norte, the End of History