In a Lonely Place (1950)

“I was born when she kissed me.
I died when she left me.
I lived a few weeks while she loved me.”

Melodramatic stuff. Continue reading

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The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

“Drop dead!”
That’s one of the first things said to Kirk Douglas’ character in The Bad and the Beautiful. 1952 was a long time ago. He would have been 35 for most of that year. Now he’s 100 and you have to delve into the extended cast (and those much younger) to find others who still live. It’s difficult to imagine a world where almost everyone alive right now is gone… and you’re still hanging in there. Continue reading

American Madness (1932)

American Madness, like many Frank Capra films, is about a decent little guy going up against the overwhelming forces of cynicism. While the outcomes in these films can be a little far-fetched, especially where they depend on the kindness and honour of the general public, there is more worth in them than mere entertaining escapism. Continue reading

Bobby Sands: 66 Days (2016)

Bobby Sands: 66 Days is an alarming film. It’s republican propaganda with scant effort at balance and the vague hint here and there that the IRA may have been a little off with their campaign of murder and chaos. Perhaps more worrying than this is the reviews, which seem to be universal in their praise, especially when it comes to balance. Continue reading

秋刀魚の味 (1962)

秋刀魚の味 (Sanma no aji in romaji) is a warm, gentle film. That in itself was enough to win me over as I found ageing father and widower Hirayama Shuhei quite a nice, honourable man, and one I’d happily tag along with for more wanderings through everyday life. Continue reading

Rebecca (1940)

Joan Fontaine is adorable as an awkward and shy lost puppy in Rebecca. She’s almost always out of place, sticking out like a sore thumb, but effective as our window into a world to which few of its viewers would belong. She’s one of us – uncomfortable, self-conscious, and vulnerable. Her sincerity and lack of pretence do her credit, however, as she catches the eye of a handsome and wealthy, but troubled widower Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier). He seems hung up on the tragic death of his wife, Rebecca, who was, by all accounts,  the perfect woman. Can the new Mrs. De Winter escape the shadow cast by this terrible lady or will her insecurity get the better of her? Continue reading