4 items from 2014
The world is all out of whack: multiple Dutch tilts are on display in Voyage sans espoir (1943), an unbelievably glossy poetic realist proto-noir from Christian-Jaque: the film actually begins with railway tracks viewed from the front of a speeding train, upside down, as the camera drunkenly rolls upright and titles come flying towards us, slapping flat across the frame like flies hitting a windshield.
The plot is convoluted but crisp—chance encounters tie together Jean Marais, fleeing his job at a bank to see life and settle in Argentina, with an escaped jailbird of psychopathic demeanor (Paul Bernard) and his girlfriend, the radiant Simone Renant. There's also a likably crooked ship's captain carrying a torch for Renant, a sinister ethnic-type sailor (Ky Duyen), and a pair of hard-drinking but eternally sober detectives who resemble nothing more than the Thompson Twins from Tintin. The French had a nifty way with »
- David Cairns
It is one of Beckett's most famous – and most startling – images. But what inspired the half-buried woman in Happy Days? His friend and biographer James Knowlson tracks down the first Winnies
Samuel Beckett was a passionate lover of art and a friend of many painters and sculptors. He loved Dutch and Flemish painting in particular – and art almost certainly inspired some of his most memorable theatrical images. Even his earliest plays, such as Waiting for Godot or Endgame, recall the old masters: the character Lucky in Godot may well remind you of a Brueghel grotesque; Estragon and Vladimir's physical antics echo scenes in Adriaen Brouwer's paintings ("Dear, dear Brouwer", Beckett called him); Hamm in Endgame appears to share genes with some portraits by Rembrandt, staring out at the viewer – Jacob Trip in his armchair, perhaps.
As for Beckett's late miniature works – recently revived by the Royal Court with a tour »
We all have predisposed notions about the infamous “romantic comedy.” As with other genres, there’s a large subsection of offerings, giving it a bad name. But, for every tired, cliché-driven comedy, there is another impressive offering that redefines the genre, garners plenty of laughs, and tells an honest story about love and relationships, however warped they may be. In the coming weeks, we’ll take a look at the fifty romantic comedy films that should be seen. These may not all be classic films, but they certainly put a stamp on the industry and the genre we affectionately call “rom-coms.”
#50. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Most of Wes Anderson’s films could be described as romantic comedies, but his 2012 effort stands out, as its central story focuses on young love and the need to find acceptance. In Anderson’s world, while quirks abound, true connections between characters are commonplace. With Moonrise Kingdom, »
- Joshua Gaul
Morbid movies have been a feature of cinema from its earliest days, with films such as Nosferatu, Un Chien Andalou, L’age d’or and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. They were frowned upon by our moral guardians for being unwholesome, but it didn’t stop their proliferation down the decades. By the 1960s, many taboos of cinema – like nudity, gore and graphic sex – had been busted wide open, leaving filmmakers all over the world free to engage in an all manner of previously off-limits subjects.
The 1970s were flooded with morbid films, though – Straw Dogs, The Devils, Last Tango in Paris, Last House on the Left, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (just to name a few). These films gave the censors the run around, but they set a precedent for subsequent writers and directors to attain new heights of ghoulishness. There are no sacred cows left today »
- Clare Simpson
4 items from 2014
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