5 items from 2011
We're rounding up the best of your comments and reviews on our My favourite film series, in which our writers pick their favourite films of all time.
The first time he saw it – when he was 19 – Raging Bull left Peter Bradshaw wanting to "run all the way home, or pick up parked cars and flip them over". Scorsese's depiction of the rise and fall of boxer Jake Lamotta was pitted with fight scenes that showed the inside of the ring as an "expressionist newsreel footage of a bad dream". Life outside was just another battle. Robert de Niro as Lamotta was "tense, moody, seeming to vibrate like a plucked guitar string" – primped and pulled from glory to the gutter by family and the Family, both. »
In our writers' favourite films series, Charlotte Higgins applauds a picture that jetés through the imagination's darkest recesses
• Think you can post a better review of The Red Shoes? Then get moving – or take the floor in the comments thread below
I remember the first time I watched The Red Shoes. I was a child, it was on the television some rainy afternoon, and I watched it on my own. I think I was probably expecting a straightforward retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale, also called The Red Shoes – though why that would be reassuring viewing I don't know, since Andersen's story, like his disturbing tale The Little Mermaid, is a thoroughly disquieting piece of work.
Instead, this film – which I would later discover was made in 1948, by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger – was set in postwar London, with an aspiring ballerina at its heart, played by the luminous, »
- Charlotte Higgins
That was the week in which Roland Emmerich applied his delicate style to the Bard and our writers fessed up to their favourite films
Roland Emmerich likes to destroy things. We in the film world know this: we've watched him blow the planet up for years. Let's face it, it's why we love him. But the theatre world is less familiar with his style, and this week they have been traumatised by the unleashing of his new film Anonymous, with which, in characteristic fashion, Emmerich attempts to completely obliterate the reputation of William Shakespeare.
Arguably the most inspired response to the German director's waste-laying ways came from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, who this week took to graffitting road signs to make their point. A very sophisticated one, we should point out - if Shakespeare was "anonymous", see, then he doesn't exist. Emmerich is no doubt pulling together »
Xan Brooks continues our writers' favourite films series by confessing devotion to Michael Powell's A Canterbury Tale
• Tell us your version of A Canterbury Tale by posting your review, or join the throng of pilgrims in the comments
I first watched A Canterbury Tale with my father, nearly 20 years ago. He warned me that while he liked it, most people did not. It was too flawed, too rum, it didn't hang together. So we sat in the lounge and saw the hawk turn into the fighter plane and the trainload of pilgrims pull into Kent and the first, scurrying escape of the "glue-man", who pours adhesive into the hair of the girls who date the soldiers – and about half an hour in, my dad hit the pause button and asked if I maybe wanted to watch something else instead. "No, it's Ok, I like it," I muttered, because it's »
- Xan Brooks
Being a Christian in the 21st century is difficult at the best of times. Even without Mel Gibson constantly putting his foot in it, or Westboro Baptist Church spitting venom at the very people they are supposed to be helping, we have to contend with a media backlash whenever a seemingly ‘Christian’ film is released.
The problem seems to be that people don’t mind Christianity per se: if people are Bible-bashing in the streets, they can ignore them or talk back. What they resent, or appear to resent, are films with Christian undertones – allegories or parables which introduce Christian beliefs or ideas in a supposedly secular context. When The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe came out in 2005, The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee accused it of “invad[ing] children’s minds with Christian iconography… heavily laden with guilt, blame, sacrifice and a suffering that is dark with emotional sadism.” Ouch. »
- Daniel Mumby
5 items from 2011
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