Shine a Light

Forty-five years into their career, the Rolling Stones team up with Martin Scorsese, Jeff White, Christina Aguilera, Buddy Guy, 18 of the finest cameramen in the business and a couple thousand of the luckiest ticket-holders in the world for two nights in New York’s wonderfully intimate Beacon Theatre. With President Clinton ‘opening’ the show, theContinue reading “Shine a Light”

Happy Go Lucky

Mike Leigh’s last outing was the relentless depressing and despairing Vera Drake (2005). With Happy-Go-Lucky he pulls a 180 and introduces us to the deliriously optimistic Poppy Cross (Sally Hawkins) whose first thought at discovering her beloved bicycle has been stolen is, “I didn’t even get to say good-bye!” Without her wheels, Poppy accepts thatContinue reading “Happy Go Lucky”

Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy broke all the rules when it was released in 1969. After a decade dominated by glossy, Technicolor, feel-good musicals, John Schlesinger’s x-rated exposé of shattered dreams amongst the grime and desperation on New York’s mean streets made the entire industry sit up and take notice. It’s not just the only X-rated film toContinue reading “Midnight Cowboy”

Doomsday

Director: Neil Marshall Any minute now, the deadly ‘Reaper’ virus will strike Glasgow. London will respond by rebuilding Hadrian’s wall, abandoning Scotland it to its fate. Few will escape. Life will go on… …Until the Reaper mysteriously resurfaces in London in 27 years. A team of crack military scientists, headed up by uber-fit Eden SinclairContinue reading “Doomsday”

Lust, Caution

Ang Lee is one of the few directors who can tackle virtually any genre, and with a few exceptions (2003’s The Hulk leaps to mind) come up with something marvellous if not exceptional (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000,  Brokeback Mountain, 2005). Lust, Caution is a slow-burning thriller set in WWII Japanese-occupied Shanghai and Hong Kong.Continue reading “Lust, Caution”

An Angel at My Table

Jane Campion’s delicate, almost leisurely construction of Kiwi Janet Frame’s autobiographies is one of those rare films that draw you completely into its world, so while watching you lose all sense of time and place. Frame’s life unfolds at so naturally, you may not notice the overlap of the three actresses (Alexia Keogh, Karen Fergusson,Continue reading “An Angel at My Table”

The Bothersome Man

Director: Jens Lien Andreas (Trond Fausa Aurvaag) stands alone waiting for a subway, blank faced and despondent. He tries to ignore a couple dispassionately French kissing, but their slurping and grunting fills his head until it is ready to explode, until it is blissfully drowned by an approaching train. He jumps. Suddenly Andreas is theContinue reading “The Bothersome Man”

Pan’s Labyrinth

It’s 1944, five years after the end of  Spanish Civil. The close of WWII in Europe is at hand. Ten year old Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) and her heavily pregnant mother Carmen (Ariadna Gil) travel to a remote fascist outpost in the Spanish forest, where they will join her new husband, Capitán Vidal (Sergi López). AContinue reading “Pan’s Labyrinth”

New York, New York

Martin Scorsese has made more than a dozen films set in New York, New York, but the one that bears the full name of the city was shot on a Hollywood lot – an homage to the MGM musicals of the 40s. You can’t help wondering what he was thinking. It was 1977. The previousContinue reading “New York, New York”

Shoot ‘Em Up

83 minutes long, at least 60 of which are non-stop action! This tongue in cheek actioner starring Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci is an assault on the senses, fuelled by a heavy metal soundtrack featuring Motörhead, AC/DC, and Mötley Crüe and barely enough plot to fill a fifth formers book report. Owen playsContinue reading “Shoot ‘Em Up”