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”

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”

Donnie Darko

When it was released, I described Donnie Darko as David Lynch for teenagers, and then 26 year old writer-director Richard Kelly is Lynch-in-training. That was in 2001. And while Kelly appears to have been a one-hit wonder, his debut feature continues to amaze and delight – a magic realism horror ride, moody and resplendent withContinue reading “Donnie Darko”

Viridiana

Luis Buñuel grabbed worldwide attention in 1929 with his very first film, Un Chien Andalou, made with his close friend, Salvador Dali. The 17-minute short opened with a shot of an eyeball being sliced, grisly special effects for the time. With Dali and their friend, Federico García Lorca, he pioneered the use of surrealism inContinue reading “Viridiana”

Malena

The day Mussolini declared war on France and Britain, 13-year-old Renato Amoroso (Giuseppe Sulfaro) got his first bicycle and fell in love with Malena Scordia (Monica Bellucci), a 27-year-old war bride whose husband joined the fight in Africa.  There is not a man in the sleepy Sicilian village who does not drool over the exquisiteContinue reading “Malena”

Best in Show

Once a year, the American doggie elite congregates in Philadelphia for the Mayflower Dog Show – travelling by air, caravan, BMW and station wagon – projecting their dreams and hopes onto the family pet.  Christopher Guest’s mockumentary, Best in Show digs down deep into the psyches of the owners and the nitty-gritty politics of showContinue reading “Best in Show”

Irish Films – from both sides of the Atlantic

In honour of St Paddy’s Day, here’s a look at some of my favourite Irish flicks. The top grossing Irish film of all-time is the sleeper hit The Crying Game (1992), starring Forest Whittaker and Miranda Richardson, about a British soldier captured by the IRA who finds himself drawn into their world. The film wasContinue reading “Irish Films – from both sides of the Atlantic”

Everything is Illuminated

This flick came out in 2005. But great movies, like great books, great songs  – any great work of art, deserve to be revisited every so often. I see probably 300 movies a year and four years on, this one still plays in my mind as vividly as the first time I saw it. IContinue reading “Everything is Illuminated”