Why I Love… #132: Ghost World

Year: 2001 Director: Terry Zwigoff Stars: Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi I grew up in the rural South West of England, in Devon. Hardly the anonymous middle-America of Daniel Clowes' scabrous graphic novel Ghost World but, also, not totally divorced from that milieu either. I could certainly relate to it. The sense of emptiness … Continue reading Why I Love… #132: Ghost World

Why I Love… #131: Special Effects

Year: 1984 Director: Larry Cohen Stars: Zoë Lund, Eric Bogosian, Brad Rijn Larry Cohen made cheap, dirty, gritty films. Not the kind that got a lot of respect on release (or, in most cases, later on for that matter). They were often genre pictures that belayed a scabrous social critique. His most popular and irreverent … Continue reading Why I Love… #131: Special Effects

Why I Love… #130: Destry Rides Again

Year: 1939 Director: George Marshall Stars: Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Brian Donlevy When it comes to Westerns, I'm a picky sod. I'm not fond of John Wayne (even allowing for the changing of the times I find him priggish and his roles often steeped in misogyny and racism). I'll enjoy a romping adventure but it'll … Continue reading Why I Love… #130: Destry Rides Again

Why I Love… #129: Niagara

Year: 1953 Director: Henry Hathaway Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters Marilyn Monroe's screen presence and charisma are undeniable, it's been reiterated ad nauseam for decades. These qualities made her a star, but they didn't grant her a free pass when it came to dramatic roles. Monroe wasn't a great actor, and the tales … Continue reading Why I Love… #129: Niagara

Why I Love… #128: Marathon Man

Year: 1976 Directed: John Schlesinger Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Roy Scheider, William Devane In the 1970s America was wrestling with a number of demons. Vietnam. Watergate. A decade of politicised assassinations. A country that once sold itself as young and idealistic suddenly found itself wading through an antagonised adolescence (with plenty more growing pains set to … Continue reading Why I Love… #128: Marathon Man

Why I Love… #127: All is Forgiven

Year: 2007 Director: Mia Hansen-Løve Stars: Paul Blain, Constance Rousseau, Marie-Christine Friedrich Mia Hansen-Løve has had an almost perfect career to date (or, at least, as far as I've been able to see - her 2018 feature Maya is still MIA as far as UK distribution is concerned). The five features we have been treated to have … Continue reading Why I Love… #127: All is Forgiven

Why I Love… #126: Maborosi

Year: 1995 Director: Hirokazu Kore-Eda Stars: Makiko Esumi, Takashi Naitô, Tadanobu Asano Maborosi - Hirokazu Kore-Eda's narrative debut following a series of documentaries - might take the prize for the most dour film in this series. In some respects. The colour palette and thematic meat are both grim and mournful. It takes place beneath permanently … Continue reading Why I Love… #126: Maborosi

Why I Love…. #125: La Chinoise

Year: 1967 Director: Jean-Luc Godard Stars: Anne Wiazemsky, Juliet Berto, Jean-Pierre Léaud By 1967 Jean-Luc Godard was operating at his most creative and prolific. The decade saw him repeatedly (and justly) celebrated as a powerhouse of the French New Wave. In '67 he would release three new features. 2 or 3 Things I Knew About … Continue reading Why I Love…. #125: La Chinoise

Why I Love… #124: Resident Evil: Retribution

Year: 2012 Director: Paul WS Anderson Stars: Milla Jovovich, Li Bingbing, Sienna Guillory Okay, stick with me on this. Paul WS Anderson - a largely derided or simply dismissed director - is a man preoccupied. His career can be looked at like someone obsessively playing a video game over and over. His first feature, Mortal Kombat, … Continue reading Why I Love… #124: Resident Evil: Retribution

Why I Love… #123: A Touch of Zen

Year: 1970 Director: King Hu Stars: Shi Jun, Xu Feng, Bai Ying Journeying back and forth along the timeline of cinema you can end up with some surprising contrasts. The last film to feature in this series was Tsai Ming-liang's Goodbye, Dragon Inn; as perfect an example of modern 'slow cinema' as one could identify. … Continue reading Why I Love… #123: A Touch of Zen

Why I Love… #122: Goodbye, Dragon Inn

Year: 2003 Director: Tsai Ming-Liang Stars: Chen Hsiang-Chyi, Kiyonobu Mitamura, Lee Kang-Sheng Cinema as a medium - and, more pointedly for this piece, as an industry - will return and thrive again. Of this I am particularly optimistic. We love the movies too much. We love the ceremony of going, and all the associated tactile … Continue reading Why I Love… #122: Goodbye, Dragon Inn

Why I Love… #121: Ginger Snaps

Year: 2000 Director: John Fawcett Stars: Katherine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, Jesse Moss When it comes to teen horrors that writhe exquisitely in the perverse joys of the macabre, few come close to touching John Fawcett's turn-of-the-millennium offering Ginger Snaps. Conceived in partnership with Karen Walton and brought to life from her acidic script (gleefully prefiguring the … Continue reading Why I Love… #121: Ginger Snaps

Why I Love… #120: Beau Travail

Year: 1999 Director: Claire Denis Stars: Denis Lavant, Grégoire Colin, Michel Subor My first exposure to Claire Denis was Bastards early in 2014 and I reacted very strongly. I was confused and repelled by what I perceived as cryptic ugliness and misery porn; a position I have since revised. In fact, Bastards now ranks among my favourite … Continue reading Why I Love… #120: Beau Travail

Why I Love… #119: Piranha 3D

Year: 2010 Director: Alexandre Aja Stars: Jerry O'Connell, Elisabeth Shue, Kelly Brook The so-called 'B-movie' (the original concept itself long abandoned by cinemas) spins in and out of the modern mainstream with some regularity, usually dependent on some aberration or other hitting it big or creating meme-worthy content. From killer sharks to killer crocs to … Continue reading Why I Love… #119: Piranha 3D

Why I Love… #118: The Limits of Control

Year: 2009 Director: Jim Jarmusch Stars: Isaach de Bankolé, Alex Descas, Paz de la Huerta Earlier this year during our (first) lockdown - and suddenly unemployed - I used my free time, somewhat unsurprisingly, to catch up on some movies from my ever-growing watchlist. Part of this included checking off the Jim Jarmusch titles that … Continue reading Why I Love… #118: The Limits of Control